Building off their previous work on “The Park” and “The Neighborhood” modes, NBA 2K developer Visual Concepts has announced new NBA 2K21 social multiplayer hub dubbed “The City” for next-gen consoles. Check out the trailer below.
Starting with NBA 2K14, Visual Concepts introduced the idea of a social hub filled with opportunities to play pick-up games of basketball, alongside some ridiculous mini-games. That eventually expanded into the “Neighborhood” mode, an even bigger hub with more to do and seasonal changes. Check out screenshots from the City in the gallery below.
Visual Concepts says the City will be “many, many times larger” than previous Neighborhoods. The City is comprised of four different districts, each run by a rival Affiliation. Visual Concepts adds that “hundreds” of players will populate each City.
“The City is our most ambitious execution of a virtual basketball community…ever,” Visual Concepts executive producer Erick Boenisch said in a lengthy blog post.
Players all start out in Rookieville, a dock community where they must prove themselves against other MyPLAYERS before actually gaining access to the City. The four Affiliation-controlled Burroughs each have their own aesthetic and unique basketball courts that promise new MyPLAYER progression.
The City also houses an Event Center area, a giant shining monolith where all new and returning events will be hosted, as well as competitions between Affiliations. LED screens and lighting will change the mood of the Event Center depending on the occasion.
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Visual Concepts is also introducing “Garage Hoops,” which are basically basketball hoops scattered around the map. Shoot some hoops in one and other players can initiate several different modes. It’s a simple addition, but Visual Concepts says players will get some extra VC rewards for the first five games played each day.
The City also features a quest system with NPCs, with a series of single-player 3v3 games, and another line of quests that encourages you to explore the city and play games outside the Warehouse.
Other features include:
- A remade Gatorade training facility where players can beef up their athletes or rent courts for uninterrupted play.
Larger 4v4 and 5v5 courts, including a Kobe Bryant tribute court that features the late player’s snakeskin design and a large mural overlooking the court.
After winning 10 Affiliation games, the reigning team’s ball will catch on fire, acting as a sort of bat-signal to other players hoping to unseat the local champs.
Pink Diamond Plaza: A neon pink-infused court where the MyTeam Triple Threat mode is housed.
Apparel stores where you can purchase cosmetics for your player avatars. To no one’s surprise, this will feature sports brands like Nike, Jordan, Adidas, and more.
Players looking to dive into the returning Affiliations feature will be randomly assigned an Affiliation after proving themselves in Rookieville but can file for a transfer which sets your reputation level back to square one. Players will earn more Rep points by playing games on their Affiliation’s courts, and each Affiliation can compete in “Rival Day Conquest” and “Rival Day Championship” events to crown a faction as the kings of the City.
Certain players can even be elected mayor of their Affiliation’s borough, and are responsible for creating hype videos that play on jumbotron screens, curating custom music playlists, court and mural designs, and uniform selection. Visual Concepts says they’re pre-selecting the first round of mayors (corruption!) and each mayor will be a recognizable face from the NBA 2K community. Mayors will change every six weeks, though.
These aren’t the only next-gen improvements coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X version of NBA 2K21. Visual Concepts is using the PS5’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback to simulate player fatigue. New player AI and customization options are also on the way.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN. Ball with him on Twitter.