NBA 2K22 it is the block in defense, which remedies a ruinous lost ball; a second half to recover, after a game start always chasing the result; a powerful dunk in the open field that silences the opposing fans and essentially closes the game.
- PC, PS4, PS5, XONE, XSX
- simulation, sports
- Exit date:
- September 10, 2021
- Take-Two Interactive
After a couple of iterations necessarily similar to each other, after last year’s edition that suffered from now inexplicable design choices, the highly criticized shooting mechanics, now unashamedly devoted to easy gain, which ended up penalizing the MyTeam, Visual Concepts decided that the time was ripe for the brand to give its best even on the next-gen branded PlayStation 5 e Xbox Series.
Although NBA 2K21 also had the pleasure of making its debut on the new hardware from Sony and Microsoft, never like this year the generation leap is evident, further underlined, as we will see shortly, by slightly different contents depending on the edition chosen.
Confusing menus, uncompromising gameplay
As in the past, the first impact with production 2K Sports it can be confusing and not exclusively for the right reasons. If the menus can still be said to be relatively explanatory, once the software is started, the feeling of being lost at sea remains, with no safe island in sight in which to dock. The most experienced, excuse the pun, strong from the experience gained with the IP, will immediately notice the return of all the modalities in which they have been inhabited over the years. Others will have a hard time understanding the exact meaning of each indicator and item on the screen.
In moments like these, in short, you will regret the dear, old and forgotten instruction booklets, despite the captions and sections in charge they will try in every way to make each section of the menus clearer. After all, it is useless to tell it, NBA 2K22 it does little to put its users at ease, also and above all on the playing field. The reckless neophyte who decides to start the game, without first having passed by the very useful and essential My2KU, which will teach you the commands and the basics of the game, will find himself tossed from one side of the field to the other, not at all master of the situation. , intent on undergoing a sound embarkation.
The one proposed by Visual Concepts is a rigorous, punctual, at times uncompromising simulation. It requires application, method and an above average knowledge of basketball. You make a basket by executing the patterns, knowing your roster perfectly, leveraging the opponent’s weaknesses. You win, just like in real basketball, with the defense, occupying the passing lines, correctly executing the knockouts, only rarely looking for the spectacular steal.
With this year’s edition, it must be said, the discourse becomes slightly more multifaceted. On the one hand, thanks to the wonders of the next-gen, the developers were able create even more fluid, realistic, convincing animations. This does not translate exclusively into an unprecedented scenographic impact, but also in a very explicit game action, easy to understand and interpret. Even beginners will be able to read the game without too much difficulty, appreciating the pace of action slightly tuned upwards compared to the past.
On the other hand, the more experienced will appreciate the two big news this year regarding the gameplay. First of all, the shooting system has been revised, with a simpler bar that clearly and unambiguously signals when to release the button. The defensive pressure and the skill of the player in use will make it more or less easy to stop the indicator at the right time, but a lot will depend on the reflexes of the gamer on duty.
Something similar was also done for the crushed, which can be performed via the right analog stick. Visual Concepts’ choice to make an athletic gesture simple in itself relatively fallible, especially when totally unmarked, arouses some hesitation, but taken the measures with the icon that appears next to the athlete during the jump to the basket, you will discover how satisfying it is to perform in a powerful crush performed perfectly.
Secondly, an even more impactful feature for the purposes of balance in the field, in addition to the common fatigue bar, in NBA 2K22 stamina was introduced, indicator that it will dry up with a certain speed whenever the selected player is called to defend hard or to perform offensive actions. The greater the consumption of stamina, the easier the athlete will make mistakes, thus forcing the user to play much more as a team and to limit individual initiatives.
The proof of the facts, also thanks to the further steps forward made by the physical engine, this year’s edition of the 2K Sports production offers a highly layered gameplay, complex to master properly, very profound. There is still some bizarre behavior of the ball, nor a couple of animations that continue to convince little, but they are still small details, diluted in a structure that tends more and more to perfection.
The many ways to win a ring
Precisely in this regard, even the game modes have received small updates, useful to make the offer more and more complete and intriguing.
MyCareer, to begin with, proposes itself in two different guises depending on the edition chosen. On PlayStation 4 and Xbox One you will take care of every aspect of your player, and the progress of his career, aboard a bizarre cruise ship. On the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series, on the other hand, you will have an entire city to explore, setting full of challenges, daily and non-daily missions, shops where you can buy new clothing for your avatar.
It will be within this virtual scenario that you will direct the career of MP, aspiring star of the NBA, administrator of a YouTube channel that engulfs views and followers at the rate with which the videos that portray his deeds in the playground are uploaded. Diluted through the many events in which you can take part in the city, many of which are optional, you will be able to manage the player’s choices both inside the field, controlling him personally and deciding in some way which team to play, both outside, where you can heal them. the image on social networks.
While the idea of a kind of superstructure to the GTA, with places of interest to reach and many extra activities in between – thanks to a graphics engine clearly not designed for the task, which makes moving unnecessarily cumbersome and slow – we regret the absence of an optional menu that would have eliminated or at least limited dead times.
While there is not as rich a consideration for the WNBA, from this year you can also give life and shape to an athlete who, starting from the draft, will aim to dominate the league for several years. Most of the MyCareer activities are missing, there is no city to explore, but for those who can’t stand certain delays and want to focus only on the game, in this mode they will find everything they need.
If the single season, the play-offs and the quick match have not undergone any changes, for the MyTeam it is worth mentioning the clear intention of the developers to reduce, at least in part, the effectiveness of the pay-to-win. It goes without saying that those who are willing to pay will immediately get hold of the best cards with which to build their dream team, but between daily missions, seasonal events and upgradeable cards by completing small tasks on the playing field, being able to have a roster with which competing is significantly easier and more possible than in the past.
Although even to upgrade the player created through the MyCareer it will still take countless hours of your life, now it is actually much easier to take off various satisfactions by referring exclusively to one’s own abilities.
As for theonline, which obviously embraces almost all of the modalities present in NBA 2K22, thanks to the numerous matches carried out during our tests we have proven the substantial solidity of the infrastructure of 2K Sports, despite some sporadic cases of lag have thrown away complex offensive strategies and granted easy baskets to the opponent.
From a purely graphic point of view, on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X we have witnessed a spectacle bordering on photorealism. Especially in the pre-game stages, the televised set-up of shots and menus gave us the illusion that we had accidentally tuned into ESPN. During the matches, from time to time, the excessive heaviness with which some athletes drag themselves on the field is still revealed, but thanks to the aforementioned greater pace of action, this is also a defect now almost completely disappeared.
While 4K and 60fps are guaranteed on both consoles, only during the exploration phases of the city, we have noticed some small and inexplicable drop in frame-rates on Xbox Series X, seasoned by some annoying bugs.
Still in the field of next-gen features, it is also worth spending a few words on support for the DualSense. If the tactile feedback helps to “feel” the dribble and prove the effectiveness of the defensive pressure, with vibrations that suggest that you are about to lose or steal the ball, the triggers provide a different level of resistance depending on how much stamina is consumed by the player in the sprint phase.
Version reviewed: PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
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