My expectation for this NBA 2K22 review was that it would be a difficult experience. I was not disappointed. The people who are most critical of each NBA 2K installment are also the ones who return first every year, which is well known in the NBA 2K community. It's a well-known fact in the industry. They have become all too familiar with the criticisms leveled at them by their most ardent supporters over the years, as they have established an annual tradition of churning out the same half-baked gameplay year after year, albeit with a different number at the end of it. Despite the fact that NBA 2K22 is by no means a perfect game, I am pleased to report that it represents a significant departure from the franchise's previous formula and represents a significant step forward in the right direction for the franchise.
No matter how much nostalgia influences our opinions of previous NBA 2K games (your favorite 2K is almost certainly the one on which you first started playing with your friends), NBA 2K22 is unquestionably superior to the previous few installments in the franchise. NBA 2K22 does not reinvent the wheel in the traditional sense, but it does an excellent job of getting the fundamentals of the game right. Despite the fact that it is not without flaws, the latest iteration of the game from developer Visual Concepts feels like some of the routine criticisms have finally been heard, resulting in the best basketball game we have seen in years, if not decades.
First and foremost, the improved gameplay in NBA 2K22 Battle Pass by Visual Concepts feels significantly more skill-based than the game's predecessor, which is a welcome development. Things like losing a game because of a last-second move from one baseline to another, or the algorithm seemingly at random deciding that your critical uncontested 3 should not go in, appear to be a thing of the past.
In addition, the haptic feedback provided by the DualSense makes it feel significantly more substantial when playing on the defensive end of the court as well. You will receive pushback if you press or hold any of the buttons as a result of backing down opponents and posting up your opponents. The shoulder buttons on your controller may even tighten without your input when you switch to a player who is defending against a more dominant opponent when you switch to that player. The precision and timing required for things like alley-oops and ball-handling are now far greater than they were previously, and there are a slew of new signature dribble moves to experiment with.
While playing, the defensive AI is revealed to be quite ruthless, as evidenced by its actions. When the All-Star difficulty is enabled, the computer-based players move more quickly and can read the majority of players more easily, to the point where it becomes nearly impossible to score on the court when the computer-based players are enabled. Although it is unclear how the new shot contesting system will function in practice, the developers claim that the influx of new block animations is a lot of fun to use when on defense.
The overall quality of the gameplay has been significantly improved as a result of the addition of all of the new animations. Clearly, today's stars are different versions of themselves; for example, Luka Doncic moves on offense in the same manner as Luka Doncic moves in real life, rather than like some generic point guard. These game-changing additions contribute to the impression that NBA 2K22 is a completely new game, one that is well-suited for ushering in the Next Generation of basketball games.
My initial impressions of the new shot meter were decidedly negative, to put it mildly. My initial impressions were that it was an extremely stupid and overly-sized game when I first opened it and looked at it were correct. I was completely correct. After spending more time with it, as is customary with all of these sports-themed video games, I've begun to get used to it and have come to appreciate the advantages of having a larger shot meter. In the first place, it shrinks as your player's fatigue level increases, which is an interesting take on that aspect of basketball from the standpoint of the game's mechanics.