It has been quite a while since we have covered sports titles at Digital Foundry, however with the arrival of NBA 2K21 on NBA 2K21 MT the newest wave of consoles, we're seeing something genuinely fascinating here, using a proper generational jump in fidelity across the board. While it may not seem this way on the surface, sports games are from what I could tell - one of the harder genres to perform on.
Truncated development schedules require annual entries in each series, meaning less time between every release but more than that, these matches have to match up to some properly'real' encounter, often delivered using a TV-like presentation. A game like NBA 2K21 needs to take care of actual people in real places performing complex, interlinking actions. If you're off by even a hair, you are diving straight into the uncanny valley.
NBA 2K21 brings a massive jump
What exactly makes this so difficult? Well, nailing the player and arenas likenesses is a huge part of the equation but it's the movement which makes this difficult. Developer Visual Concepts - whose work on Cheap 2K21 MT this particular franchise dates all of the way back into the Dreamcast age - is doing some great work here.