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Next-gen NBA 2K21 will not only be getting a huge graphical overhaul, but for the first time in history, fans of the WNBA will be in for a treat as the game will be getting a host of modes especially for WNBA. That’s a big W for these talented women!

As revealed in the latest courtside report, not only will it get a brand new MyWNBA season experience, the game will also be getting a WNBA MyPLAYER and a 3v3 experience called W Online.

One of our gripes from NBA2K19 was that the addition of the WNBA, while great, felt like an afterthought, which didn’t feature enough of the league to really get you hooked into playing. These additions will seem to shatter all of that as these modes will shine the spotlight on the WNBA.

Take note, these additions will only come to the next-gen versions of NBA 2K21!

Gearbox Software has just revealed new skill trees in Borderlands 3 for four Vault Hunters namely Amara, FL4K, Moze, and Zane in the upcoming Designer’s Cut add-on.

Amara’s new Phaseflare Action Skill summons a giant controllable orb of elemental destruction which helps her plow through those that oppose her. Her Enlightened Force Skill Tree, on the other hand, lets her freeze enemies using Cryo elemental effects which rounds out her toolkit of natural elements. The passive abilities in this tree help her maximize elemental damage and slow enemies down to help Phaseflare chase them down.

FL4K gets new a crowd control Action Skill with the new Gravity Snare. The long-lasting skill periodically tosses nearby in the air which interrupts their attacks then slams them back into the ground. Meanwhile, the passive abilities in the Trapper Skill Tree give FL4K and their pet shield bonuses and increased hit effects.

Moze swaps her pilotable mech Iron Bear for a smaller but autonomous mini-mech called Iron Cub which fights alongside you in the Bear Mother Skill Tree. The majority of the bonuses that apply to Iron Bear also work on Iron Cub including the Hard Point weapon attachments. The Skill Tree also rewards you for setting enemies ablaze which is a good fit for fans of Hard Point weapons.

Lastly, Zane can now equip the MNTIS Shoulder Cannon, thanks to his new Skill Tree. The MNTIS Shoulder Canon is a high-tech railgun with multiple charges that can snipe enemies. This can be paired with the No Way Out augment which is found further down the Skill Tree. The augment makes the MNTIS shoot a grappling hook that yanks directly to you for a bit of close quarter combat.

For more on the new skill trees of Amara and FL4K, click here, while if you want to know more about Moze and Zane, click here.

Borderlands 3 Designer Cut add-on will be available starting November 10 as part of Season Pass 2.

Following backlash from the community over the addition of unskippable ads during the loading screen of NBA 2K21, 2K games took to social media to announce that action will be taken towards this fiasco.

Citing that the ad placement “impacted our players’ experience in a way we didn’t intend”, 2K has promised to rectify the situation as the ad was not supposed to run during the pre-game introduction.

Parts of the community expressed indifference towards the ad, saying that it was during loading time anyways, while others expressed anger, saying that it was a crummy move since 2K21 is a fully priced game similar to UFC4. Whatever the case may be, the team over at 2K Games have promised to fix this and that feedback is always welcome.

It seems that with the launch of NBA 2K21 MyTEAM season 2, a new feature has dropped along with it but not exactly one that will please the fans of this full priced game.

According to a video from YouTube channel Stevivor, ads now play during the loading times in between matches. One more thing about these ads? They’re unskippable.

On one hand, this is during the loading sequence, so it can be argued that you’ll have to wait anyways for the game to load. On the other hand, this is a full priced game, so these kinds of things are not common practice.

With the coming of the next-gen consoles next month, the hardware will allow for very little loading time, so this could be meaningless unless it were truly unskippable. EA recently pulled this stunt with UFC 4 but removed it soon after due to the massive backlash they received from the fans and we’re expecting the same here.

Our review of NBA 2K21 pointed to it being an incremental upgrade, with the game not introducing enough to merit a full priced purchase. Next-gen versions of NBA 2K21 looks like a more suitable purchase based on what we’ve seen so far, but no verdict on that just yet until the game releases next month.

Following the announcements of the next-gen versions and free next-gen upgrades for Borderlands 3, 2K have also unveiled Season Pass 2, which will be unlike anything they’ve ever done before.

An official announcement by 2K has given a few details about Season Pass 2, which will include two all-new downloadable content add-ons – Designer’s Cut and Director’s Cut – plus brand new looks for all four Vault Hunters, to be revealed later this month.

Designer’s Cut, launching on November 10, creates totally new ways to play Borderlands 3 by introducing an additional Skill Tree for each Vault Hunter, a new standalone mode called Arms Race, and more.

Throughout October, the Borderlands 3 team will be holding special livestreams over on the official Borderlands Twitch channel to further detail out what players can expect from Designer’s Cut.

borderlands 3 season pass 2 livestream schedule

Season Pass 2 will be available for purchase starting November 10 across PC, Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / Series S. The Designer’s Cut add-on also launches on November 10, while Director’s Cut is planned for release in spring of next year.

The next-gen systems are coming and with it, Borderlands in all its 4K 60FPS glory. 2K and Gearbox have announced that Borderlands 3 will play at a buttery smooth 60FPS for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when they release alongside the console launch dates. Furthermore, the next-gen versions of Borderlands 3 will allow for 3-4 player split-screen for local multiplayer madness.

The official announcement comes from the Borderlands 3 social media accounts, and coming with the next-gen upgrade will be a vertical split screen mode by popular demand.

Current-gen owners of the game will enjoy the next-gen upgrade free of charge and all add-on content and save files will be transferred as well. For disc-based game owners, you’ll need your Borderlands 3 disc to play the game on your new next-gen consoles.

Next-gen versions of NBA 2K21 will add improvements to gameplay, with changes to the pro stick controls, dribbling, and passing.

We’ve seen just how good NBA 2K21 can look like, but a lot of tweaks have also been made under the hood.

First, the pro stick can control the arc of your shots depending on how slow or fast you pull back on the analog stick. Players can also control Bank shots and layups, with the shot meter getting a redesign to look much more prominent and easier to see amidst the action. Off-dribble jumpers and 3-pointers now mimic more realistic movements.

Dribbling is also improved, allowing the player to switch speeds depending on how fast or slow you flick your analog stick. 2K Games has added new signature dribbles and stepback moves for the likes of James Harden and LeBron James while pass physics will also be more accurate, allowing for bounce touch passes and better bounce alleyoops for some highlight reel dunks.

nba 2k21 alleyoop improvements

NBA 2K21 will be available on November 10 for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S globally, November 12 for PlayStation 5 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and November 19 for PlayStation 5 in all other regions.

Mafia: Definitive Edition was just released last month and now, the game is getting its first update, adding a “Noir Mode”, new HUD options, and much more.

In a blog post by the official Mafia site, the update will also address various player concerns as well as add new features as you stroll along the streets of Lost Heaven.

The highlight of the update is Noir Mode, which can be toggled on and off to give you that legit 1930’s vibe, especially with the story of the game being as good as it is based on our review.

Along with Noir Mode, the update adds custom HUD options like allowing you to switch the objective marker on and off or even going full Minimal HUD to fully immerse yourself in the wonderfully recreated world, giving you the opportunity to get those fantastic screenshots.

As one of our gripes in our review, we mentioned that the Free Ride mode didn’t offer much incentive to jump into due to the lack of activities. 2K and Hangar 13 are being sly about this, but it looks like we’re getting races and more taxi jobs in Free Ride mode depending on your vehicle.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is now available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

NBA 2K21 is the latest installment in the long running series and fans of the best basketball game in town can expect some fantastic graphical upgrades once the game hits next-generation consoles in November.

2K has unveiled the first look at next-gen gameplay from the PlayStation 5, which was built from the ground up to fully utilize the new hardware.

Check the trailer below!

Based on the trailer alone, it is pretty obvious that the next-gen graphics are looking pretty damn good. Luka, Steph, Zion, and all of the other NBA superstars will benefit from enhanced lighting, textures, physics, and animations. On top of that, the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 also highlights:

  • Rebuilt player movement and player impact, driven by new on-court animation and collision engines that make for a smoother, tougher game;
  • The entire arena comes to life, with more than 150 unique AI-driven characters interacting seamlessly to create a groundbreaking Lower Bowl experience;
  • An expanded soundtrack with 202 songs at launch and more to come.

More NBA next-gen gameplay will be shown in the coming days and weeks leading up to launch such as core gameplay, new movement and the “Impact Engine,” as well as next-gen AI and major changes to the MyPLAYER Builder.

NBA 2K21 will be available on November 10 for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S globally, November 12 for PlayStation 5 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and November 19 for PlayStation 5 in all other regions.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: September 25, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Similar Games: Grand Theft Auto, Sleeping Dogs
  • Price: Estimated SRP PHP1,995

With the release of Mafia: Definitive Edition, the Mafia Trilogy is finally complete for current generation systems. Gamers wanting to relive the glory days of the franchise are in luck, and even those new to the series can fully experience all 3 games in the comfort of their current gen consoles.

While the definitive editions of Mafia II and III were not exactly exemplary releases, due in large part to a number of technical issues that plagued its launch, this latest game is more than just a remaster.

Touted as a remake and reworked from the ground up, expectations are sky high, especially coming from an early preview that looked rather promising.

Is the third time a charm? We’ll find out as we dive back into the world of organized crime during the 1930s in our review of Mafia: Definitive Edition.

Welcome to Lost Heaven

Mafia takes place in the fictional city of Lost Heaven and puts you in the shoes of Thomas “Tommy” Angelo, a taxi driver who became involved by just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

After reluctantly helping a couple of mobsters escape a deadly pursuit, Tommy is targeted by the rival mob they escaped from and is forced to go back to the group he helped that fateful night. Despite not wanting to get involved with organized crime, Tommy joins said mob under the rule of one Don Ennio Salieri, and becomes friends with Sam and Paulie, the two mobsters he helped escape.

The game will take you through Tommy’s life from cab driver to a big shot in the Salieri Crime Family. And if the previous re-releases are already any indication, this is in no way a pleasant story and shows just how dangerous the world of organized crime is. It is however, an amazing one to follow, and is really the backbone of the game.

Just like Mafia II and III, Tommy’s rise and fall is a story that’s told beautifully in Mafia: Definitive Edition. The developers were not kidding when they said they would rework the game from the ground up in terms of graphics and cinematics, and the difference is certainly night and day but more than anything, the storytelling carries the brunt of the improvements, and what a treat it is.

Graphical fidelity is of course not up to par with titles like The Last of Us Part II or Ghost of Tsushima, but this remake is no slouch, even looking much better than the definitive editions of Mafia II and III by quite a margin. The character models during the cinematics are on point and details like the facial stubble on Tommy’s face are captured beautifully. Facial expressions are also very accurate – when characters talk and are happy or angry, it clearly shows.

Most games have a problem with “dead eye”, or eyes that seemingly feel lifeless and hollow. Mass Effect Andromeda was a big culprit of this and is admittedly something tough to pull off but 2K and Hangar 13 have done an excellent job at bringing Tommy and Sam and Paulie as well as the rest of the crew back to life.

This improvement in graphics also extends to the world around you. The city of Lost Heaven is recreated well and is an accurate representation of a city during the 1930’s – billboards, factories, and trains all accounted for. If your impression of a city during an era of organized crime include fancy fedoras and trenchcoats, the tommy guns, and bulky automobiles, Mafia has it all here and recreated in stunning fashion.

The storytelling in the game is complemented by beautiful cinematography, and really nails the feeling of watching an actual mafia movie, accented by sound design that really stands out.

Music to my ears

Mafia’s music and voice work is simply top notch. Every voice actor portrayed their role very well and really did justice to their character. When you hear Tommy and his friends banter and have a laugh, you can really feel their bond, for example, and a lot of the dialogue is genuinely funny. In every scene, whether it’s something lighthearted, suspenseful, dramatic or intense, you can feel the effort of the voice actors delivering their lines.

Just by driving around the city, you can instantly hear the step up in sound design. Vehicles of old have that clang and bang of parts and there’s a lot of ambient noise just by walking around the streets. Mafia: Definitive Edition is a game that’s best played on a headset, as there are a lot of small audio details that go unnoticed on TV audio that definitely add to the immersion factor of the game.

The musical score is one of Mafia’s strongest points. With a fully re-recorded soundtrack full of licensed works, everything was a pleasure to listen to, taking you back to the 1930’s at the flip of a button. During the more intense action scenes, the orchestral music really compliments the action, and is reminiscent of the mafia movies of old, capturing that Scarface or Godfather feel to it that definitely accentuates the mood.

Like the story, we had very big expectations from the audio department and we were not disappointed. It was in this aspect that Mafia II and III stood out after all, so we’re glad that Mafia kept the hot streak of fantastic audio intact. Superb work from 2K and Hangar 13 on this one.

Just another day in the life

Gameplay, on the other hand, is kind of mixed bag. By no means is the gameplay bad. In fact, it’s actually quite decent, but as a game that was touted as a Remake for the current generation, there are certain expectations. A Remake is more than just a brand new coat of paint and some new features, with Resident Evil II and Final Fantasy VII being some significant benchmarks.

First things first, Mafia is but is also not an open-world sandbox game. The main campaign is actually very linear, as its strong point is in the amazing narrative after all. Going through the campaign, however, felt repetitive due to how the missions were structured.

The game is divided into chapters, and mostly playing these chapters has Tommy starting in Salieri’s bar, the game’s central hub, then picking up some guns and choosing his ride, then driving to the mission objective. After you’re done, chapter ends with the next having almost the same pattern. Start at the bar or some venue, get your gear, pick your ride, drive to mission objective, and finish said objective. It becomes noticeable almost halfway through the game. It’s not bad per se, but may give off the feeling of repetitiveness for some.

It is a remake after all, so it would have been great to kind of make the mission to mission flow a bit smoother, something like how Grand Theft Auto does it.

Tools of the trade

When dealing with the police or rival crime families, you can dispatch your enemies with your fists, melee weapons, or a semi-wide selection of guns. It’s also here, however, that another one of our expectations let us down.

Hand to hand combat here is a joke, and literally only involves 2 buttons being mashed repeatedly, offering almost no strategy or variation. The timing to dodge perfectly is quite tough to catch, but you can simply mash triangle and follow up with mashing X after. Every enemy will fall to this same tactic, which is rather disappointing.

The shooting and cover in Mafia does its job fairly well, but isn’t as snappy and as fluid as other similar titles out there. There’s a sort of stickiness and sluggishness to the controls which gets quite irritating during hectic shootouts where you want more accuracy. The cover system is helpful enough though, and you’re able to duck and hide at a moments notice. It’s serviceable, but could definitely be much better.

The handguns, rifles, and tommy guns function like you expect them to, but it felt very awkward that the shotgun doesn’t do spread damage and will just kill 1 enemy when you shoot more than one at the same time. That said, overall gunplay leaves something to be desired. Enemies hardly flinch when shot at, and the feedback from receiving damage is severely lacking, sometimes leading to you die just because you didn’t know that you were taking damage already. This was a major gripe for us, which is also connected to the UI and HUD elements in the game not being too intuitive.

The enemy AI in Mafia may also be a bit on the… well, we won’t really say dumb side, but the AI could have been improved. For one thing, while it may be understandable due to invincibility frames that you can’t be hurt when doing a finisher on an enemy, it just looks funny how they will just stand there and look at you beating up their buddies. During gunfights, enemies will break cover not to flank you, but just stand out in the open. Some were still smart enough to stay covered, but expect to see the AI hide behind cover only to later step right out and go into a stylish kneeling pose with guns blazing. It obviously made the game easier, but that’s really not the point.

The game also has stealth missions that felt very basic, with obvious paths to victory laid out for you. There’s hardly any alternate way to go about a mission or a level, meaning that one path is almost always the only way to finishing your mission.

There are particular missions that really stand out – the bank mission, the art gallery, even the prison. These missions had really great level design and sequences that really pushes the gameplay to a frantic pace which was just fantastic. We couldn’t say the same about the rest of the missions, and while they weren’t bad, they just weren’t as memorable as a select few.

Questionable AI also extends outside of the gunfights. The police are perfect examples, giving up chase too easily as long as you gain a small lead on them. The AI for the cops is wildly inconsistent. One time they’re giving up within the first 10 seconds of the chase but when they’re hot on your tail, it can be very VERY hard to shake them off.

Making my way down town

If a break from the campaign is what you’re looking for, Mafia offers the Free Ride option where you are… well, free to ride around the city of Lost Heaven at your own leisure. The guns and cars you’ve unlocked throughout the game will also be accessible here and you can just go crazy or ride around looking for the various hidden collectibles. Here’s the issue: What’s the point?

Free Ride and the Main Story could have just worked as one mode altogether. Why separate the leisure exploration from the main campaign when, like most sandbox games, story advancements can be triggered manually, which goes back to our point earlier about mission to mission flow being a lot smoother. While this would make Mafia just like any other open-world game, obviously Grand Theft Auto, feeling similar to the iconic franchise shouldn’t be a problem for Mafia since it’s already well-received for its setting, story, and characters.

Free Ride is there to let you just go crazy and forget about the main campaign. But aside from cars and different collectibles scattered around like comics and cards, there just wasn’t any other incentive. Lost Heaven looks great as a city with some notable places to visit, but it’s a shame there’s not a lot to interact with. You can’t even ride the trams or visit shops and buy things, or at least have more mafia-like stuff to do like collecting protection money or whatever else Mafia people do during the weekends.

To be fair, driving the cars was a really pleasant experience due to the much improved controls. Most cars, in general, do not feel sluggish to drive and are responsive enough to merit zigzagging through traffic with ease.

As a Remake, there was so much potential in making a more interactive Lost Heaven that it really feels like a huge missed opportunity to add depth to that part of the world. Riding around is fun for a bit, but the feeling gets old rather quickly with hardly anything to do.

Needs A Bit More Polish

Mafia, like II and III that released before it, isn’t free of any technical hiccups. There were a couple of instances where the mission refused to let us advance even though the objectives have been met, prompting us to restart from the last checkpoint.

There was also a massive frame spike during the parking lot mission where the game simply froze on us for about 5 seconds, probably unable to render the ongoing action, and just magically worked again after.

Speaking of frames, it was rather disappointing that the game was not able to hit 60fps, which would have been fantastic. There are certain missions with some noticeable frame dips, but nothing too bad to make you want to toss your controller. Often times, frame rate is steady, which is good.

Loading times are pretty lengthy too, and it is particularly frustrating to have the game load again because you died due to you not knowing you were taking damage, as we mentioned earlier. Loading only happens in between missions and in between deaths though, so the frequency of it isn’t too bad.

There were also some occasions where the audio completely cut off during a cinematic, with one instance of nothing coming out at all that we thought the game froze until subtitles came out. All in all, though bugs are sometimes expected, it was just a bit of a letdown when they happened in a Remake that was reworked from scratch, especially during a cinematic, which is one of Mafia’s strong points.

What We Liked:

  • Fantastic story that leaves you wanting more
  • Amazing voice acting and music
  • Great cinematics

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Weak gunplay
  • Massively underused open world
  • Long load times
  • Inconsistent AI

Verdict:

On the merit of story and characters alone, Mafia: Definitive Edition is a fantastic game. Memorable personalities, gripping and intense storyline with a superb soundtrack behind it, Mafia is indeed worth sitting through until the curtains close. This is the Mafia that you’ve come to remember and love.

That’s only half of the game though, with the other half being a bit of a let down. Touted as a remake, it was quite disappointing to see such great improvements to the recreation of Lost Heaven but not be able to interact with it enough. Add the rather outdated melee combat paired with gunplay that could be snappier and you’ve got a game you’d love and hate at the same time.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is actually an above average game, and it’s very likely fans of the original game will enjoy this to experience Tommy Angelo’s story once again. For everyone else, however, waiting for it could be the better choice. Out of the trilogy, this ‘first’ game is hands down the best release by a mile but is bogged down by some issues that felt like it was stuck in the past, even after the remake.

Mafia: Definitive Edition was reviewed on a PS4 Pro via a review code provided by the publisher.

2K Games and Hangar 13 have released the full song list for Mafia: Definitive Edition, which includes 35 songs from jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Django Reinhardt, Lionel Hampton, and more. If you’re in the mood for some head boppin’ beats while taking on the streets, this jazzy set is for you.

The game’s classic tracks will transport players to the unique time and place of Lost Heaven, a prohibition-era Midwestern city riddled with crime and corruption.

You can view the full track list below:

  • “St. James Infirmary” – Cab Calloway
  • “Minnie the Moocher” – Cab Calloway
  • “Manhattan Jam” – Cab Calloway and His Orchestra
  • “Evenin'” – Cab Calloway and His Orchestra
  • “The Darktown Strutters’ Ball” – Django Reinhardt
  • “A-Tisket A-Tasket” – Django Reinhardt
  • “Blue Drag” – Django Reinhardt
  • “Sophisticated Lady” – Django Reinhardt
  • “Tiger Rag (instrumental)” – Django Reinhardt
  • “Black and Tan Fantasy” – Duke Ellington
  • “Crescendo in Blue” – Duke Ellington
  • “Echoes of Harlem” – Duke Ellington
  • “Hot and Bothered” – Duke Ellington
  • “I’m Satisfied” – Duke Ellington
  • “In A Sentimental Mood (instrumental)” – Duke Ellington
  • “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” – Duke Ellington
  • “It’s Glory” – Duke Ellington
  • “Prelude to A Kiss” – Duke Ellington
  • “The Mooche” – Duke Ellington
  • “Azure” – Duke Ellington
  • “Creole Love Call (instrumental)” – Duke Ellington
  • “Drop Me Off in Harlem” – Duke Ellington
  • “I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart” – Duke Ellington
  • “Mood to Be Wooed” – Duke Ellington
  • “Diminuendo in Blue” – Duke Ellington
  • “Heart and Soul” – Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra
  • “My Old Flame” – Guy Lombardo
  • “Little White Gardenia” – Hal Kemp & his Orchestra
  • “Back Beat Boogie” – Harry James
  • “Beyond the Blue Horizon” – Jeanette MacDonald and the Rounders
  • “True Confession” – Larry Clinton and His Orchestra
  • “When Lights Are Low” – Lionel Hampton
  • “(I’ll be Glad When You’re Dead) You Rascal You”  – Louis Armstrong
  • “Thanks for the Memory” – Mildred Bailey
  • “Sing You Sinners” – The High Hatters

Our early impressions of Mafia: Definitive Edition point to it being a well done remaster, built-from-the-ground-up with an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories, and additional cutscenes. Watch out for our full review of the game soon.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is scheduled to release on September 25 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: September 4, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Sports
  • Similar Games: NBA 2K Series
  • Price: Estimated SRP PHP3,190

Annual games like NBA2K are inexplicably tough to review. On one hand, it remains the best basketball sim game out there, no question about it. On the other hand, it’s still the (same) best basketball sim game out there. It may sound weird, but hear me out.

The NBA 2K experience offers the most solid basketball experience year in year out. They look great, sound great, and most importantly, play great. The player models are near accurate, the detail in the shoes will please sneakerheads, and even the court and ring announcers add to the overall great experience of the game.

NBA2K has come a long way from its humble roots, and every year the step up in production and marketing is just amazing. On these merits alone, the game is considered a must buy because basketball fans are getting the closest thing they can get to their favorite sport, while newcomers can expose themselves to the best game that the genre has to offer.

But even with the change in tag line or cover athlete, it’s really just the same game over again, which is both a good and bad thing.

What more can you add to an already solid base? The sport does not drastically change per season except for new faces in each roster. As developers, what exactly do you do? What do you work on to actually have something of significance every year?

The Long Shadow

To partly answer the question, one thing you spice up is MyCareer.

I absolutely loved the MyCareer storyline back in 2K20. I think many would agree that the 2K20 iteration was one of the better ones in recent years. The performances, the writing, the actors… everything about made it a joy to play, and being produced by LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment, you can really see the step up in quality from previous years.

As someone who loves sneakers, it had a lot of wow moments for me seeing all the heat the characters were wearing, even featuring Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God line among others.

I can’t say the same for 2K21, entitled “The Long Shadow”.

MyCareer this year tells the story of Junior, who is the son of a well-known and loved basketball player trying to carve out his own path to greatness. The premise showed promise, but the execution was rather disappointing. In a way, 2K21 was trying to get out of the shadow of a great storyline that was 2K20, but unlike Junior making his way to the NBA, this falls short of doing just that.

It had all the ingredients of a W – a great cast headlined by Jesse Williams and Dijmon Hounsou, officially licensed Collegiate programs like the UCLA Bruins and Florida Gators, even celebrity appearances by cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson.

Sadly, it did little to get me attached to Junior. I felt no connection or tug, and it didn’t help that some of the writing was a bit cringey. There’s even a simple love story shoved in there where they get into a fight in their dorm and you’re given a choice to walk out or make amends. It all feels out of place and with everything considered, you’ve got a MyCareer storyline you’d probably like to skip just get to the NBA Draft.

And you know what? The game actually gives you that option.

It’s also a bit weird that draft team, the Boston Celtics in my case (the Lakers and Warriors weren’t interested), get the top 2 picks in the draft, somehow teaming me up with the number 1 pick, Hendrixx Cobb. NBA teams would kill for the number 1 AND 2 pick but somehow, a team I chose to work out with, just gets both picks. For a game that prides itself in realism and its sim elements, this felt a little whack.

Shot Meter Fiasco

One of the biggest updates to 2K21 was the addition of a Shot Meter, which 2K promised to be second nature after a few runs down the court.

I turned it off.

Before you toss the git gud memes this way, know that within the first few days of releasing the game, even Damian Lillard was shooting bricks, prompting a hotfix from the developers. While that’s not indicative of how tough the new shot aiming system works, you know there’s something off when your cover athlete complains about it.

Instead of your shot being timing based, once you pull down on your right analog stick, a shot meter will appear and you’ll have to slightly flick the stick again left or right to “aim” it. As you can imagine, it would take getting used to because it feels very unnatural to perform a second motion after pulling down on the stick, adding an unnecessary layer of difficulty that veterans of the game may want to try out but will probably disregard. At some point, even shooters like Curry will start missing shots if you’re even slightly off center (slightly early or slightly late release), but while that’s supposed to happen in reality, it can be unforgiving in this context.

I understand that some people may like it, even love it, but in my experience, I went back to what I was familiar with and stuck with it. I’m pretty sure many of you will too. 2K have recently pushed a fix and will let players choose which system to use as soon as they log in.

What’s great though is that the game gives you the option to go back to how it was last year, which could be what most players would default to just because of familiarity. You can also choose to only apply the meter to shots, layups or both. In case you hate both the shot aiming and the timing system, you can opt to use the real shooting percentages of the players.

If you choose to use Pro Stick aiming though, the right stick can then be used to perform various dribble moves, like holding the stick up to do one of the new and improved signature size-ups from players like Harden and Durant.

The long grind

VC, in-game currency, can be earned to use on various things – player customization items, stat points, and much more. Playing through MyCareer, the development of your player will depend on your performance, as well as the amount of VC you get. Slog your way to the draft and your salary per game will give you 400 500-ish, being a lottery pick will obviously get you more. Each action you do during the game is also rewarded with VC, so it literally pays to actually do good in games. There are various streams of VC in the game but somehow, it doesn’t feel enough. Of course, it feels the same every year, as improving your character will take a while to get him to superstar levels, but given that you earn anywhere from 600-1000 or a bit more per game and at a certain point stat upgrades will cost 1000 per tick, it’s going to take a long time and many, many minutes spent.

That’s where the Mamba Forever Edition of the game comes in, which gives you a huge stash of VC to kickstart your career. Microtransactions in the game are generally negligible if you don’t mind the grind, but the amount of things to spend VC on is off the charts – haircuts, kicks, stat points, and so on. Even across game modes. It gets overwhelming, which makes it hard to feel that you actually make progress after a game. Again, I know its been mostly the same for the past few years, but its definitely still a consideration this year.

Badges also make a return this year, which has a simplified progression system compared to previous years. Depending on your actions on court, you’ll be accumulating points that will allow you to unlock badge slots that lets you equip a number of improvements to your skill set. My player this year was a power forward who specialized in rebounds defense, so as I played through games and gathered rebounds and blocks, my Defense and Rebound badge slots were unlocked the fastest. I was able to equip badges that would let me box out my defender more effectively and even give me an easier time to worm my way through box outs on me. There’s quite the selection, and the nice thing about this is that you definitely feel the impact in the game, which makes the badge system one of the better implemented systems in the series.

Bubble trouble

Throughout the games in MyCareer, I’ve noticed that the AI can be a bit wonky. Some games, they can be perfect teammates, passing the ball during the proper time, taking good shots, moving the ball around. Some games, they can be complete rookies. One thing I particularly hate is that they milk the clock a lot, even when we’re down by a couple of points in the winding seconds of the ball game.

Other instances when the AI felt really inconsistent was when I was setting up screens for my point guard. As a Power Forward, I specialize in pick and rolls and post moves and in most games, the AI never adapts to certain exploits. Even in higher difficulties, this would allow the defender to switch during the screen, giving my player a mismatch over the opposing point guard for an easy 2 points. Sometimes? They NEVER switch.

The AI in 2K21 feels more frustrating rather than difficult.

Apart from MyCareer and a neighborhood location update that takes you to the beach, there isn’t anything of note for the other modes, at least not big enough to consider talking about this year. The addition of the WNBA also feels like an afterthought, placing them there but not really giving them the avenue to shine.

One glaring thing that 2K has overlooked here is that MyCareer progress won’t have cross-progression capability. 2K has announced that MyTeam progress will carry over, but have made no such statements to MyCareer and your player. This is rather mind-boggling since MyCareer is one of the most played modes in the game and if you’ve had the misfortune of already spending on microtransactions, then you’re kind of on the short end of the stick here since you’ll have to do all of that again come the next-gen consoles.

All of this considered, NBA 2K21 is still the best basketball sim game out there but it seems that the years of it being uncontested has made it look a bit stale, with minor updates that don’t shake up the game enough to merit a full priced release.

What we liked:

  • Solid gameplay and mechanics
  • Best basketball game out there
  • NBA Player models are more accurate than ever
  • Tons of ways to customize the look and moves of your player

What we didn’t like:

  • MyCareer storyline is not as good as the previous year
  • Shot Aiming mechanic is tough to get the hang of
  • VC distribution feels a bit too stingy

Verdict:

At the end of the day, NBA2K21 is more of the same, similar to its brothers the year before and before and before. MyCareer is usually the one big differentiator every year but the lackluster storyline could not stand up to the previous iteration from 2K20.

Don’t get us wrong, the NBA2K series is the best basketball sim game out there. It is a great game for fans of the sport and even for newbies who want to try it out. With solid basketball physics and mechanics, there isn’t any game out there that can hold a candle to the series. That said, for vets who are on the fence about picking up a full priced game only to find mostly roster changes, a lackluster MyCareer storyline, and a couple of tweaks here and there, 2K21 could be a tough sell.

NBA2K21 was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro via a review code provided by the publishers.

Borderlands 3 will be offering PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners free next-gen upgrades within the same console family, which applies to both additional content and game saves as well, allowing vault hunters to continue their journey without any interruptions.

In an announcement during PAX Online, Gearbox and 2K Games have confirmed that Borderlands 3 will also be coming to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a standalone purchase and will run at a buttery smooth 4K 60fps clip in single-player mode. The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, will run at 1440p.

Along with this, 3 and 4 player split screen coop mode will also be available, as well as a highly requested vertical split screen option for both current and next-gen consoles.

There will also be additional DLC coming later this year which will include a new game mode, a new skill tree for each vault hunter, and new action skills. No date has been announced for the new DLC.

Borderlands 3 is available now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

NBA 2K21 is now available and you can bet that a lot of people are already grinding towards their perfect MyCAREER character or just taking on the neighborhood with their buddies. If you’ve been playing the game, you may have noticed that putting the ball through the hoop is proving to be quite the challenge, resulting in games with ridiculous rebound stats and dismal field goal percentages.

It’s proving to be quite tough that even cover star Damian Lillard, Logo Lillard himself, is struggling with it, to the point that he can’t even make free throws. The Portland star took to Twitter to air his thoughts.

Gameplay director Mike Wang also took to Twitter to offer some advice, giving some tips on how to get those percentages up, or even turning off Shot Aiming, which is one of the biggest additions to 2K21.

Whether or not everyone was just getting used to the new system or all of the ballers out there don’t have their badge upgrades just yet, 2K Games have released a hotfix that covers shooting tweaks for Rookie, Pro, and All-Star difficulty.

Higher difficulties and Neighborhood will remain unchanged, so pro players out there will need to git gud if they want to dominate the courts once again.

NBA 2K21 is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC and Google Stadia. NBA 2K21 will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday.

Leading up to the launch of Mafia: Definitive Edition, 2K and Hangar 13 is giving us a taste of the experience by launching a new trailer every week, highlighting various aspects of this new and wonderfully remade title.

The first video – “World of Lost Heaven” – showcases the game’s setting, a prohibition-era Midwestern city teeming with period-authentic details. For a glimpse into this tumultuous time and place in American history, you can check out the trailer below:

The next video, planned for September 10, will shine the spotlight on the overhauled shooting and driving mechanics that compose the core gameplay. Upcoming videos will take us through the missions that make up Tommy’s Angelo journey through Lost Heaven’s criminal underworld and the game’s stunning orchestral score, which mafia fans will definitely enjoy.

Our early impressions of Mafia: Definitive Edition point to it being a well done remaster, built-from-the-ground-up with an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories, and additional cutscenes.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is scheduled to release on September 25 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.