Anytime a gaming company uses an all-time legend like The Black Mamba on the cover of a game, they will be expected to deliver an exceptional product. Kobe Bryant expected only perfection from himself and his teammates on the court. The bar was raised the instant they decided to honor his legacy on the cover of NBA 2K21. Alongside Kobe, Damian Lillard will represent the present and Zion Williamson will rep the future of the NBA.
This year, the past, present and future of NBA superstars will grace the covers of of NBA 2K21. Although I argue that the late great Kobe Bryant is as part of the present as ever; at least in the hearts of many NBA fans. The Black Mamba was a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, 18-time NBA All-Star, 2008 NBA MVP, and the list goes on.
To celebrate Kobe’s lifetime achievement of basketball excellence, Visual Concepts has confirmed that they plan to deliver a “monumental leap forward” with NBA 2K21. We don’t know exactly what this means, but we can still have fun making educated guesses.
We know that the “monumental leap forward” will start on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The current generation game will most certainly not be much different than the last. Perhaps they are referring to the graphical improvements to come with the next-gen consoles. Hopefully it means new AI, better franchise depth, more customization and improved physics. Let’s take a closer look at what NBA 2K and Visual Concepts said and find out what we know so far about the different editions.
On the cover of the current-generation version of NBA 2K21 is five-time NBA All-Star and Portland Trail Blazers’ standout Damian Lillard. NBA 2K21 will be available on current-generation platforms on September 4, 2020 for $59.99 and is available for pre-order now. It will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday for $69.99. Below is the cover for the current generation standard edition.
If you are a fan of turning your hard earned cash into worthless Virtual Currency, enjoy MyTEAM or MyCAREER, then pre-ordering is a wise decision. When you order the digital version through the PlayStation Store, you will receive an exclusive theme and 2 additional MyTEAM Promo Packs. If you are a franchise gamer, as usual, there is no incentive to pre-order. The only benefit is the ability to pre-load the game 48 hours before it is released.
Okay, so maybe VC isn’t completely worthless if you enjoy MyCAREER for the immersive experience of playing as yourself in the NBA. But purchasing “packs” of virtual basketball cards, watches, shoes and T-shirts that immediately lose value is unjustified spending. Some argue that it’s a form of gambling; with many of the consumers being children using their parents credit cards.
Pre-order the Damian Lillard Edition to receive these digital items:
“With extensive improvements upon its best-in-class graphics and gameplay, competitive and community online features and deep, varied game modes, NBA 2K21 offers one-of-a-kind immersion into all facets of NBA basketball and culture.” – NBA 2K
Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans forward, 2019 1st Overall Pick and consensus 2019 National College Player of the Year, lands the cover for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X standard edition. It will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday.
“NBA 2K21 is a monumental leap forward for the franchise,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts. “We’re combining all of our experience and development expertise to craft the best game possible and for next-generation consoles, we are building the game from the ground up to take full advantage of next-gen power and technology.” We anxiously await release day with hopeful hearts; that these statements become a testimony to the legacy of The Black Mamba.
Pre-order the Zion Williamson Edition to receive these digital items:
Mamba Forever Edition
For NBA 2K21, the Legend Edition is replaced by the Mamba Forever Edition. 2K is celebrating Kobe Bryant’s lifelong pursuit of victory and legacy in the sport of basketball. Kobe was the cover athlete for NBA 2K10 and the Legend Edition of NBA 2K17. He is immortalized in the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition. There are two unique custom covers for both current-gen and next-gen versions that honor the span of his illustrious career.
Current generation cover:
The digital items included with the current-gen Mamba Forever Edition:
Digital items included when pre-ordering the current-gen Mamba Forever Edition:
NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition will be available for $99.99 for both current and next-generation platforms. With the purchase of this edition on either generation, you will receive a free copy of the standard edition on the other generation. Most gamers hoped that like Madden NFL 21, dual access would come with the standard version of the game. Instead, only the Mamba Forever Edition comes with dual access.
When purchasing the Mamba Forever Edition on current-gen you’ll receive the following bonus:
When purchasing the Mamba Forever Edition on next-gen you’ll receive the following bonus:
Next generation cover:
The next-generation version of NBA 2K21 is being built from the ground up for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. 2K is also introducing several initiatives to bridge the two versions of the game. NBA 2K21 will feature MyTEAM Cross-Progression and a Shared VC Wallet within the same console family. MyTEAM Cross-Progression enables all MyTEAM points, tokens, cards and progress to be shared on current and next-generation versions. Similarly, the Shared VC Wallet means any earned or purchased VC will be accessible across both current and next-gen versions.
The digital items included with the next-gen Mamba Forever Edition:
Digital items included when pre-ordering the next-gen Mamba Forever Edition:
Looking ahead, NBA 2K will release additional announcements and news including the soundtrack reveal, first looks at gameplay and features for both generations and much more.
“It’s going to be a huge year for basketball fans and NBA 2K gamers.” Stated Alfie Brody, Vice President of Global Marketing at NBA 2K.