NBA 2K22 MyPlayer Review – PS5
NBA 2K games have been consistent greatness in gaming every year. Ever since the addition of The Neighborhood, it hasn’t looked back as one of the top sports games that continuously shines. This year on next-gen consoles they added “The City” to MyPlayer a much larger more in-depth mode. But did they focus too much on this feature? Let’s continue.
I’ve been struggling to try to find a way to break things down and how to get my thoughts down on so many different things that The City gives to the gamers. I decided to split this up into segments and will bold the title of the section so if someone would like to check out certain areas, you won’t need to skim through to find what you’re looking for.
In the last few years, we covered NBA 2K22 the story has been exceptional. In last year’s game NBA 2K21, the story was riveting. You were a great basketball player, living in your father’s shadow and it was up to you to break through that wall and become your own player. Jesse Williams added to the cast and gave some amazing depth to the acting and bringing the story right up in your face.
This year’s however just seem to fall flat for me. Maybe it wasn’t just for me, there are some that may enjoy the story. I hate to ruin it, so I’ll leave out the major details. You start off as a YouTuber who I guess makes videos, you really just have to accept it because you don’t get to see what videos you made or really understand what they were, besides everyone loves them and you have over 2 million subscribers because of it. There’s no drama or real reason for you to really want to do anything. Your first decision is to either go to college, join the G-League, or go straight into the NBA. Each having its own benefits and drawbacks. I chose college, busted my ass, won the Championship, did the draft combine, and got the #1 draft pick! Great right? No, because the Detroit Pistons drafted me and they aren’t good at all. I have nothing against them, but we went like 0-12 before we finally beat the Kings (my favorite team). It was very, very frustrating.
Another major decision is what agent you want, this was also a factor last year to figure out what the pros and cons to each one are. I was kind of torn last year, this year the choices were too simple. Do you only want to play basketball? Or do you want to try to experience everything else they put into the game this year?. Such as starting a fashion line or your own music label. All of which sounds fun, but damn is it a chore and you really don’t see a huge benefit to it early on. I don’t want to talk about VC yet, but storywise, it could really use some work.
For example for music, you eventually get in a studio to lay down some bars, your player will say something, then you get 4 options to choose from that would make the best rhyme. There is no hint or idea which one would be best. You just see the reactions from the booth if they were worthwhile or not. I really hated that. If I have level 4 music, you’d think I’d know enough to make a decent rhyme, not just be blindsided with not even knowing what’s going on.
Most NBA 2K games lack guidance for new players or players who may not be hardcore NBA 2K players. You’re really at a handicap if you aren’t grinding this game. I would love a tutorial. Like “Hey you made a player really focused on defense! Let’s show you some moves and see if you’d like to continue with this build”. Or something to tell you how to do certain shots or moves. Sure the drills kind of help. But I would LOVE to see the stick movements on the screen because sometimes the descriptions just don’t help at all.
The City is huge compared to The Neighborhood in the last two years of NBA 2K. It is also only available on next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. It is huge, and there’s a lot to do. It’s actually fairly overwhelming, especially since nothing is explained to you at all. You do get a skateboard you can make your travels a bit quicker throughout your time in The City.
When I say there’s a lot to do, there’s A LOT to do. There are shops you can deck out your MyPlayer in, you can get new clothes, new skateboards, bikes, in-line skates, hell even go-carts. Most of the shops are clothes and skins for your accessories or modes of transportation. Again all of the shops will use VC, which I will get to later in this article.
There aren’t a lot of courts if you’re used to The Neighborhood where the courts almost take up half of the online area. In The City, you’re surrounded by buildings (most are useless), and though there are courts, they seemed to be not as full as in The Neighborhood. But again, you’re wandering around all over the place trying to get some work done. Oh and there’s a ton of work.
By work I mean quests, they added a ton of quests for you to do too. Some will net you XP, some will get you some new clothes, skills, alternate skills (such as fashion, music, corporate, etc), even MVP points. MVP points will allow you to level up to around The City, the higher the points the more you get to unlock. Some MVP points are as simple as skateboarding certain distances or wearing a businesses shirt around the city to promote it. Sometimes it’s a bit more skill involved, like winning 5 matches on Adidas’ court or working out and getting three stars at the Gatorade gym. These will take up more time but net more rewards. Some even giving VC. For the hardcore NBA 2K22 players, this will help give a break in between heated matches. For the casual gamers, it may be a bit much, and not really helpful for someone who only has an hour or so to play every so often, and some quests are on 24-hour timers.
The City overall felt like they were just adding things just to add them. I feel like quests could have been thought out more. Music quests became repetitive. Quests to win 5 games on a court where no one plays was also rough. I think it would have been much smoother if they offered a much better tutorial. Like if you had your friend or an NBA player walk you around the city, showing off the sites, landmarks, and things would have been so much better.
The gameplay of NBA 2K22 is the same as you expect every year. Timing and knowing your character is VERY important. You absolutely need to know how to be your character. Not a big surprise. I would definitely recommend playing through the NBA a bit and training off courts to understand how to do certain moves. For me, it was the floater and trying to do the Euro-step. It was a nightmare to learn for me somehow. But once you get it down, take it to the streets, or the warehouse and get some 3 on 3 on. I will tell you this, in my experience, people love playing 3 point shooters, they don’t seem to care for defense or rebounding. So if you build a solid rebounder who can dish them the ball, people will be wanting to play with you because it makes them look good. There’s been a few times where I get friend requested after games because I played my position and didn’t ball hog. Of course, you can have multiple characters, and like I mentioned earlier, just jump straight into the NBA if you don’t care to play the build-up and just want to get Ballin.
Here it is, VC. NBA 2K22’s Virtual Currency. The driving force of almost everything you want to buy, from clothes, new vehicles, and the biggest thing…stats. There are two ways in building currency; grinding it out playing games either single-player or online, or using actual real money to buy chunks of VC. Though you aren’t required to spend extra money to get VC, it almost feels forced at times depending on what you want to do. This is probably my biggest issue with NBA 2K22, which is that to unlock the full potential, you feel like you need to buy VC. Though I did say you can grind it out, let me give you an example.
When I was playing, like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to play the new features. I wanted to see how the fashion and music stuff worked. Fashion is VERY VC heavy. You’ll need to start buying clothes and shoes to build that stat. After buying clothes you’ll need to go on catwalks and such to be able to level it up. Maybe it’s the unbalancing of the whole VC and purchases. I was the #1 draft pick, playing NBA games, but playing a single game will not net you enough VC to be able to buy a shirt. Add that to the top of should I even be doing these quests spending VC to complete the quests, when I could be adding it to my player to actually be better. It was frustrating when I could get more VC by playing, but if I don’t invest it in my player and invest it elsewhere it just felt demoralizing. Again, this was just my experience, if you grind it out first, your experience may be different.
NBA 2K22 MyPlayer is a decent entry in the yearly 2K drops. I do wish there were a bit more tutorials to explain more of The City and help learn your player better. The story this year was its weakest in recent memory. Also, the VC balancing needs some work, that or lower the price of the game if you’re going to use it as a core game mechanic.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for review is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. All opinions therein are from the author alone.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+ The City is huge with a lot to do
+ Same NBA 2K gameplay you expect every year
+ Next-Gen Graphics are damn good
+ Options to go to college, G-League, or NBA directly with MyPlayer
+ New avenues for your character, such as Music or Fashion
- The City and quests are missing substance. Like quests were almost an afterthought.
- VC balancing is not good at all. Making it difficult for casual ballers
- Story is the worst in years. No depth or connection with the character
- Music and fashion need to be deeper, it feels very shallow just speaking with a character then needing to go talk with another. Very repetitive.