It is difficult for sports games to renew themselves from year to year and FIFA knows something about it. But if the world of video game football is at war with the announced comeback of PES, 2K is alone and well established on the basketball court and no one seems ready to dislodge it. With the NBA as well as the WNBA, 2K remains a major juggernaut and if this new edition remains a real pleasure for basketball fans, the studio Visual Concepts did not get too wet to renew the whole, offering the same systems as in previous years without ever revolutionizing anything. Let’s go through the whole thing.
From one extreme to the other
This year, however, 2K has made quite a few career mode changes and the whole is absolutely patchy. We’re going to have well done moments as much as moments of infinite boredom and moments of unease and it’s almost crazy that you can go from one extreme to the other constantly. Once our character is created or our facial recognition is finished, we discover our player and it is already difficult to sympathize. In addition to a failed casting choice for the voice of our character, we starts our career as an influencer / youtuber. Not really an origin story that captivates us, but which is unfortunately necessary for one of this year’s big career additions: the ability to have a career in fashion or music in addition to playing in the NBA.
So yes, it’s great for immersion to have these choices if you’ve ever decided to buy a basketball game to do something other than play basketball. But the problem was, there were other things to sort out in career mode before tackling this. As for example, the endless loading time to get to the City, the game’s main hub in which we find the other players, full of shops, activities and points of interest. Or so from avoid us making incessant back and forth across the city to go see our agent between each match with quick trips, or failing to allow us to move a little faster, because even the skate available to move around is incredibly slow.
The scenario ideas on managing our career in the NBA are cool from the draft, which this year is based on the real draft and really gives us a scare at the idea of falling into a draw, but also in the choice of our agent or the way we want to arrive in the 5 major of our team to manage our image with journalists. There are plenty of next door apart from the matches which are quite interesting and immersive. The problem is that you often have to go back and forth to get things done and that completely breaks the rhythm.
Those who are used to the NBA 2K license will not be shocked, but it should still be mentioned that brands and advertisements hidden in more or less subtle ways (we let you guess that it still goes more often towards the less) are omnipresent in this career mode. From the moment we can interact in-game with Jake from StateFarm (the American equivalent of our Cherry from Groupama), we have nevertheless reached a certain level which goes well beyond the sponsors of our player for whom we will fulfill objectives and sell our image during post-match press conferences. Other point that will not surprise regulars of NBA 2K: the need to have VC to increase the stats of his player quickly, so as not to have the first painful hours of play. It is pity that we are still obliged to do that and that this practice is so entrenched in NBA 2K.
The wall under the basket
Now you notice that it took 5 paragraphs to talk about the gameplay. Enough to show the importance the studio has given to everything that happens off the pitch in Career mode, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of interest. On the contrary, the game is a bit rough even for a regular and quite a few players have even complained on social networks: AI is formidable in defense. While in NBA 2K21, putting baskets in the racket was easy, this year we find ourselves with a steel defense and opposing players who do not let us go easily. a real challenge and a necessary time to adapt which gives defense its letters of nobility, after being a bit neglected. Obviously we are talking about Career mode here, but the observation is valid in fast games.
It’s hard to fault the gameplay of this NBA 2K22. Things haven’t changed much in terms of dynamism and game mechanics, aside from that beefier defense. Even from graphically, things have only changed very slightly since the next-gen version of 2K21, but it must be said that the reflections on the floor and the numerical modeling of most players is admirable work. Antetokounmpo, Durant, Curry or LeBron are entitled to more care than other players, but overall it’s a great job, despite a few hiccups that make you laugh (Sorry to Evan Fournier). NBA 2K22 always remains at the top of its game on its gameplay and graphics. We can however blame a reworked shooting gauge which is much less visible and clear than the previous year.
And the rest ?
Regarding MyTeam, nothing new too. It’s still the same money machine and it doesn’t surprise anyone anymore, as is the case with the investment in VC required at the start of career mode. In addition to the current NBA teams, we still find the legendary teams to make iconic games as well as the women’s NBA teams.
Is it worth it ?
Lack of competition, NBA 2K22 is based on achievements of the license. the game is beautiful, gameplay is cool, but does not experience big changes compared to the previous year. It’s more on the Career mode side that we have to look for novelty, with a multitude of things to do off the pitch, for better or worse with these unbearable back and forths and constant publicity. It remains a benchmark of the game of basketball and the fun is always there once on the floor, whether in career, in quick game or on MyTeam, with beautiful animations and models, a lively audience and always pleasant gameplay, which even offers an upgrade of defense.