2K has released the second of the three part Courtside Report series involving the next version of NBA 2K21. This new version has been built from the ground up and player movement is a true focus for the next generation. The team put a lot of resources towards improving locomotion with and without the ball. This starts with dribble movement as the difference between the last generation and the next generation are night and day according to the Courtside Report.
Visual Concepts maintained the concept of signature dribble styles, otherwise, everything else was scrapped and architected to provide a brand new and completely different feel with the ball in your hands. Protec and post movement has also seen a massive upgrade. There will be no unwanted turns or having your player face the wrong way on top of no bursting of speed or failed cuts. Everything will just feel natural. Thanks to the Pro Stick dribble system, movement and moves will feel cohesive. Player speeds are also more accurate of real life stats and the sense of weight is more realistic.
The team has also addressed all non-dribbling movements to provide details for various basketball situations. This will provide awareness to the look of the players on the floor which gives the game more life. Improved pathing, cuts and stops make defenders feel more grounded. There is also an updated player-size detection logic with a greater emphasis on player differentiation. Left stick taps allow players to play quick steps and will provide subtle adjustments to defensive positioning.
Other aspects that will see changes are foot planting, body ups and off-ball contact. Gone will be the sliding that occurred due to the limitations in technology. Engineers reworked the foot planting tech from scratch. Making contact in the paint was also a major focus. Gone are the days of “vacuum screens” as a new in-air contact shot system has been implemented and is called the Impact Engine. No longer will you be choosing a grounded player and simply putting them into place. This will be most noticeable for paint defenders as they’ll have the freedom to maneuver more realistically rather than the game dictating what happens based on animations.
NBA 2K21 will also be taking advantage of the PS5 Haptic Feedback system on the controllers. The triggers on the controller will convey energy/fatigue. As you move around the court, there will be more and more resistance on the Sprint trigger based on energy drains. Adaptive Resistance will also be present in the post game. Strong post players will feel very little resistance using L2 when backing down weaker opponents. More force will be required for stronger players. The haptic feedback will further bring to life the collision system. Boxouts, body-up rides, off-ball collisions/deny/rides will all result in various controller intensities depending on the strength of the player.
NBA 2K21 will launch alongside the next gen consoles at their respective releases. There is still one more Courtside Report involving the next gen version of the title to come. Those that purchased the Mamba Edition of the current gen version will be able to upgrade for free to the next gen version. You can read the full Courtside Report from Mike Wang here.