The aim-meter mechanic is really hard to master, but has already led to a really satisfying one-on-one isolation victories. It is nice having the ability to use the right stick exclusively as a dribbling tool till I am ready to pull back to get a shot. The ability to size-up, which is tied to special dribbling animations for many of the 2K21 MT top players in the league, and isolate is far better than ever. I spent a couple of hours experimenting with various playstyles, like facilitating the pick-and-roll using Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. It is tremendously rewarding to use Doncic's dimensions and footwork to make space - something that I could not replicate with other guards on the group, like Seth Curry. While it's not completely new, NBA 2K21's ability to emulate players' playstyles is exceptional this season.

Nevertheless, there are already a few frustrating gameplay issues I have come across, also. Fastbreaks seem marginally improved, but player spacing is still clearly off. For example, even my finest three-point shooters will monitor inside the three-point line on fast breaks when they would be better off finding space in the corner. Generally, it seems like NBA 2K21 hasn't completely adapted to the emphasis modern NBA basketball has put on the three-point line. Quick catch-and-shoots aren't as common as they should be, and final out is still far too easy on defense.

Similarly frustrating is that the CPU's capacity to create problems for itself. In my short time with NBA 2K21, I have seen two backcourt violations on wide-open inbounds passes. It functioned as a jarring reminder that I was not, in actuality, experiencing a real game of NBA basketball.

From a cursory glance, MyLeague seems to have received almost zero updates. The manner has a decent set of features built into it already, but this is actually the second year in a row with no noteworthy improvements. As someone who loves to deep-dive into franchise building, it's really disappointing that there's so little effort being put into the mode.

Luckily, MyTeam has at least ditched its horrible casino aesthetic from this past year. Make no mistake, even however -- even though it looks different, it seems heavily dependent on Cheap MT 2K21 microtransactions and buying packs. As I said in last year's review, it's clear the MyTeam's central goal is to extract as much cash as you are prepared to give up so as to avoid needing to grind out mundane challenges to progress, and it does not appear anything has changed in that section.