Print Sports Editor

Released on Sept. 4, National Basketball Association (NBA) 2K21 is the 21st installment of the NBA gaming franchise. Prior to its release, the game was proclaimed as “mighty mighty good” by the games marketing developer “Ronnie 2k.” Almost immediately after its release, however, the game received many unfavorable reviews. Top gaming company “Steam” gave the game an atrocious two out of 10, and the game has an average rating of 1.8 stars on Google. After playing the game, the bashing the game has received is understandable. 

To begin, the game did not change their MyLeague mode at all. MyLeague is a game mode where the user takes control of a team and makes decisions for them as the general manager. For many years, there have been complaints about the game needing to update this mode as nothing new has come to it for a long time. 2K tried to make a couple of minor changes in the game; however, there was a clear lack of care and attention paid towards the game mode. It is baffling that a company can be so unresponsive to its thousands of customers about a big issue–such as not fixing one of the biggest game modes in their most successful video game. 

The game’s most popular mode is undoubtedly MyCareer. In this mode, which is divided into two parts, users are able to design a basketball player, customizing their abilities and physical features to create their ideal player. The customization of the players had few changes from last year. While there was reason to believe the company would develop a completely new system, 2K gave consumers the exact same features with a few extra customization options. The company was extremely lazy with this part of the game, and it was evident. 

The other part of MyCareer mode takes your customized player through high school, college and eventually to the NBA,  as they make a name for themselves and try to get to be the number one pick in the draft. The only new feature here is the introduction of real colleges like the University of Florida and the University of Syracuse, which is a nice touch. However, as soon as you get to the NBA, it becomes the same, identical game as it has been in years past. Players play in games, attend sponsorship events and try to win a championship. While this might seem like fun at a first glance, it is actually fairly boring as many who play this new game have been playing similar past installments years prior. 

NBA 2K21’s second-largest game mode, MyTeam, allows users to build their dream team using player cards they earn from completing challenges, winning games and purchasing them via an auction or store pack. This mode forces players to decide between spending hours playing the game or giving 2K tons of money to upgrade their team. This explains why NBA 2K21 is arguably a pay-to-win game, meaning if one spends the money, their team will reflect it through the skill set of their players. Not only does this give some players an unfair advantage because they have money to spend on an in-game purchase, but it also does not promote actually taking part in the mode and enjoying what the game is all about: playing basketball. Sadly, this shows that 2K cares more about money than the happiness and enjoyment of their customers.