NBA 2K22 PlayStation 4 Review

NBA 2K22 is a nice addition to the franchise even though PlayStation 4 players get the shorter straw in terms of content.

By RON, Posted 20 Sep 2021

In this life, we can be certain of three things: death, taxes, and the annual release of the most recent installments of sports franchises, like FIFA, Madden, and NBA. And whilst most of these changes tend to be somewhat cosmetic, aside from some tweaks now and then, NBA 2K22 is met with a new generation of consoles. And, with that, the version designed for last-gen consoles feels more like the little brother who only gets handouts and the leftovers of his current-gen counterpart. Is NBA 2K22 for the PS4 a good NBA game? Yes, but it has suffered a big disservice along the way. Let us see why.


NBA 2K22, Review, 2K Sports, 2K Games, Gameplay, Screenshots, Neighborhood, Cheerleaders, MyPlayer, NBA League
 

NBA 2K22 received a major update in terms of gameplay and IA, especially in terms of defense. Visual Concepts aimed to develop a game more balanced towards defensive players. This is even more noticeable when we take a look at the overhaul to the offensive controls, like the much-criticized new shooting mechanic, in which the player may choose to do it pressing a button, with a lower chance of scoring, or by using both sticks. One stick is used for direction while the other is used to fill up a power bar. In this sense, the game is leaving behind the autopilot mode and rewarding skilled players. This is also true for dribbling, which requires concentration, skill, and a very hands-on approach.

Visually the game is impressive, with a major cosmetic update from its predecessor. However, this change is not as obvious for the PS4 version as it is for the PS5 game, which is a true shame, as the game offers impressive renditions of famous NBA players. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said by the public during matches, as they, as they often tend to be, are just copy-pasted models with slight changes in appearance. On the other hand, music is still as good as always. 2K Beats, as the soundtrack is called, consists of a very impressive musical selection, with an emphasis on independent artists, which is noteworthy as not only does it give a major platform to these emerging musicians, but it also adds freshness to the game’s ambient. A win-win-win scenario.


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Now for the elephant in the room, the city mode vs the neighborhood mode. In NBA 2K21 we got to take a first look at the City, a new model that fell flat the first time around. Now, the City has become the focal point of the career mode. The main story of the career mode takes place in its entirety within the limits of the City, and as your character progresses, so will your house and your mingling with the worlds of music and fashion. This transforms NBA 2K22 into an open-world sandbox that can only be described as a proper NBA simulator or NBA: the game if you will. That is if you own the PS5/PC/Xbox Series X version. If you, instead, have the PS4 version, your experience will be vastly different, as the career mode is deeply intertwined with the City mode, which is absent from this version of the game.

Instead, last-gen players get to play a revamped version of the Neighborhood but this time, the neighborhood is not on firm land but aboard a basketball-themed cruise ship and most of the gameplay takes place on the high seas. It may sound weird, but it is pretty refreshing that games like these, so obviously most of the time, take risks and offer a refreshing experience. This basketball luxurious yacht has 5 levels, which can be navigated guided by Heather, an NPC that will offer insights and tutorials on how the ship works. Deck 4 houses the lobby; deck 8 houses MyCourt, your home base which you will be able to customize and decorate with different murals, redesigning the court or even changing the scoreboard. Here you will also find the Pro-am matches and the training facilities for the team.


NBA 2K22, Review, 2K Sports, 2K Games, Gameplay, Screenshots, Neighborhood, Cheerleaders, MyPlayer, Press
 

Deck 14 is interesting as it entertains in the form of restaurants and, well, gambling. Because no cruise ship is free of gambling, and it wouldn’t be an EA game without rewards and incentives for microtransactions. But we will get to that. Aside from daily rewards, restaurants will also offer bonuses and boosters, which is a nice addition to immersion. Now for Deck 15, here you will find courts for 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 games, as well as the Gatorade gym, with everything you need to keep yourself in shape.

Now for the seasonal content, this will come in the shape of in-land tours. The ship will reach different ports, and each offers famous tropical locations throughout the year. Rewards, events, and everything you need to keep yourself coming back to check the new content available. This in turn is also an interesting take on seasonal content but feels a bit out of place for a sports game.

Back to other games modes, it is worth noting MyTeam, a card collection mode in which players will be able to create their dream team, with current players as well as from past eras. NBA’s take on FIFA’s Ultimate Team.  There is also a sub-mode called MyTeam Draft, in which we receive 7 booster packs from which we must select 13 players, an interesting take in which luck and strategy intermingle. This game mode can be a blast for those with a collector mindset or a total nightmare for those who dread FOMO.



 

Finally, we get MyNBA, the game mode in which we get to see the big picture and manage not only a custom team but the whole league. This game mode is created with every single detail in mind, from the configuration of the conferences to the selection of our team’s uniform, its governor, MyStaff, where we can select every single person in charge of the training and general wellbeing of our athletes, with intricate skills, options, and subsystems that will quench the thirst of the most dedicated and controlling players.

NBA 2K22 is a nice addition to the franchise and, while PlayStation 4 players get the shorter straw in terms of content, it is still a good opportunity to test the improved mechanics of this long-lasting staple of sports games.
 

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

NBA 2K22

78/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): 2K Games, 2K Sports
Developer(s): Visual Concepts
Genres: Sports
Themes: Basketball, Simulation
Release Date: 2021-09-10

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