With the NBA season just days away, the latest edition of NBA 2K, NBA 2K22, makes its way to PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC. Taking feedback into consideration from NBA 2K21, Visual Concepts has made changes to this year’s game that make it the best looking and smoothest playing game in the franchise.
NBA 2K22 Details
Platform(s): Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Genre: Action, Party
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Gameplay focus on offense and defense along with control changes
This year’s biggest enhancements to gameplay focus on offense and defense. And, in NBA 2K22, defense is all about tighter movement and big stops at the rim. Visual Concepts have completely reworked blocking and shot contests to allow good defenders to smother good shooters, send back weak layup or dunk attempts in the paint and dictate the outcomes of games. Making the right play and taking high quality shots is the key to scoring on this year’s amped up defense.
Also, there’s an update on the shot meter–press and hold the Shot Button—or move and hold the Pro Stick—to begin a jump shot and bring up the meter. The make window can expand or shrink based on how good the shooter is from that given distance, energy level and how much defensive coverage there is. Overall, I feel that shooting has improved from last year’s game, the sound of hitting the perfect green shot always sends chills down my spine.
Additionally, there are tons of new dribble moves and combos you can pull off by simply flicking the Pro Stick in various directions. Furthermore, there are over 50 new signature styles from both the NBA and WNBA to give even more variety to the look and feel of dribbling. There are also a new ankle-breaking signature combos and on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S there are new aggressive skill dunks and skill-based alley-oops.
SEASONS & MyTEAM
In keeping with changes in NBA 2K22, Visual Concepts has taken a new approach to Seasons and made a number of changes to the MyTEAM experience. From the all-new MyTEAM: Draft that has been a long requested feature from the community to creative new features such as Card Grading.
Additionally, Visual Concepts and 2K Sports has made it easier for PS4 and Xbox One players to transition over to PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game. The progress from the PS4 and Xbox One games transfer to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions within the same console family via dual-access.
City and Neighborhood expansions
Keeping with NBA 2K’s well established tradition, NBA 2K22 offers something for everyone. The City is built specifically for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players. This year, there’s an all-new experience that includes NPCs and a new Quest system. And, the City is filled with many quest opportunities and there are all kinds of reward opportunities available once you become friendly with the locals.
On the other hand, you have the Neighborhood. It’s built specifically for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC players. In NBA 2K22, the Neighborhood is an all-new experience built on the decks of a sailing cruise ship. Each of the ship’s decks have experiences to offer. And, each Season are the off-boat excursions when the Cancha Del Mar docks at various ports around the world!
NBA 2K22 represents an entirely new way to play MyCareer
This year, Visual Concepts created a whole new narrative experience that sees MyCAREER and the City come together. As you play through and explore, you quickly discover how the story of your journey is intertwined with the City and its inhabitants. How you choose to play the mode is up to you. Will you go to college? Play in the G league? Or declare for the draft right away?
Overall though, I felt a bit disappointed in the story. It is full of lots of cheesy dialogue and I never really felt a connection with MP. Hopefully next year Visual Concepts shakes things up a little bit. However, there are tons of minigames, customization, multiplayer options and fashion/music elements for players to sink their teeth into. I think with a bit more polishing, MyCareer could really be an integral part of the game.
NBA 2K22 is an excellent next-gen addition to the franchise
It amazes me each year how Visual Concepts continues to improve the look and feel of the NBA 2K series. Having played NBA 2K22 on Xbox Series X, I can say that it looks gorgeous! The character models are incredible replicas of their real-life counterparts and the game runs silky smooth.
The revamped gameplay that focuses on offense and defense feels better than ever before. The new City area in MyCareer has been implemented well and I can see quite a few people spending a lot of time in that mode. With a bit more polish, I think it could be one of the main attractions of the game.
+ Great level of quality in graphics and gameplay
+ Improved gameplay with a focus on offense and defense
+ MyCareer’s open world is filled with things to see and do
+ Improved load times over last year’s game
– Aside from gameplay and MyCareer not a whole lot is new
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF NBA 2K22
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5