A lot of unexpected games were revealed at Sony’s “Future of Gaming” event, but one game that we know to expect every year also had a trailer released. 2K releases NBA games like clockwork every year, and despite many shortcomings, they are indisputably the best basketball games available. It’s hard to show how much graphics could improve the games in a trailer because the graphics are already pretty good, so they went back to an old trick of theirs and cranked it up a notch.
Many people have noticed that recently, whenever a new 2k is announced, the graphics only look better side by side because the older image will show a player with no sweat, and the new version will show a sweat-drenched player. When done properly, the sweat makes flat skin textures look a lot better, but this year they cranked the sweat up to 11.
While the level of sweat pouring out of digital Zion can be distracting, it seems that the dynamic face movement introduced last year will be much improved, meaning that players’ emotions will seem much more realistic, on and off the court. The backboard movement seems to be a bit more realistic now, and the floor shakes a bit when Zion lands, but this is likely just a visual effect for the trailer. The gym is also drenched in beams of light, but we shouldn’t expect anything like this in the game outside of a few cinematic, even if the game engine is capable of it.
It is also worth noting that despite Zion featuring in the trailer, he has not been announced as the cover athlete, and in fact likely won’t feature on the cover.
From an official 2k spokesman:
Cover athletes – plural – will be announced next month. https://t.co/eKKpcCogfn pic.twitter.com/EOzdSaReHq
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) June 12, 2020
Instead, there will be multiple cover athletes (unclear if this means for different variations of the game, or is they will grace it together) who will be announced at a later date. The tweet does not rule Zion out as one of them, but seeing as he hasn’t even played a full rookie year, it seems unlikely.
Release dates have yet to be announced, but NBA 2k21 will likely release early this fall for current-get consoles, with a port/upgraded version coming later for next-gen.