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NBA 2K

21 Oct 2020

NBA 2K21 Next Gen: AI improvements will make it a whole new game

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AI Defense

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Offensive improvements

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More realistic than ever

The power of next-gen consoles has been drilled into gamers, but NBA 2K21 looks set to prove just how crucial these consoles are in the development of gaming.

2K has been dropping weekly Courtside Reports to explain why they are charging more for the next-gen version of NBA 2K21.

In their final Report they've outlined not only massive changes to Badges and Takeovers, but how the AI will play you on next-gen!

AI Defense

2K is resetting and boosting gameplay in a lot of areas, especially around the way AI plays ball.

On defense this manefests in a few ways. Switching logic has been improved, so that both on- and off-ball switching should leave fewer holes for you to exploit.

nba 2k21 next gen gameplay foot planting
TARGET SPOTTED: Better defense from the AI will make for much better gameplay

The coaching of the AI is better too. They can recognize and adapt to different actions, so don't think you can just lean on flare screens or back screens all game.

CPU defenders will now get in better and smarter positions for charges too.

Transition defense has been improved in several areas, while the Hedge defense system for better screen positioning and angle targeting has been overhauled.

Players can now control when the AI helps in defense by holding L1/LB for double teams.

Offensive improvements

It's not just the defense that has been improved for next-gen.

Game planning has been added for both players and AI to use and have more specific plans for the team.

The new system will allow the AI to target their best players and use them in the right situations. That means pick & rolls with LeBron and Anthony Davis rather than just anyone!

NBA 2K21 next gen gameplay trailer Stephen Curry
THINK FAST: The AI will make better use of star players on next-gen

There's even a new game plan option in the pause menu. This lets you pick between eight pre-selected game plans and do some on-the-fly coaching.

AI will use less movement but create more spacing for shooters if you over-use double teams. Which means be careful with that new defense mechanic!

AI will also be better with the clock in end game situations, while freelance offensve flow has been greatly improved.

More realistic than ever

All of these next-gen upgrades focus in on realism and making gameplay feel more like true basketball.

2K faced a bit of a backlash over their pricing initially. Charging more for the game on next-gen felt out of line, but when you look at all the huge upgrades they are giving the title it seems more than fair.

It's also worth noting that while other sports titles are "Optimized" for next-gen, NBA 2K21 has clearly been BUILT for next-gen in a way that few other games can claim.

We can't wait to try it!