Ahead of its September 4 release for current- gen, Visual Concepts is finally pulling back the curtain on details of its MyCareer story mode and showing off a sandy new beach neighborhood.
This year, Visual Concepts is bringing us a brand-new neighborhood called 2K Beach for the current-gen edition of NBA 2K21. It was inspired by Southern California’s local beach community, and Visual Concepts said the team worked hard to capture the look, feel, and vibe to match it. You can play 3v3 streetball, 5v5 ProAm Games, and it comes packed with minigames, easter eggs, and other new content. The locale is surrounded by hot shops like SWAG’s, The REC, and NBA Store, and will be used to host events throughout the year.
The popular mode MyCareer, where you create your own player and take them through a cinematic experience capturing the highs and lows of the game, will also return with some significant changes. This year’s narrative is called “The Long Shadow,” focusing on a character named Junior, who is the son of a beloved baller. Junior will balance living up to his father’s legacy as he tries to carve out his own path to the NBA through high school and college. Yes, this year, Visual Concepts is bringing back the college experience. The mode allows you to pick from 10 official licensed colleges to attend: Michigan State, UConn, Florida, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, UCLA, Villanova University and West Virginia.
As always, Visual Concepts enlisted the help of some top Hollywood talent for this journey. You can expect to spot Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Guardians of the Galaxy), Mireille Enos (The Killing, World War Z) and cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson to be involved in Junior’s story to the NBA.
“We have a really dynamic cast this year,” says senior producer Ben Bishop. “There’s a lot of fun and interesting characters helping you along the way. I don’t like to spoil too much in these early previews, but I will say one of the things that I think is new and exciting for us is that one important choice you do get to make is [between] one of two agents to go with. And depending which one you pick, it will have major differences on what happens to you as your career unfolds moving into the NBA.” One example Bishop gave was one of the agents allowing you to earn fans by playing in the park.
NBA 2K21 launches on September 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A version being built from the ground up for PS5 and Xbox Series X will be released at a later date.
As for what will carry over from current gen to next, Visual Concepts released a recent blog clarifying it in depth, but executive producer Erick Boenisch said, “Everything in MyTeam carries over: your progress VC, MTDB, tokens, badge progress. MyCareer is a bit of a different beast in next gen. We're not going to have the beach in next gen because that’s something new and crazy. So it doesn't make sense to have that progress carry over … But the VC that you earn playing in MyCareer in current gen is a part of what carries over into next gen.”
Visual Concepts also said it’s working with the WNBA for some new features and evolutions for the next-gen version of the game, and confirmed you would be able to create a female MyPlayer in this version. Sadly, it isn’t ready to elaborate on that just yet.