An enormous part of NBA 2K’s longevity for many fans is the PlayStation Home-esque virtual world that you can hang out in named the Neighborhood, and for NBA 2K21 it’ll be getting a fresh, seaside look. The 2K Beach will play host to all of the usual activities you’ve come to expect from the series, albeit in a sunshine setting. In addition to impromptu 3-on-3 matches, it looks like you’ll be able to play on rooftops and hang out at amusement arcades, which is fun.
Of course, there’ll be a new campaign to play through before you even reach the Neighborhood. This year’s story, The Long Shadow, will see you assume the role of Junior – the son of a “beloved baller” who’s trying to make it to the NBA. You’ll be able to work through one of 10 officially licensed college programs, with schools including Michigan State, UConn, Florida, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, UCLA, Villanova University, and West Virginia. Pretty cool!
Outside of that, long-time fans may be disappointed to learn that MyGM and MyLEAGUE are unlikely to be touched this year, as there’s no mention of any improvements in 2K Sports’ latest blog post. Here’s what it says about the modes: “Sit in the boss’ chair, and make decisions that matter not only to your player or team – but to the entire franchise and league. From drafting impact rookies to trading players to relocating your team, every move, big or small, counts towards the long-term success – or failure – of your basketball franchise.”
You can check out a trailer above, which previews the new Neighborhood and includes some cut-scenes from the new story mode. Cover stars Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson will both cameo in the plot, alongside real-world actors like Jesse Williams, who you may recall from Detroit: Become Human. It’s worth pointing out that all of these features currently only apply to the PlayStation 4 release, as 2K Sports is remaining hush about the next-gen versions.