Each year I get to review a new NBA 2K game and each year I try to get out of it. Not because I’m not a fan, but because each new entry feels the same as the last and the same issues I’ve had keep cropping up. The series hasn’t so much seen a decline, it’s just remained the same. Sure, there have been updates, new features and changes, but not nearly enough for my liking.
Almost all of the negative criticisms I have for this year’s game, I’ve covered in previous reviews. MyPLAYER is either a huge grind or an additional seventy-six bucks to play. An OVR60 character is like tits on a bull and has a hard time making layups in the G-League. It’s a huge grind to play this game for three seasons and eighteen games. It’s going to be a struggle.
If you allow thirty minutes for each game (not counting the time it takes to do all the MMO-lite quests) will take you 132 hours if you average 700 VC a game. You might be able to finish it far quicker but that’s how my averages work out.
If you happen to have the deluxe version or get yourself some VC, you can immediately increase your MyPLAYER’s rating and make the game a lot easier and more enjoyable. This is a problem because the game is far less enjoyable with a low rating and actively encourages you to spend money to have a better time.
Sure, you can grind out training for hours and hours but it’s the least fun way to play NBA 2K22. Even players who love to grind will find the effort required in this game to be too steep a hill to climb.
The main problem I have with MyPLAYER is the Shot Timer. It seems to burst out of the ether when you begin to shoot and appears on the left or on the right depending on which hand you’re shooting with. The meter flies to the top of the bar with a speed hard to capture with the human eye. If you’re too late the shot meter leaves behind a big red mess and a feeling of dread, just like the Predator.
Even after trying various colours to get a bit more contrast, I still found it impossible to see and time the shot timer.
I looked up tips on Youtube.
I went to every team practice.
I did all the tutorials in 2KU.
It’s hard like Vince Carter’s knee cartilage to get green shots in MyPLAYER. At least it is for me. If anyone has any tips for how to get better at shooting and hitting shots, please send them my way. I need it!
Beyond my shooting looking like Ben Simmon’s ability to hit 3s, the basketball in NBA 2K22 is like LeBron; at the top of its game and not slowing down anytime soon.
The gameplay is much sharper and enjoyable in exhibition matches where the characters reflect high talent athletes and regularly complete successful layups. MyPLAYER plays like I’ve been day drinking and I’m trying to relive my glory days in someone’s backyard.
That’s fun for an afternoon but it’s no good five days in a row.
Look, I’m sounding down on MyPLAYER but it’s not bad and the mode isn’t all issues though. The loading times are much quicker and the training sessions with the team are getting better each year. Travelling around the city is a bit naff it’s not terrible and skating is pretty fun when you bust out some pretty fat flip tricks. My favourite moment was running drills with Ben Simmons and listening to Kendrick Perkins spout nonsense about Youtube.
The big open city feels like the beginnings of an MMO capital. Like Orgrimmar for Instamodels or a Limsa Lominsa for overly ripped men with overly manicured hair cuts. It’s a bit empty and running from place to place between games gets pretty old pretty quickly but as the seasons open up and more players get involved, the City is likely to get more lively.
There’s been lots of improvements to the hub world and the story too. The quality of life improvements in NBA 2K22 are excellent and the game has never looked better. I definitely think NBA 2K22 is better than the previous entries. Even with all the weirdly aggressive dialogue towards the player character.
The options you’re provided feel weighted and had actual down the line effects. If you tell reporters you want to be a rapper, your offsider will set you up in a recording studio. If you prefer answering certain reporter’s questions, they’ll be the ones interviewing you after the game.
Beyond MyPLAYER, NBA 2K22 includes everything fans have come to expect from the franchise. And while there is an enormous number of modes to play and things to do, it still feels like you’re being funnelled towards the purchase VC screen pretty frequently. That being said, there are multiple ways to play NBA 2K22 and depending on your mode of choice you may not ever bump up against the VC issue.
2K22 is just a smoother, buffed out version of its predecessors, enjoying a huge boost to performance and visuals due to the upgraded PS5 hardware. For my money, until the pace at building up your own career is increased, I’m going to stick to exhibition matches and non-storyline game modes. The grind is real.
It’s a new year, so we have a new NBA 2K. NBA 2K22 isn’t all-new and it doesn’t rectify every issue I have with the series, but it’s still the best way to play digital basketball and once again cements itself as the ultimate NBA videogame.
NBA 2K22 was reviewed on PS5 using a digital code provided by 2K ANZ.