The famous NBA videogame franchise is back. Every September, 2K presents us with the most advanced technology to simulate the game we all love on our game consoles.
In the last few years, the improvements have been questionable. Was this year any different?
NBA 2K22 Review
In this year’s 2K, the gameplay has finally improved significantly. Unlike the past few years, the gameplay has suffered meaningful changes. Sports franchises have been criticized for putting out the same game year after year, with only minor tweaks to show for. NBA 2K22 took the hint.
The graphics feel more real than ever. Players look like their real-life counterparts and the physics of the game look more like an actual NBA game than ever before. But what about the actual gameplay?
NBA 2K22 Gameplay: What changed?
The first major change is the new stamina feature. The shot meter is affected by how much stamina you have, so if you play recklessly for 3 quarters, you will get to the end of the game and your shot-making ability will be compromised. The shot meter will shorten when your player is tired. Watch out for unnecessary sprints during the game if you want to contribute with scoring in the clutch.
But don’t worry, if your playstyle is more focused on long-range shots, you will still be able to be competitive. Just manage your stamina accordingly, bypassing any unnecessary dribble moves that will shrink your shot meter. Try creating space by setting picks on the perimeter, which will lead to a better shot selection, and subsequently a higher percentage of deep balls going in.
Now, the defensive changes. It’s no secret that it’s a sometimes-forgotten part of the gameplay. We simply don’t put the same effort when compared to the offense. But that’s about to change.
This year’s defense system has improved and simply feels more natural. Visual Concepts has innovated the shot-blocking animation. There are fewer useless defensive animations that made your defense weird and out of place at times. In the paint, your big men will be more effective, thus recreating reality with a higher degree of accuracy.
These improved mechanics force you to play the game like you would in reality. You’ll need to opt for a more controlled style of play with a slower pace in order to win. Team-ball has never been this important.
And while it’s great that the gameplay has changed, did the game modes stay the same? Here are the major changes (or lack thereof) on the most popular game modes 2K has to offer.
Enjoying our NBA 2K22 review? It’s available at Gamestop on every console.
On the new MyCareer, you’re fresh out of high school and have to decide how your career as a basketball player will begin. Choose between college, G-League, or declaring for the NBA draft. Each of the options will have consequences and will affect the way your story unfolds. But we’ll save you from any spoilers, try the mode and pave your way to NBA stardom.
The all-new city in 2K almost feels like you’re playing Grand Theft Auto (except you’re not engaging in gang-related activities this time around).
This is a new open-world concept that the game introduced this year and promises to completely change the panorama of sports games. Off-court activities have never been such a cornerstone. You’re now more than just an NBA player who goes out and performs night in, night out. The possibilities are endless, whether you want to meet celebrities, engage in fashion, or music. All this while moving around on your skateboard.
While innovation is always welcomed, the new city mode comes with its fair share of bugs. The off-court animations, more often than not, feel laggy and just weird at times.
Some issues of past editions seem to have stuck with us for at least another year. Being penalized for some awkward switches on-court, having your grade being affected by a seemingly good decision and so many other reasons. While 2K improved the off-court experience, it seems the actual game mode that we all love and want to improve was a little put to the side.
Collect cards, put together a super-team and go against other 2K players online.
The amount of content on the MyTeam mode is unmatched. There is so much to enjoy in this mode and there are some new features that you might want to take a look at.
The new triple threat online: the 100. This new mode is for those who are defensive-focused players. In this mode, you will start with 100 points, and each point your opponent scores against you will be subtracted from your total. Once you reach 0, your rewards will change. This is a nice new twist to MyTeam.
The same issue continues to haunt this mode year after year. If there’s a pay-to-play mode in the whole game, this is the one. MyTeam still almost forces you to pay in order to be competitive. If you’re not opening your wallet, you’re getting left behind.
Sometimes it feels like 2K’s only interest with this mode is to profit from the transactions gamers have to make to stay afloat.
Buy NBA 2K22 on Xbox here – there’s various editions to choose from.
The GM mode is still a go-to for some 2K players. Run your franchise and lead your team to multiple NBA championships.
The good news is that the mode is still around. This not-so-popular-anymore game mode has seen some improvements, mainly in the management of the coaching staff and the way you train players.
Like the last few editions, this mode is somewhat forgotten and not paid attention to.
No groundbreaking transformation has happened once again, which makes the mode boring after the first season. It’s unlikely that players will want to experience a mode that remains virtually unchanged every year.
NBA 2K22 gives you the possibility to play as a woman. This will for sure appeal to a wider audience and maybe bring in a whole new generation of women’s basketball enthusiasts. But while the effort is commendable, it seems that no new ideas were brought in, when compared to MyCareer.
NBA 2K22 Verdict
The developers listened to their audience. Some much-needed changes were made. The stamina revolution is one that definitely impacts the gameplay in the right way. We all want to experience a game that feels more refined and more in tune with the basketball that is played in the league.
On the defensive side, the new mechanics are a breath of fresh air. If you were tired of having your defenders go through some weird motions only to miss the play completely, look no further. The new shot-blocking system makes big men a real impact when close to the basket, just like in a real NBA game.
There are still some major issues that the franchise simply refused to address. Or if they did, they looked like an afterthought. The constant need to pay to be competitive in some modes, or the bugs and overall city experience in MyCareer, while being steps in the right direction, still need a lot of work.
Overall, the all-new NBA 2K22 feels like a missed layup. While being considered the best basketball simulator in the world, the developers have the chance to put the conversation away every year and choose not to.
The game has gotten mixed reviews. IGN gave it a 7.0/10, stating that the game continues to set the standard for gameplay but feels more of the same story.
Gaming Trend rated it a 40/100, calling the story bland, and more of an advertisement for the sport rather than a videogame. And while most of the reviews are calling it a mid-tier level game, GamePressure scored it a 9.0/10.
Your best bet is to try it for yourself. If you haven’t bought the game the last few years to avoid paying for the same version of gameplay with slightly improved graphics, perhaps this year would be a good time to spend money on a new basketball simulator. While the experience won’t be groundbreaking, you will notice improved gameplay. Especially if you didn’t buy 2K21.
Try NBA 2k22 out for yourself – it’s widely available, including at the Amazon link below.