NBA 2K22 Review – IGN

When a basketball player gets into “the zone”, people say that time may seem to slow down to crawl. They can see things before they happen, every little detail about their opponent stands out and the rim seems to get bigger and more attractive. NBA 2K22 never managed to get me fully into the zone, but the improved gameplay and breadth of content in this iteration bring it closer than it has been in recent years. From major changes to the impact of resistance in shooting to a city filled with various ways to upgrade your MyPlayer character, 2K22 feels like a breath of fresh air compared to 2K21.

NBA 2K22 has made some major adjustments to the action on the court that help it play like a more realistic game, most notably how it handles the loss of stamina while dribbling. At 2K21, it was easy to run to a defender on the perimeter, hit a Curry slip, and drain a three without breaking a sweat. Against the CPU, that tactic was almost indefensible, especially in MyTeam, where player cards quickly became ridiculously overpowered. With 2K22, you can still employ tactics like that, but the loss of stamina you suffer from running and dribbling becomes much more significant to balance your effectiveness.

As your player gets more tired, his shot meter will decrease, making it harder to hit shots. That leads to a game that initially seems slow compared to 2K21, but if you play with more control and don’t just hold down the sprint button, you’ll actually find it easier to put the ball in the bucket due to your larger shot meter. . . It may not seem like a major change at first, but it does lead to a style of play that feels closer to real life than 2K21 ever did.

Fatigue leads to a style of play that feels closer to real life than 2K21 ever did.

Without three hunting and running, you’re bound to play team basketball. The pick and roll is your best friend, especially offline. Learning how and when to use your dribbling and speed skills to outmaneuver defenders for a selection will make a difference. Or, if you prefer to do damage like a big man in the paint, use the pick and roll to force a switch and go to work against the smaller defender. These tactics are a bit overpowered at times, but are countered with improvements on the defensive side of the ball.

Additionally, Visual Concepts has completely redesigned its shooting and blocking systems. Not only does this mean sleek new starter blocks and volleyball spikes, it felt like a real tire protector when I ran through the paint. Like the pick and roll, it can start to seem like you have too much power; however, the offense is much more likely to exhaust open jump shots, which means you can’t just give in and rely on late competition. Steals have also been improved with new animations based on your player’s steal rate, so trying to slide the ball with a low-rated player is slow, while guys like Jimmy Butler and Matisse Thybulle will break the ball with authority.

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On top of that, I’ve noticed that some of the more notorious legacy issues don’t show up as much. Things like hit robberies haven’t completely disappeared, but I certainly haven’t seen them happen as much as last year. Adjustments to the defensive side of the ball have also apparently eliminated the speed bump that plagued 2K21. Of course, all of that could change as people become more familiar with 2K22, but for now, I’m happy to see Visual Concepts taking steps to solve some of those more annoying tactics. And while there are still quite a few cases of weird animations that took me out of the experience, they have also been reduced compared to previous years.

I’m glad to see that Visual Concepts is taking steps to solve some of those more annoying tactics.

Improved gameplay doesn’t mean much if you don’t have good places to take advantage of it, but thankfully Visual Concepts seems to have provided a lot to do so far throughout its selection of modes. Whether you want to build your own player from the ground up in MyCareer, assemble a dream team of NBA stars past and present in MyTeam, manage your own team in MyNBA, or dominate the women’s game in The W, NBA 2K22 has you covered.

MyCareer takes us back to the vast world of The City. Here, you’ll step into the shoes of a budding NBA superstar and help lead him to the Hall of Fame. Or you can forget about all that fame and fortune and take your game to the streets to play against other players in modes like Rec Room and Pro-Am. Either way, you’ll have to deal with the confusing AI ranking of teammates.

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This rating helps determine the amount of virtual currency (VC) you earn at the end of each game, so it is very important if you are not looking to spend real world money to improve your player (which of course 2K would be much like us). Unfortunately, too often the AI ​​decides that something that isn’t your fault is something it should penalize you for. For example, if I correctly fired a pick and roll to lift the ball handler, the AI ​​would sometimes decide that I should have stayed with my man and take points away if he scored when my teammate didn’t switch to cover him. . He also switched me from one man to another at random multiple times, forcing me to run around the court to stop losing points for “leaving my assignment.” It’s a frustrating experience, one you’re probably familiar with if you’ve played any NBA 2K games in recent years.

The moment you step into multiplayer games on the street or in the gym, microtransactions start to reap their ugly head.

If you stick with your NBA career, you probably won’t notice the monetization issues that The City is full of. However, the second you enter multiplayer games on the street or in the gym, they will start to reap their ugly head. It’s almost impossible to get in without spending money or going through a massive grind to raise your player’s overall level. I would routinely match myself with other people whose overall player rating was in the 90s, and my 65 OVR small forward just couldn’t hang. It may not be “pay to win” by the strictest definition because it can, but it’s aggravatingly close.

Meanwhile, Visual Concepts has focused primarily on off-court activities at MyCareer. At the beginning of my game, I was buying coffee for my friend, The Game, to help me jump-start my rap career. Later, I connected with Jake from State Farm for an absolutely cheeky brand promotion. The city is full of product placement, to the point where I could only laugh at how ridiculous it got. However, the core of building your personal brand is a suitable distraction when you want a break from the grind of an NBA season.

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At MyTeam, 2K22 is home to similar ups and downs. The good news is that it provides more than enough content to keep you busy, which means you don’t need to open your pocket for annoying microtransactions if you don’t want to. If you want the best of the best players right away, you can, of course, spend money for a chance to get them. However, in my experience, there are many free options that make you competitive, you just have to take the time to unlock them.

NBA 2K22 has also added some new features like the Shoe Builder and a card sorting system. These feel mostly added though and don’t add much to the game. The real problem with MyTeam is its lackluster multiplayer options.

Unlimited and Limited modes are back basically unchanged. That means most people will probably never sniff out the upper tiers of unlimited rewards, and Limited is still a lucky party in terms of rewards. Visual Concepts has also changed Triple Threat Online to something they call “The 100,” but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a significant step backwards. The idea is that you start a round with 100 points, and after each game your opponent’s score will be subtracted from that total as you progress through the prize board until you reach zero points. That could have been a great casual option as it’s guaranteed to at least make it to the second tier on the prize board, but in practice, it’s not rewarding compared to single player modes for casual players and more annoying for. the best. dedicated players who will now have to struggle to reach the top level of the board much more than in previous years.

The new Draft mode is definitely the star of the multiplayer show. At least, it should have been, if real world money hadn’t become part of the equation. Visual Concepts made the decision to ask us to pay to enter once the limited tickets you can win are exhausted. Adding that cost to the entry really puts a damper on what could be a fun and informal mode. I’d really like to see them switch to in-game currency to get in, even if that means a slightly higher time cost.

Finally, MyNBA has spent the offseason improving the way you build your coaching staff and train players. These are nice additions for those who really want to dig deeper into running a franchise, but hardly change the rules of the game. And the W feels like an afterthought from MyCareer. Sure, you don’t have to go through a ridiculous routine to build your player, but Visual Concepts essentially took all of your ideas from MyCareer and turned them into basic menus. It’s certainly not the treatment WNBA fans would want.