By now, you’re probably quite familiar with the NBA 2K21 Courtside Report series and the sheer depth of each report. While the previous offering covered the first ever WNBA MyPlayer experience, this latest one introduces the next-gen multiplayer setting known as The City.
NBA 2K21’s The City is the most ambitious execution of a virtual basketball community there’s ever been and it features a map that’s many times larger than previous Neighborhoods. In a nutshell, you can expect towering skyscrapers, sprawling plazas, a city center and distinct boroughs controlled by rival affiliations. For more insight into The City on Xbox Series X|S and PS5, it might be best to read a summary of what Erick Boenisch, Executive Producer at Visual Concepts, has to say about it.
Here is The City at a quick glance: Imagine a map that is many, many times larger than previous Neighborhoods. A design that resembles a modern metropolis, complete with towering skyscrapers, sprawling plazas, and a city center. Oh, and it houses four distinct boroughs that are controlled by four rival Affiliations. And with that, I’m incredibly proud to announce that Affiliations are BACK!
The City is our most ambitious execution of a virtual basketball community…ever. The sheer amount and variety of buildings and basketball courts that we were able to create and fit into the map still amazes me to this day!
Let’s talk about the core components of The City and their functions:
- Rookieville – Sitting just off the water’s edge on the southern side of The City lies the Rookieville docks. Rookieville is exactly what it sounds like; this is where your NBA 2K21 City journey will begin. MyPLAYERs looking to dive into The City and all that it has to offer must first prove their skills amongst other rookie MyPLAYERs in this isolated cluster of basketball courts. Meet the requisite actions in Rookieville, and the gates of The City will open before you.
- Boroughs – Affiliations make their long-awaited return in NBA 2K21. Each has a dedicated space in the North, South, East, and West sections of The City that we refer to as boroughs. Each borough has its own vibe and collection of basketball courts – decked out in the Affiliations logos and colors. Additionally, each Affiliation area houses a unique Warehouse basketball court, where new MyPLAYER progression features await.
- Event Center – The heart of The City is the brand new Event Center, shining like a bright beacon, no matter which borough you view it from. Equally bright and shiny are the many different interiors of this futuristic monolith, where the court floors and walls are lined with dynamic LED screens and lighting elements that change the tone and vibe of the setting. All new and returning Events will be held inside the Event Center, and special intra-Affiliation competitions will take place here as well.
- Garage Hoops – Exploration is a major part of experiencing The City. Sprinkled around The City, you will find basketball hoops attached to the side of some buildings – if you look close enough. If you happen to see one, try pulling out your basketball and shooting some hoops with it. From there you will have the option to quickly and seamlessly launch into 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, HORSE, and many other game types.
- People of The City – Continuing on with the theme of exploration, scattered throughout The City are quest/objective giving NPCs. If you’ve ever played any RPG experiences, you’ll have no problem spotting them; they will be the people with colored exclamation points above their heads. Every 4-6 weeks, new quests/objectives will be added to our People of The City, such that you will find yourself with new things to do all year long.
- Gatorade Training Facility – The mecca of MyPLAYER physical training gets a makeover on multiple levels – literally. The facility has now expanded to two floors, where on the first floor, MyPLAYERs will find their usual array of training equipment that’ll help beef up their abilities. The second floor houses a great new feature in The City: Rental Courts. Want an uninterrupted run of games with your friends or other ballers you just met? Rent a court in the Gatorade Training Facility and play games however you want!
- Special Courts – There are a couple full-sized (one 4v4, the other 5v5) courts available in The City. These are non-affiliated courts that our team created to pay tribute to two things we are very passionate about. One of these courts was built to commemorate and celebrate the late Kobe Bryant. The surface is textured beautifully with Kobe’s signature snakeskin design, and his numbers 8 and 24 mark the restricted areas at the opposite ends of the court. And overlooking the grounds is a gigantic mural of an iconic Kobe moment, where he stood triumphantly on the scorer’s table as he celebrated his 5th NBA championship.
- Fire Ball – Holding court in The City is going to come with an air of prestige in the next-gen version of NBA 2K21. On occasion, you will see a Fire Ball being used on the courts…yes, literally A BALL THAT IS ON FIRE! When your team wins 10 games in a row on Affiliation courts, the ball used in your game will immediately catch on fire and stay lit until you lose.
- Pink Diamond Plaza – One of my favorite basketball court designs in the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 sits atop Pink Diamond Plaza, located right in the heart of The City. Decked out in fluorescent lights and with music orchestrated by a resident DJ, Pink Diamond Plaza hosts the entirety of the MyTEAM Triple Threat Online experience.
- Apparel Stores – While some of your favorite shops from the old Neighborhoods will be returning, The City has been built to feature an even wider variety of apparel locations for you to express your style. Some of our closest brand partners will be receiving a dedicated space within our plaza of shops. All your favorites, including Nike, Jordan Brand, adidas, Under Armour, Puma, and many more can be found in the City.
The City is big. The return of Affiliations, however, may be just as big – if not bigger. For some years now, one of the most requested features from the NBA 2K community has been Affiliation-based gameplay. Naturally, we’re incredibly excited to bring it back in a meaningful way that offers competitive depth to the City. This is something we have wanted to do for a number of years now, and the power of the next-gen consoles finally affords us the opportunity to see our vision through.
There are four Affiliations in The City:
Each has their own dedicated borough and set of Affiliation courts within The City. Rep up to Pro 1 by winning a few games in Rookieville, and you’ll be assigned to one of these four rival factions. If you didn’t land in your Affiliation of choice, you can always head to City Hall of the Affiliation you are interested in joining and file a transfer request. The penalty for changing your Affiliation is your Rep level will reset all the way down to Pro 1 (what you had when you graduated from Rookieville).
So, who will run The City? At the core of Affiliations gameplay is rivalry and competition. It’s us vs. them. Who will be the best? We’ve designed this experience to be an ever-present grapple amongst the Knights, Vipers, Beasts, and Wildcats for bragging rights within The City. Here is what’s in-play as you represent your Affiliation:
- Player Rep – Playing on your own Affiliation’s courts has its advantages; specifically, you can only achieve your full Player Rep by balling on your home court. Playing on the courts of your rival Affiliations will earn you much less rep per game played. Leveling up and strengthening your MyPLAYER will be very key for what is to come…
- Rival Day Conquest – The final two weeks of every Mayor term (more on this below!) will feature the culmination of a series of events to crown which Affiliation runs The City. Rival Day Conquest is a key event where all rep-earning restrictions are removed from The City and you are encouraged to invade every other borough with your teammates and take hold of the courts. Keep a close eye on the leaderboard located in each court area; at the end of Rival Day Conquest, the four Affiliations will be ranked by score and seeded for the culmination of the season, the Rival Day Championship.
- Rival Day Championship – Taking place in the Event Center, this is the final piece of the puzzle in confirming your Affiliation as the true champions of The City. Battle head-to-head with teams from other Affiliations as you engage in this culminating experience.
A brand new dynamic we’re introducing as part of The City are…Mayors! Each Affiliation will be represented by a Mayor; they will be very influential in your day-to-day experience within The City. So what is a Mayor, and what do they do? And how do they become elected?
Mayors are responsible for:
- Affiliation Videos – Mayors will be creating assorted videos during their term that will appear in-game on the jumbotrons in the court areas.
- Custom Playlists – Mayors can curate custom music playlists that only play within their respective borough/affiliation boundaries.
Mayors will also be interacting with their constituents via in-game polls and messaging that is all conveniently built directly into the menu system of The City.
Finally, let’s talk briefly about how Mayors come to be. For the launch of NBA 2K21, we have hand-selected the initial candidates for mayors (spoiler: they will be some of the biggest names from the NBA 2K community; you know all of them!). These four big-time community influencers will be leading the charge for our Mayor program. But these positions aren’t permanent! Every six weeks, we will be holding an election week in the game where you, the community representing your Affiliation, will have the final say on who becomes the next Mayor to represent the cause.
For even more detail from Erick Boenisch’s deep dive into the NBA 2K21’s The City, take a gander at the full Courtside Report regarding it. And don’t forget, NBA 2K21 launches on 10th November for Xbox Series X|S worldwide, before hitting PlayStation 5 on 12th November in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and 19th November in all other regions.