Year after year I surprisingly find myself picking up a copy of NBA 2K hoping that something would change or be different. While it’s not anything major, this year has some slight improvements than the last but still feels pretty much just a copy-paste with a few new trinkets added into the mix. As always the launch is always rough with server issues and bugs but the major setback was due to the fact that I wasn’t fully able to experience the Next-Gen version for about a week thanks to a game crashing bug.
However, because of this, I have enough hours put in both the last and next-gen versions to fairly say they both are almost identical gameplay-wise so if you still play on last-gen don’t worry, you’re not missing out on much.
Starting off with the major change, the “My Career” mode doesn’t feel like it did in past titles and now has a roleplaying aspect involved with it. You play as “MP” this time around; a social media influencer who wants to prove to the world that he doesn’t take the game of basketball lightly and doesn’t think of it as a joke. Throughout MP’s rise to NBA stardom, you are given quests throughout “The City”, formerly known as “The Neighborhood”, and have to visit different people, facilities, and complete activities to accomplish them. Doing these quests gives you things such as VC, XP, gear, etc. The biggest gripe that I have with this aspect is that it just feels like too much for a game about playing basketball. Plus it’s a total pain to have to walk from quest to quest when all I want to do is play basketball.
When it comes to the last-gen version instead of having The City there’s the Cancha Del Mar Cruise Ship. Right after you get drafted into the NBA you get placed onto the cruise ship. While there are also quests to complete it’s much more fluent and easier to get done due to the fact that there’s a fast travel system. In general, if you want a true The Neighborhood experience you’ll find it on last-gen consoles. Of course, both versions still have blacktop games, Pro-Am, ranked matches, Rec Room, etc. As always, if you don’t dump a sum of cash into your character you will not have a fun time at all going against a bunch of 80+ overalls, even 90+, while you’re still a 60-70. You can always grind My career but the rate you earn VC between games is still the same as always.
Other than My Career, My Team is back, and when I say it’s the exact same as last year I mean it’s literally the exact same. The only new feature is a draft mode where you can build your team from a select group of cards given to you. It more or less feels pointless and a waste when you can just do it the traditional way.
Gameplay-wise, NBA 2K22 has improved visually and mechanically to the point where I actually found myself having fun. Shooting overall is significantly better and I found myself getting “green” on a good chunk of my shots. The new shot meter might be confusing at first but after a while, you get used to it, and when you do you’ll find yourself dropping about 30+ points every game. Visually the game looks amazing especially on next-gen. There were a few graphical bugs where every model would be blacked out during post-game interviews but after the recent patch that went out, I haven’t experienced any since.
While it may be generally the same game as last year, If you skipped out on last year’s edition of NBA 2K this may be the year for you. Mechanically the game has improved and other than having to pay for VC to compete against other players I think you’ll find some enjoyment in playing My Career games or just with some friends.Become a Patron!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.