In between his trip from high school drama to the NBA 2K22 MT Draft, The Long Shadow spends very little time developing any of its uninteresting characters and also much investigating Junior's college love, in which he chases after his girlfriend to announce his love like something from a Hallmark movie. It's too bad, since the premise might have been really affecting, but it is far too disjointed and shallow for Your Long Shadow to be anything but an excuse to play with a few games in a college uniform. It is nice seeing some type of college sports in a video game again, but that's about it. Luckily, there's an option to skip the narrative 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 region where you are able to play pick-up online games and produce character modifications, is currently set in Venice Beach. The change of setting is nice, especially since you spend so much time there. The colors are brilliant, the courts appear excellent, and there's something soothing about the cool blue backdrop. I had a lot of fun touring the area, purchasing new gear for my established player, and participating in pick-up games. As nice as it is to research the more romantic space The Neighborhood supplies, it mostly contains exactly the very same elements from the past year's game. It seems different, but there isn't much new to do.
But 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 that you do in MyCareer involves Virtual Currency (VC), from personality upgrades to attire buys and haircuts. Being in a position to compete at a high level in The Neighborhood requires updated attributes, and as you can eventually earn the VC to purchase those for free, it would take a painfully long moment. At least there are a handful of ways to acquire VC, such as playing games with your NBA team, meeting daily objectives, and in-game endorsements - but it is inadequate. It is actually a shame the mode revolves round paid-for currency, since MyCareer has much potential as a deep create-a-player mode... if just the grinding were a little less tedious.
MyTeam still compels you in picking between grinding out mundane tasks or depositing out real cash for VC. Thankfully, MyTeam has at least ditched its dreadful casino aesthetic from last year, but it still forces you into making a decision between grinding out boring tasks or shelling out real cash for the VC, which can be used to progress players or purchase packs to unlock additional. There does seem to be an emphasis on customization for MyTeam this year: you can now choose different ability paths for your development cards, such as focusing on athleticism or playmaking, which should help direct players to better match under my personal playing style. NBA 2K22 MT Coins has also added a"seasonal" component that will allegedly add new ways as they unfold. As it stands at start, however, MyTeam desperately requires a few more enjoyable ways to grind out team cards and improvements.