The first gameplay trailer for NBA 2K21 Next Gen is here, and it truly promises the most realistic take on any virtual basketball experience to date.
See for yourself:
Captured on the Sony PlayStation 5, the footage captures the authentic feel of being inside an NBA arena. Before the game tips off, we get a few seconds of Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic walking onto the court from the tunnels, giving an impressive sense of the game’s scale.
The renders of the players’ (and even coaches’) faces are remarkable, especially considering the range of reactions and emotions incorporated into each individual’s animations. Realistic facial hair, wrinkles, freckles, and other organic textures elevate the game’s look, even during dead ball situations.
As the trailer plays on, pay close attention to the little details all over the court.
While NBA 2K21 Next Gen’s very first teaser already hinted at more realistic sweat and clothing texture effects, it was isolated on a single player — cover athlete Zion Williamson. In this trailer, you’ll see these again, except on an entire court populated with all ten players — plus the occasional referee that gets caught in the frame.
You’ll also see some impressive work on lighting effects, particularly on how arena lighting reflects differently on different surfaces, from players’ foreheads to the hardwood. Closeup shots also flaunt these hyper-realistic visual touches. You’ll find reflections on the rim and believable dents and scratches on the backboard.
Of course, the graphical improvements are only part of the mystique of NBA 2K21 Next Gen. While this trailer offers plenty of eye candy, it’s still too early to tell whether the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X/S platforms will add anything new in terms of in-game control and feel. For that, we’ll just have to wait until the game officially drops.
NBA 2K21 Next Gen will launch on November 10 for the Xbox Series X and S. For the PS5, it will debut on November 12 in seven major markets before being released globally on November 19.