NBA 2K21 First Gameplay Revealed, Features Unrealistic Crowds in Stadiums

NBA 2K21 gameplay has finally arrived, and yep, that definitely looks like basketball to me.

By Logan Moore

August 6, 2020

As it does every year, the latest installment in the NBA 2K series is set to arrive in a little under a month. To start building up anticipation towards launch day 2K Games today unveiled the first gameplay of this year’s edition on current-gen platforms.

Shown off in a 90-second new trailer, the gameplay for NBA 2K21 looks pretty crisp this season. The video starts off highlighting the game’s current-gen cover athlete, Damian Lillard, as he goes to sink a last-second jumper – which is something he has done plenty of times throughout his career. The focus then shifts to showing off many other current and former players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo along with a number of other new additions that are planned to head to 2K21.

While the gameplay itself looks roughly in-line with what we’ve come to expect from NBA 2K in the past, my biggest gripe with this trailer is that it doesn’t follow social distancing protocols. That’s right, this basketball sim which is meant to mirror the real-world features thousands of screaming fans in the stands, which is something that would never happen anymore. If 2K really wanted to create an accurate basketball game, these pro athletes would be playing in completely empty stadiums.

Jokes aside, though, I honestly hope that 2K and Visual Concepts do incorporate some of the new “bubble” courts that the real-world NBA is currently playing on into this year’s game. Even though something like this might not be coming at launch, it’d be cool to see some new locales added to 2K that reflect what is currently transpiring in the actual league.

NBA 2K21 is set to release next month on September 4 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch. Next-gen versions for PS5 and Xbox Series X will be launching later this year, but neither will be available for free upgrades for owners of the existing current-gen iterations unless you own the Mamba Forever Edition. Instead, these next-gen installments will retail separately for $70.

As for the newly released trailer, you can check it out above.

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Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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