(Credit: 2K Sports)

The NBA 2K series has been widely criticized in the past for buggy releases and major gameplay flaws. Each year, the 2K Sports team tries to improve the overall experience of the game, only to encounter the same gripes by fans every time.

With the release of the next-generation consoles, the community is hoping for drastic improvements to the game, and they may be getting that wish.

In an article on 2K’s official website, Gameplay Director Mike Waang detailed some of the biggest innovations that will be coming to the next installment of the game, and it’s giving life to a lot of fans within the community.

According to Wang, shooting mechanics will be the biggest difference with updates including improvements to shot-aiming, bank-shot control, and the shot meter to improve realism and player-control. Next-gen hardware has also allowed them to improve 3-point line recognition to avoid awkward animations when trying to shoot those long-distance shots.

(via NBA 2K)

There are some great nuances that we were able to capture thanks to the next-gen hardware. The added computational power allowed our engineers to upgrade our inverse kinematics (IK) and foot planting technology (more on that later) to both make our jump shot gathers feel more grounded and also improve 3PT line recognition. In the past, you’d either slide back for the 3PT shot which looked pretty bad or step on the line for a long two. But now we adjust your feet placement in real-time when you’re near the line to ensure that no longer happens. It looks very natural and a relief for shooters to know that they’ll get credit for the three when taking those deep clutch jumpers.

They’ve also re-vamped ball-handling to make it more diverse and smooth than ever before. Some key improvements include size-up speed control, signature moves, park handles, and the triple-threat.

Together, these changes should help make the game realistic, challenging, and (most importantly) fun. As the most popular basketball simulation game makers on earth, 2K certainly has a lot of weight on their shoulders, especially with this next-gen release.

But, so far, they seem to be doing the best they can to make NBA 2K21 the best in their history.