One reason the lack of NBA 2K22 MT is so frustrating is that a handful of legacy issues remain stubbornly present. One of the most aggravating, especially when playing against a different person offline or online, is how clumsy post-play is. On the flip side, it is far too easy to get the ball into the paint. Outside awkward plays where the ball only strikes the back of a defender, passes almost always reach the interior without a lot of disturbance. Even more bothersome is that once the ball reaches the post, the startup animations is much too slow and lacks urgency. Rather than simply going right to the hoop for an easy dunk or layup, players can sluggishly move toward the basket or awkwardly hurl up a shot from just a few feet away. When there is open space between the participant and the basket, the player must always go directly to the basket. In NBA 2K22, that's rarely true.
NBA 2K22 does such a good job of looking like a game of NBA basketball that if things go awry, it is really jarring. Then there is the CPU's mishandling of things associated with clock management, which still happens constantly. For instance, sometimes a player will hold on the ball free of urgency, five feet out from the three-point line as the clock ticks down. Occasionally, for no reason, the CPU will take the ball and walk into the backcourt for a breach. Another problem I noticed is that players frequently behave strangely in transition. Whether it be someone slowing down (even if they have a numbers advantage) for no reason, or three-point shooters collapsing in by the arc and hammering the interior, there is often no logic as to the A.I. decision making in transition drama.
Similarly, the CPU is often much too aggressive on dual teams, which makes it much too easy to find open teammates. This has been an issue for several years, and it is maddening that it stays so apparent. NBA 2K22 does such a good job of appearing like a game of NBA basketball that if things go awry like this, it is really jarring.That said, spacing was enhanced generally, and I discovered that non-controlled players behave more realistically off the chunk. I had a good deal of fun finding open teammates as they curled around displays, made strong cuts into the basket, or slunk out quietly to the baseline for a corner three-point shot. Especially in online play, I was delighted to find my A.I. teammates creating space for themselves and creating room for celebrities such as Giannis Antetokounmpo to isolate with more effectiveness. It is touches like this that let NBA 2K22 do a fantastic job of emulating a real game of basketball, for the most part.
This year's effort, called The Long Shadow, is a gigantic disappointment. It is unfortunate that nearly everything outside the on-court experience pales in comparison. Throughout the past several years, I've found myself awaiting the MyCareer campaigns at the NBA 2K series. They are usually polished, well-written in spurts, and feature an enjoyable cast. However, this year's effort, known as The Long Shadow, is a gigantic disappointment. The story follows Junior, a promising young talent playing in the shadow of his deceased dad.
In between his trip out of high school drama into the NBA Draft, The Long Shadow spends very little time developing any of its uninteresting characters and too much exploring Junior's college love, in which he chases after his girlfriend to announce his love just like something out of a Hallmark film. It's too bad, because the premise might have been genuinely affecting, but it is far too disjointed and shallow for Your Long Shadow to become anything but an excuse to play with a few games at a school uniform. It is nice seeing some form of college sports at a video game, but that's about it. Thankfully, there's an option to skip the story and head straight to the NBA Draft.
The rest of the MyCareer mode is really good if you can ignore the horrible microtransactions that infest its every corner. The Neighborhood, a free-roam area where you can play pick-up online matches and produce character modifications, is currently set in Venice Beach. The change of setting is fine, particularly since you spend so much time there. The colors are vibrant, the courts look great, and there is something soothing about the trendy blue background. I had a whole lot of fun touring the area, buying new gear for my established player, and participating in pick-up games. As nice as it is to explore the more intimate space The Neighborhood provides, it mostly includes exactly the same elements from last year's game. It looks different, but there is not much new to do.
However, of course, ignoring the microtransactions is simpler said than done, since NBA 2K22 won't allow you to look away from its monetization train wreck. Everything you do in MyCareer involves Virtual Currency (VC), from personality upgrades to attire buys and haircuts. Being able to compete at a high level in The Area requires updated attributes, and as you can eventually earn the VC to buy those for free, it might take a long moment. At least there are a couple of ways to get VC, like playing games with your NBA team, meeting daily goals, and in-game exemptions - however it's inadequate. It is actually a shame the manner revolves around pre-tax money, because MyCareer has so much potential as a profound create-a-player mode... if only the grinding were somewhat less tedious.
MyTeam still compels you into picking between grinding out boring jobs or depositing out real cash for VC. Luckily, MyTeam has at least ditched its horrible casino aesthetic from last year, but it still forces you into making a choice between grinding out mundane tasks or shelling out real money for your VC, which may be utilized to advance players or purchase packs to unlock additional. There does seem to be an emphasis on personalization for MyTeam this year: you can now choose different skill paths for your evolution cards, such as focusing on athleticism or playmaking, which should help guide players to better match under my individual playing style. MyTeam has also added a"seasonal" component that will supposedly add new modes as they unfold. As it stands at start, however, MyTeam Buy NBA 2K22 MT needs a few more enjoyable ways to grind outside team cards and improvements.