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Softonic review

Kyle Juffs
Kyle JuffsUpdated 6 months ago

The same NBA court with a new feel

NBA 2K22 is the new iteration of 2K's leading basketball simulation games that allows you to play basketball your way from the comfort of your home. NBA 2K22 updates many of its beloved game modes and tweaks how the on-court play-to-play moments feel, including changes to the stamina system, shot bar, and defender improvements

NBA 2K has long been the ruler of the basketball genre of games, with a new version of the game being released each year. Yet, if you're looking for something that feels more like an arcade game, you may find NBA Playgrounds to fill that role.

Fatigue system slows the game down for the better

In previous NBA 2K titles, it was easy to create a hole in the defense line by abusing each player's abundant stamina. Running along the perimeter was a well-exploited strategy that would see you break the AI defense for some easy points.

NBA 2K22 noticed this and said it was time for a change. When your player's stamina is low, your shot bar will continually shrink, making it substantially more challenging to land the perfect shot.

This system now forces players to consider how they will move up the court and what other strategies and skills to use to take the shot to have a minimal impact on stamina. A strategic style of play like this naturally slows the game's pace down but creates a realistic feel as a result.

Similarly, learning to use these skills helps create a higher skill cap ceiling, allowing players to learn the in-depth systems to create an advantage, rather than mindlessly using the same tactic in each game. To some, this can add further playability and increase the reward to succeeding and coming ahead of your opponent, especially in an online setting.

NBA 2K22 has also updated various systems supporting contesting, blocking, and defense in general. These new systems, tied with new animations, help prevent more infuriating playstyles from previous games and create overall fairer gameplay for both sides.

MyCareer and city views

MyCareer makes a return in NBA 2K22 with additional changes sure to keep previous players enticed to try their luck once more. NBA 2K21 introduces the city, which is underwhelming mainly due to the lack of content. Despite this, the city returns and is a core component of MyCareer.

The storyline for MyCareer is primarily the same but uses the city as a central location for quests and activities. You will be meeting with various NPCs to progress through the campaign and engaging with other core characters that shape your playable character's identity.

Interestingly for an NBA game, Visual Concepts - the developers - have tied the side stories and activities around the city with your character's involvement on the court. Now, you can pursue different careers while waiting to continue your basketball focus, which provides you with other rewards that you can use as you progress.

Even with additional NPCs and a focus on activities, we couldn't help but feel like the city was included for commercial showcase rather than reinventing the MyCareer mode. Billboards and questlines focus on some prominent brand names and seem tied to product placement/sponsorship agreements made on 2K's behalf rather than to provide an enjoyable experience for gamers.

MyTeam makes an appearance again and will feel the same for revisiting players. There is a substantial amount of content here that ties in the collection element of obtaining your favorite players and using them to dominate your opponents, whether in single-player or multiplayer.

Like the mainline FIFA games, MyTeam is riddled with microtransaction options to give you a step ahead of other players who don't have the money to purchase in-game rewards. 

Dribble in and Dunk on your opponents

NBA 2K22 updates a considerable amount compared to 2K21. It alters the game state by feeling more realistic, more skill-focused, and improves the skill ceiling for those looking to get more from their NBA systems. Various modes make a return so players can get stuck in the mode that they find the most fun while benefiting from the different on-court changes.

While MyCareer hasn't been overhauled completely, Visual Concepts are moving in the right direction with some of the changes and new additions. However, we feel that the game would dramatically improve if they would focus on making an innovative story and remove the egregious product placement. 

PROS

  • Each game mode is updated
  • Updated defense systems
  • Added fatigue system that creates a more realistic-feeling game

CONS

  • MyCareer has multiple quests that feel like ads
  • MyTeam retains microtransactions

Program available in other languages


NBA 2K22 for PC

  • Paid
  • In English
  • V varies-with-devices
  • 4.4
  • (22)

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