The feeling of being in "the zone" for a basketball player is described as "time slowing down to the speed of light."Each and every detail about their opponent stands out to them, and the rim appears to be growing larger and more inviting as the game progresses. Even though NBA 2K22 hasn't quite managed to put me in the zone during my brief time with it thus far, the improved gameplay and greater breadth of content available in this iteration bring the game closer than it has been in previous years. It feels like a breath of fresh air, with significant changes to how stamina affects shooting, as well as a City filled with diverse ways to improve your MyPlayer character.
Both myself and the rest of the NBA 2K community are still in the early stages of getting to know this latest installment in the franchise, having only played it for a single day on the PlayStation 5. I haven't put in the time to learn all of its ins and outs yet, so it's difficult to predict how well it will perform over time at this point. While certain aspects of Visual Concepts' latest installment stand out to me as a long-time player, there are some aspects that have already caught my attention.
A number of significant changes have been made to the on-court action in Cheap NBA 2K22 MT, which helps it to play more realistically. The most notable of these is the way the game handles stamina loss while dribbling. In 2K21, it was simple to sprint at a defender on the perimeter, hit a Curry slide, and drain a three-pointer without breaking a sweat. That tactic was nearly indefensible against the CPU, especially in MyTeam, where player cards were quickly made ridiculously overpowered by the game's designers. With 2K22, you can still use such tactics, but the stamina loss you suffer from sprinting and performing dribble moves is significantly increased in order to counteract their effectiveness.
When fatigue is effectively managed, a playstyle emerges that is more realistic than 2K21 was ever.
As your player becomes more fatigued, their shot meter will decrease, making it more difficult for them to hit the target. Because of the larger shot meter, the game appears to be slower at first glance when compared to NBA 2K21. However, if you play with more control and don't just hold the sprint button, you'll actually have an easier time putting the ball in the basket. It may not appear to be a significant change at first glance, but it results in a gameplay experience that is more realistic than 2K21's.
I'm interested in seeing how the new Draft mode works.
I haven't had a chance to play much of the new Draft mode yet, but it appears to be a promising addition that will hopefully make up for the multiplayer shortcomings. In order to get started with MyTeam, I recommend that you first focus on the single-player content, and then you can progress to the online mode if you so desire.
The MyPlayer mode in NBA 2K22 is a fantastic addition, thanks to Visual Concepts' inclusion of a plethora of entertaining activities. From there, you can explore The City, completing quests and interacting with NPCs... such as Jake from the State Farm insurance company. In this absurd world, your soon-to-be pro baller can simply skateboard around to his heart's content (complete with ludicrous skating physics), go to the gym for some weightlifting mini-games, and then get into a 3-on-3 game against other elite players to burn off some steam. So far, the story mode appears to have been scaled back in comparison to last year, but it is still early and it is impossible to predict how some of the off-court action will affect the mode in the coming months.
The first few hours of playing NBA 2K22 have convinced me that the game will be a significant step forward after the disappointing release of NBA 2K21 earlier this month. As it is, I am still in the early stages of my experience with the game, and my opinions may change as I learn more about what has and hasn't changed. However, I am optimistic that the gameplay tweaks I've already come to appreciate, as well as the numerous options Visual Concepts has provided me to take advantage of them, will hold up over time. The full review and score will be posted on Monday, April 15.