The price spike for next gen might be vindicated after all

MyPlayer, AI Improvements in NBA 2K21 for Next-Gen Consoles

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NBA 21 Next Gen Improvements

With the Range Extender badge, you'll be able to reach Stephen Curry range in NBA 2K21. (Image Credit: 2K Games)

At the start of the new console generation, the basketball simulation NBA 2K21 will hit the PS5 and Xbox Series X. In addition to many technical improvements, there have also been some changes to MyPlayer mode and the AI.

Just in time for the launch of the next-gen consoles in mid-November, the basketball simulation NBA 2K21 returns with an improved version of what was an unconvincing original release. We have already seen the gameplay capabilities of next-gen consoles and the developers from 2K Games took it to the new Courtside Report to talk about the gameplay improvements.

More Options in MyPlayer

NBA 2K's most-played mode – MyPlayer, is improved for the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 and offers additional features. On PS5 and Xbox Series X you no longer choose from ready-made skill charts.

Instead, you have full control and can set each value exactly the way you want it. There are only restrictions based on the basic physical data of the player. You can't set all values to the maximum. Duh!

The badges have also been reworked, as NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang reveals:

We've given the badges a lot of thought for Next Gen and redesigned them intensively. Many of the old favorites are back on board, but most of them have been significantly changed in the way they work. Completely new badges have also been added, old ones revived and some of the previous ones removed.

If you perform well in any mode in the different categories, you will receive badge points, which you can then distribute to any skill within the respective category.

An overview of some of the new/recurring badges and how they work:

  • Relentless Finisher - Strengthens contact lay-ups and reduces fatigue
  • Hot Zone Hunter - Shots taken from the player's favorite shooting spots are given a boost
  • Deep Hooks - Hook shots can be made easier from further away
  • Deep Fades - Same as above, just for fadeaways
  • Difficult Shots - Improves the ability to make shots off the dribble, stepbacks, fadeaways, etc.
  • Range Extender - Extends range for both mid-range and 3-point shots

and many more...

NBA 2K21 MyPlayer Next Gen Options

MyPlayer Mode will offer a lot more options for individualization. (Image Credit: 2K Games)

New skill boosts are also going to be added, Wang continues:

Instead of limiting players to eight general Skill Boosts, we decided to expand the feature to 24 more specific boosts. Basically, you can think of them as unique badges that you can use when you get hot.

The late basketball star Kobe Bryant is honored with a badge in NBA 2K21: When you have earned all your badge points, you will receive the Mamba Mentality badge, which allows you to change your Skill Boosts at any time. Just like Kobe, you should be able to vary from game to game as you dominate.

Video Credit: NBA 2K via YouTube

Next Gen AI in NBA 2K21

Another major change to the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 concerns artificial intelligence. There will be many new possibilities in both defense and offense.

These include, for example, an improvement in switching to offensive play, a better way of blocking shots or what are known as next-gen game plans. These allow you and the CPU opponent to develop more specific game plans for their teams. In the past you could choose to run, for example, pick and rolls with LeBron, but the new system allows the AI to select the best players of a team as targets.

So many improvements that we will see in mid-November in NBA 2K21. Whether this will actually culminate in an improved game feel will only be seen in our test of the next-gen version.

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Original article by EarlyGame's Philipp Briel.

Kiril Stoilov

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