In an iconic moment in the original Jurassic Park film, the inimitable Jeff Goldblum, as Dr. Ian Malcolm critiques the entire endeavor by declaring that the park’s scientists “were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Now, he may have been talking about recreating dinosaurs from a strand of their ancient DNA, but he could have just as well have been discussing developers of NBA 2K22 and The City within MyCareer on next-gen consoles. The implementation of a huge urban landscape to serve as the central hub for the mode can’t help but be impressive from a design and innovation standpoint. However, it only takes a little bit of navigating from point A to point B to find a specific court or establishment before you start to question whether the amount of time it takes to get anywhere is worth the scenery throughout The City.
No matter which side you might stand on in terms of whether The City is a godsend or an abomination, you’ll likely concede that there are some areas of its construction and layout that could use some improvement for NBA 2K23 and beyond. For every argument that The City is an entirely useless enterprise though, there are potential solutions that could help to alleviate the specific concern and bring out the best of the environment.
Let’s go over some of the most common complaints lobbed at The City from the community and how 2K developers could address those issues and get the place functioning like a proper metropolis of basketball.
NBA 2K The City Improvements
Commuting Is Boring
The Problem: For anyone who already spends too much time commuting around a city in real life when going to and from work and various activities, the prospect of devoting any free time to traveling around The City in NBA 2K22 seems downright ludicrous. If you want to complete the various missions that are a huge part of the MyCareer mode though, you’ll have to be willing to endure whatever chunk of time it takes to get from one part of the city to the other.
To this end, the various vehicles that you can either purchase or collect as season rewards are indispensable, or you can always use the complimentary skateboard that the game provides every player once they arrive in The City. (Sad fact: I spent way too much time running around the city to complete all of my tasks before realizing that there was in fact that complimentary skateboard that I should be using instead.)
The Solution: To help alleviate some of the tedium that accompanies any long trips from one end of the city to another, there’s a clear need for some kind of mass transit system (light rail above the city sounds nice, perhaps a monorail) that can get you where you need to go a little quicker. In a perfect world, this would allow you the convenience of selecting and arriving at specific areas all over The City in a flash.
Once you unlocked the penthouse as your home within The City in NBA 2K22, it did give you access to a handy zip-line that allowed you to drop into any of the four team affiliation courts, but this wasn’t all that valuable whenever you found yourself far away from your fancy abode. The other option to help solve the problem would be to equip people with a faster vehicle from the outset that facilitated jetting around from place to place, though it’s hard to imagine a world where 2K didn’t require you to shell out a hefty amount of VC in order to be able to unlock this.
There Are So Many Useless Buildings & Empty Space
The Problem: To try to make The City feel more alive in its second year of existence, NBA 2K22 developers decided to add a number of NPC characters throughout its streets and parks. While this was a smart idea to assist in bringing some life to what could be a surprisingly empty and static place, there continues to be an issue with how many of The City’s buildings and spaces remain inaccessible spaces that seem to exist only to add to the scope and size of the layout. It makes it even more difficult to want to travel around and see the sights of the city when so few of the structures contain anything that you might want to stop off and visit while you’re headed somewhere else.
The Solution: The general task for developers, as daunting as it might sound, is to inject some excitement into the corners and side streets of The City that currently don’t have a whole lot going on. This means more types of courts, more challenges, and more buildings that you can enter and find fun activities that you would actually want to do. There are a ton of different directions that they could choose to take these diversions, from free throw or dunk contests against former NBA players to regularly updated NBA trivia sessions. Considering how expensive everything is throughout this city, it’d be nice if these could also provide some welcome chances to win VC so that there are more ways to collect the kind of coin needed to purchase all of the shoes, clothes, and other fun toys.
Hard To Find A Game At The Courts
The Problem: For as long as parks have been around in NBA 2K, there has been the accompanying problem of solo players trying to find a court with teammates and opponents within a reasonable amount of time. It’s not uncommon to spend as long as it would take you to play a game or two waiting for a couple of people who are willing to make the same leap of faith of playing with random players.
Even when you do manage to find a couple of brave souls willing to give it a go, you’ll be hard-pressed to develop viable chemistry and cohesion as a unit when you’re liable to be up against a seasoned squad with a 6-game winning streak. They’re likely to quickly dismantle you in a way that leaves you wondering why you even bothered to waste that much time trying to find a game in the first place.
The Solution: Fortunately, the addition of the No-Squads Old Gym in NBA 2K22 at least reduced the amount of time and frustration involved in finding a game when you’re in a hurry. It’s been enough of a success that it would seem like a no-brainer to use the same kind of matchmaking for solo park players who don’t mind playing alongside whoever else happens to be around at the time. Squads could continue to be the kings of these courts if they play together often, but at least then those who are more casual players will find the parks to be a little more accessible instead of a place to avoid while on the way to the Old Gym.
In fact, they could eliminate the desire for solo players to frequent the park if they would just make the amount of season XP comparable to what you can earn for playing the same games in the park instead of shortchanging those who prefer the ease of the Old Gym.
Takes Too Long To Progress Skills And Season Levels
The Problem: Everyone starts out as a 60 OVR scrub in NBA 2K22, but naturally nobody wants to stay that incompetent loser for very long. To ensure that you’re not at a huge competitive disadvantage in online play against anyone who’s already progressed to become a high 90 overall, there’s the overwhelming desire to get better as soon as humanly possible. Unfortunately, significant improvements won’t happen rapidly if you choose to use only VC that you earn through playing games either online or offline, and you’ll inevitably be enticed to buy VC to expedite the process.
Similarly, the ascent to to the peak of level 40 within the length of a season in order to unlock the best possible rewards (like premium vehicles and attire) happens at such a glacial pace that you can easily get discouraged enough to lose sight of the goal entirely and give up.
The Solution: If NBA 2K is going to insist on making the process of acquiring VC so tedious (unless you want to spend some money on it of course), the least they could do is provide some courts exclusively for people to play on who have lower overall ratings. By designating specific areas of The City where you can play games against others without feeling the frustrations that accompany someone possessing substantially inferior ratings, it would help quell the need to become a basketball god as soon as you get the game.
As far as climbing levels over the course of a season goes, it would be helpful to have more special events throughout the week that would create the opportunity to exponentially increase the season XP you earn. For that matter, any addition of rewards you can unlock or obtain that allow you to double (or triple) the amount of XP (like more XP coins) you receive after games would help the grind become increasingly tolerable.
Everything Is Too Expensive
The Problem: NBA 2K wants to make as much money as possible from microtransactions and not so gently persuades you to spend stacks of VC on animations, clothes, and vehicles. Between having to shell out VC on making your player better on the court and ensuring they’re also looking respectable when they’re out on the town, there’s the pervasive sense that you’re perpetually being coaxed into buying the VC using real money.
The Solution: Uh, end capitalism? Can I pass on this one? Okay, hard pass. No solution here.