NBA 2K22 Review (Next-Gen) – A Price to Pay for Greatness
As for a long time NBA 2K player, I didn’t know what to expect when entering NBA 2K22 on new generation consoles. NBA 2K21 was frustrating, especially for those playing on current generation systems. It also seemed like the lack of competition and authoritarian microtransactions had finally caught up with the series. So, is NBA 2K22 on the next generation just more of the same? Or, has developer Visual Concepts made any notable improvements for this year’s installment? Find out in our review.
NBA 2K22 is available on Xbox Series X / S, PS5, Xbox One, PS4, PC and Switch. Since there are several differences between the current and next-gen versions, it is important to note that this review focuses on the new generation edition.
To put it simply, NBA 2K22 is just plain fun to play
The NBA 2K the series has always had issues with its gameplay, whether it’s lopsided shooting mechanics or dunk animations. Whichever mode you play in, AIs would be sitting ducks for more experienced players who knew the ins and outs of the game.
NBA 2K22 is not a perfectly balanced game. Some builds are just better than others and there will always be players trying to use old school games to rack up wins in the parks. Nevertheless, despite these minor issues, NBA 2K22 is probably one of the most enjoyable basketball games that I have played in quite some time. It didn’t matter if I was playing as a marksman or a rim protection center. There was something fun about playing any role on a team. And if you’ve ever played a NBA 2K game before, you would know that is not always the case.
The shooting mechanics have been redesigned and simplified. If you are open and have the necessary attributes, you will have a larger publish window. And if you make stupid attempts to fire due to low attributes or because a defender is quickly approaching you, the shot meter will be much smaller and more difficult to determine.
Driving to the rim, dribbling, and post moves have also been redesigned, leading to an experience built around shooting IQ rather than just lucky animations. That being said, you will still come across random animations from time to time. The emphasis is also on defense, which is where NBA 2K22 Game really shines. As mentioned before, it’s all about shooting IQ. If you can block defenders or force a terrible shot, you will be able to dominate the pitch.
Attributes like blocking and stealing have also been improved. In the past, rim protectors could play excellent defense in the paint only to be thwarted by a cheesy animation of an incoming slasher. Here, unless the slasher finds some room to drive or has the badges to potentially win the basket, the rim protector will likely come away with a block or bounce. While I haven’t had as much success with the steals, it seems there is more focus on making the trait more punchy (especially when playing against a player who drives all the way to the rim).
Finally, there’s the improved AI. On offense, you’re constantly fighting for space to get good shots. With defense, you need to make sure that there is no loss of coverage because the AI ââwill charge you for it.
Not all matches will be competitive and long-term fights. But, almost every game you win is won. This is because of the improved AI, smoother animations, emphasis on shooting IQ, as well as other gameplay changes on offense.
MyNBA Additions Create Deeper, More Profitable Franchise Mode
NBA 2K22 My NBA is the game’s resident franchise mode. In MyNBA, players can create and customize their own franchise, from conference lineup to rule changes. You can add the ability to learn skills for your GM, adjust your roster’s training schedule, and even more role-play items.
Then we have the new staffing and prep hub systems. Selecting your staff is extremely important with the myriad of new front office positions, coaching staff, sports medicine and recruiting. This is how you will build the foundation for your team. For example, if you plan to rebuild completely, you can focus on screening and front office services. Overall, this is a fantastic addition to the franchise model and gives the player plenty of options on how they want to build their squad. Just be sure to pay attention to the tutorial, as staff screens can be very overwhelming.
The same can be said for the new prep hub. With it, you can adjust training schedules, game planning, and how the coach’s overall game plan aligns with the roster.
NBA 2K22’s MyCareer mode is huge
The new generation version of NBA 2K21 introduced The City, which was essentially just a much larger version of the Quarter on older consoles. This year, Visual Concepts added more to The City to make it more alive. Now, The city is filled with various NPCs and optional quests to complete that will add to your player’s brand. On top of all that, you can always participate in running modes like Park Games, Recreation Center, or Pro-Am.
Surprisingly, it’s fun to explore the city and see what it has to offer. However, over time it gets a bit of a hassle due to the limited fast travel options and some shameless advertisements.
NBA 2K22 The MyCareer story puts you in the shoes of MP, a street gamer who is also an âinfluencerâ. As an MP, you will make your own way to the NBA. Dominate the college basketball scene and be a top choice. Or, you can step into the G-League and fight your way to the draft from there. It’s up to you to decide how to get into the NBA. And, as a new prospect in the NBA, you can decide how you want MP to be viewed. Do you want to be a no-frills NBA star? Or, do you want to dive into the music and fashion industries for more popularity and branding opportunities?
Unlike previous installments, NBA 2K22 MyCareer is putting a cinematic narrative on the back burner in favor of these player picks and optional quests. And ultimately, the mode thrives for this very reason.
Visual Concepts has also made significant changes to the MyPlayer generator. Badge points have been increased, leading to more complex builds. Additionally, players now have the ability to freely edit their earned badges on the fly and even create build loadouts.
Dominant microtransactions are still an important part of NBA 2K
Whether you are playing park games in the city or joining a random recreation center game, it is clear that the NBA 2K the franchise still works Virtual Currency (VC) and microtransactions. Do not mistake yourself, NBA 2K22 brings a ton of improvements in terms of gameplay and other modes like MyNBA, MyCareer, MyTeam and The W. But, for a next-gen game that costs $ 70 at launch, it’s disappointing to see microtransactions play such a central role in MyCareer and other modes.
What’s more, PC users don’t even get the Next Generation Edition of NBA 2K22. Instead, they are grappling with the current version of the generation.
NBA 2K22 is a breathtaking next-gen experience
NBA 2K22 is a spectacle. The visuals are amazing, from realistic player models to detailed environments. As usual, the commentary adds to the gaming experience instead of taking you out of it. The same can be said for the overall presentation of the game. There are team presentations, a halftime show (with some of the NBA hosts on TNT), sideline updates, and more. Again.
This is not necessarily new, but the presentation in NBA 2K22 is still among the best sports games out there today.
In all, NBA 2K22 on new generation systems is the best NBA 2K game to be released in years. The gameplay gets a much needed overhaul, leading to a fun experience for everyone, whether you’re playing as a main scorer or a defensive anchor. My NBA gives players a detailed and customizable franchise mode with some cool additions like the new staff system. It can be overbearing at times, but MyNBA is a franchise mode worth trying.
Unfortunately, even with all of these intriguing changes (like the new additions to MyCareer), NBA 2K22 is a little upset by some blatant advertisements and boring microtransactions.
Enjoy competitive gameplay, online features and a variety of game modes including myCAREER while building the team of your dreams in this basketball video game. A WORLD OF BASKETBALL. NBA 2K22 puts the whole world of basketball in your hands. PLAY NOW in real NBA and WNBA environments against authentic teams and players. Build your own dream team in MyTEAM with the stars of today and legends of yesterday. Live your own professional journey in MyCAREER and experience your personal rise to the NBA. Evolve your management skills as a powerful executive in MyGM and MyLEAGUE. Anyone, anywhere can participate in NBA 2K22. (via metacritic)
- Changes to dribbling, driving towards the rim, shooting and defense
- New and improved AI
- MyCareer, MyNBA, MyTeam and The W all receive solid improvements
- Amazing visuals and presentation
- The series continues to push microtransactions in your face
- Some minor gameplay and visual bugs