The aim-meter mechanic is really difficult to grasp, but has already led to a quite satisfying one-on-one isolation victories. It is nice being able to use the right stick exclusively as a dribbling tool until I am ready to pull back for a shot. The capability to size-up, which is tied to unique dribbling animations for lots of the top players in the league, and isolate is far better than ever. I spent a few hours experimenting with different playstyles, like facilitating the pick-and-roll using Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. It is tremendously rewarding to use Doncic's size and footwork to make space - something that I could not replicate with other guards around the group, like Seth Curry. While it's not entirely new, NBA 2K21's ability to entertain gamers' playstyles is exceptional this year.
Nevertheless, there are already a few frustrating gameplay problems I've come across, also. Fastbreaks seem slightly enhanced, but player spacing is still noticeably off. For instance, even my finest three-point shooters will monitor inside the three-point lineup on fast breaks when they'd be better off finding space in the corner. Generally, it seems like NBA 2K21 has not completely adapted to the emphasis modern NBA basketball has set on the three-point line. Quick catch-and-shoots are not as common as they should be, and closing out is still far too simple on defense.
Similarly frustrating is that the CPU's ability to make difficulties for itself. In my short time with NBA 2K21, I've seen two backcourt violations on wide-open inbounds passes. It functioned as a jarring reminder that I was not, in fact, experiencing a real game of NBA basketball.
From a cursory glance, MyLeague appears to have received nearly zero upgrades. The mode has a good set of features built into it , but that is actually the second year in a row without noteworthy improvements. As someone who enjoys to deep-dive into franchise construction, it is really disappointing that there's so little effort being put into the mode.
Luckily, MyTeam has at least ditched its dreadful casino aesthetic from this past year. Make no mistake, even though -- even though it looks different, it still seems heavily determined by microtransactions and purchasing packs. Like I said in last year's inspection, it's clear that MyTeam's central goal is to extract as much cash as you're prepared to give up so as to avoid needing to grind out mundane challenges to advance, and it doesn't seem anything has changed in that section.
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