NBA 2K21 MyCareer Review – PS4
If you remember my review from last year’s MyCareer, you’d know I was pretty stoked to get my hands back on NBA 2K21’s MyCareer and back in the Neighborhood. I used to play sports games all the time, but they became too serious, too deep, especially when I just wanted to casually win a title with my favorite team. Online play was a shining spot for me to be able to try to match the fun I had with my brother playing sports games but realized getting my ass handed to me wasn’t as fun. I love how these “career” modes in sports games allow you to dive into the mind of the player, only needing to know one position, and the RPG-like elements of playing games, getting XP, and leveling up stats just fits perfectly for me. With the addition that NBA 2K games have some epic storylines, I couldn’t wait to see if it lived up to the hype.
The gameplay from NBA 2K20 to NBA 2K21 wasn’t much different, except for the shooting. Holy hell it was rough the first few days playing it. They still had the pullback on R3 and time a release for a shot, but you also had to angle the shot as well. So in a split second, you needed to pull R3 back, rotate it to line up the accuracy, and release it when the line meets the middle point. It was very difficult and searching through Twitter and such, luckily I wasn’t the only one, even the cover athlete Dame Lillard tweeted out that he hasn’t hit a free throw yet. Thankfully 2K listened to the community, which they do A LOT for this game, and offered a more “toned down” meter. I was able to hit some shots finally and made the experience so much better.
Jumping into MyCareer is a blast, creating your MyPlayer for a position is awesome and very detailed. You could also try to scan your face from the mobile app, which I never really got working so I played around until my dude looked…somewhat like me. Now position-wise, and stat-wise was a little stressful. Last year I kind of clicked around choosing different things I thought was cool. It didn’t really make for a very successful character.
This year however I did some research. I wanted to be a Center, focus on rebounding and dominating in the paint finishing. I looking around for some guides that some people made and ended up with a pretty good character that worked with my playstyle, and that’s huge. You need to know your character’s strengths and weaknesses and how to play to them, otherwise, you’re not going to have much fun, and not be very dominant.
This year’s story was very deep and damn good. You play Junior, a kid whose father was a local legend but was unable to make it to the NBA. Your father (Jesse Williams, who also was ‘Markus’ in Detroit: Become Human. That was a fun surprise) was hard on you to play basketball and understand the game and the way it’s meant to be played. Unfortunately, you wanted your own identity and not be under the shadow of your father and decided to play football instead. I don’t want to ruin the story if you’re itching to play it, but you do meet up with Djimon Hounsou, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mireille Enos, Tye White (voice of Junior), and superstars such as Damian Lillard, and Zion Williamson!
As I mentioned the story was fantastic, it gave you choices that affected you and your relationships with people even gave you a positive or negative light in the media. Hell, you can even have a romantic relationship. Starting from High School, moving to an actual college (which was awesome to be able to pick an actual college to attend, and eventually draft day and playing your first NBA game. There were even decisions in-game you had to make this was all fantastic. Then when you reach the NBA…it kind of just stopped for me.
It felt like it just shifted to playing basketball and the growth of your “character” of your MyPlayer just stopped. No interviews, no decisions, no cut scene conversations. Everything was done through messaging or the in-game “e-mail”. It felt like it lost a lot of what I was building and I wished it had more for me to grasp. I’m definitely going to keep playing this throughout the year, NBA 2K20 was a guilty pleasure of mine and easily one of my top games of last year.
With a quick dive into The Neighborhood, this year it’s at the beach. It’s beautiful, it feels open, and I’m super excited to see how they change it up during events and holidays. Especially since Halloween is coming up, I can’t wait to see it. Even if you don’t want to play online with others in The Neighborhood, there are some perks for popping in daily. You can spin the daily prize wheel and win everything from items to wear, to VC (in-game currency). You can also hit up the Gatoraid Training Center and boost your 5 core stats with a few exercises, such as sprinting and weightlifting. This boost will last for a week, so definitely jump on it.
In the end, the MyCareer in NBA 2K21 is a blast to playthrough! Adding an epic story with some amazing actors just sucks you right in. I highly recommend ballers looking to jump straight into My Neighborhood, please take the time to play through it at least once to experience it, you can tell they put some hard work into building it for us. Like an echo from last year, all sports games should strive to be as great as the NBA 2K series MyCareer mode. Give us a story and let us BE the character.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Deep emotional storyline
+ Fun choices to make that affect future decisions
+ Graphics are amazing (and even better in next-gen!)
+ Awesome cast
- The story and decisions just seem to stop after a bit