This year's campaign, known as The Long Shadow, is a gigantic disappointment. It is unfortunate that almost everything outside of the on-court experience pales in comparison. Throughout the past several years, I have found myself looking forward to the MyCareer campaigns at the NBA 2K series. They are generally glistening, well-written in spurts, and include an enjoyable cast. However, this year's campaign, called The Long Shadow, is a colossal disappointment. The story follows Junior, a promising young talent playing in the shadow of his deceased dad.
In between his trip from high school play into the NBA Draft, The Long Shadow spends hardly any time developing any of its dull characters and too much exploring Junior's college love, in which he chases after his girlfriend to announce his love like something out of a Hallmark movie. It is too bad, since the assumption might have been genuinely affecting, but it's far too disjointed and shallow for The Long Shadow to be anything but an excuse to play with a few games at a college uniform. It is nice seeing some form of college sports at a video game again, but that is about it. Luckily, there is an choice 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 dreadful microtransactions that infest its every corner. The Neighborhood, a free-roam area where you are able to play pick on line games and produce character alterations, is now set in Venice Beach. The change of setting is nice, especially because you spend so much time. The colours are brilliant, the courts look excellent, and there is something soothing about the cool blue background. I had a lot of fun traveling the area, buying new gear for my created player, and participating in pick-up games. As good as it is to explore the more romantic space The Neighborhood supplies, it mostly contains exactly the same elements from the past year's game. It looks different, however there is not much new to do.
However, naturally, ignoring the microtransactions is easier said than done, because NBA 2K22 won't allow you to look away from its monetization train wreck. Everything you do in MyCareer involves Virtual Currency (VC), from character updates to attire purchases and haircuts. Being able to compete at a top level in The Neighborhood requires updated attributes, and while you can eventually earn the VC to purchase those free of charge, it would take a painfully long moment. There are a handful of ways to get VC, like playing games with your NBA team, meeting daily goals, and in-game exemptions - however it is inadequate. It is actually a shame that the mode revolves around pre-tax money, because MyCareer has much potential as a deep create-a-player mode... if only the grinding were a little less tedious.
MyTeam still compels you into picking between grinding out mundane tasks or depositing out actual cash for VC. Luckily, MyTeam has at least ditched its horrible casino aesthetic from last year, but it still forces you in making a choice between grinding out boring tasks or shelling out real money for the VC, which can be used to advance players or purchase packs to unlock additional. There does appear to be an emphasis on customization for MyTeam this season: now you can choose different ability paths for your development cards, such as focusing on athleticism or playmaking, which ought to help guide players to better fit under my personal playing style. MyTeam has also added a"seasonal" component that will supposedly add new modes as they unfold. As it stands at launch, however, MyTeam desperately requires a couple more enjoyable techniques to grind outside team improvements and cards.
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