Developer Visual Concepts has released an in-depth breakdown of how NBA 2K21 will take advantage of next-gen hardware, particularly the PlayStation 5 and DualSense controller. Gameplay director Mike Wang touched on a variety of gameplay improvements made to the game, from ball handling and movement to impact and off-ball contact.
Wang said the team rebuilt NBA 2K21’s dribbler for next-gen hardware from the ground up, specifically to make ball handling and movement more consistent and predictable. Your characters will go where intended more reliably, eliminating the wonky movement previous NBA titles–like NBA 2K20–suffer from. Characters are also weightier and more in line with their real-life counterparts. This, coupled with improved movement mechanics, should create an experience that “just works.”
Defense and off-ball gameplay has also seen improvements thanks to next-gen hardware. Pathing has been tweaked so defenders feel more grounded and no longer slide when cutting through the court. Adjustments have also been made to the “twitchiness” of gameplay so you can more accurately predict movement and player-size to ensure positions feel like they are supposed to.
Other major updates made to NBA 2K21, as far as the PlayStation 5 is concerned, center around the DualSense controller. Wang said the team used the adaptive triggers to simulate resistance. When avatars become fatigued and tired, the triggers will be harder to pull. And if you find yourself on the defensive against a character that’s bigger than your own, you will experience heavy resistance meant to simulate the strength difference.
The DualSense also affects the sensation of impact in NBA 2K21. In any situation where avatars make contact with other avatars, the controller will vibrate are varying intensities depending on the strength of the avatars and the severity of the impact. This should give you a better understanding of the avatar’s state, possibly giving you awareness of the fact that you may be overworking characters in unsavory situations.
In other NBA 2K21 news, Visual Concepts shared a next-gen gameplay trailer showcasing just how much better the basketball simulator looks on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The difference is almost night and day.
NBA 2K21 is out now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Xbox One. The game drops on November 10 for Xbox Series X/S and November 12 for PlayStation 5.
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