The game developers do deserve somewhat of a pass, as next-gen consoles were released in the middle of 2K21's cycle. But regardless, gamers will be looking for many changes still to be made for NBA 2K22.
Among the changes already highlighted by developers and fans alike are the major improvements made to defence. Whether you're on-ball at the perimeter, or off-ball as the paint/rim protector, NBA 2K22's revamped defence should make it more realistic than ever before to lock down your opponent.
NBA 2K22 on-ball defence - new features
One of the major focuses of the 2K Sports motion team was to improve the feel of on-ball defensive movement. Anticipating well and being in the correct defensive positions will be rewarded more than ever before thanks to new changes to the 2K22 defence.
Unrealistic “bump steals” and body-ups have been reduced in favour of giving both the ball handler and on-ball defender more freedom of movement. Shifts, launches, stops, and cuts will all feel much tighter. And with new next-gen foot-planting improvements, gamers will be doing a lot less sliding on both ends of the floor.
Steals also received upgrades with a greater emphasis placed on the steal attribute rating. Low-rated stealers have more sluggish animations that punish them when they reach, while high-rated stealers (with good timing and opportunity) will be able to pickpocket at a much higher rate.
NBA 2K22 off-ball defence - new features
The new defensive AI was one of the keys to improving off-ball defense in 2K22. Certain legacy issues were addressed through complete and thorough rewrites of almost all of the major defensive systems in the game.
Thanks to a re-work of the fundamental defensive rotations, gamers now have the ability to have both single and double rotations to take away first or second passing lanes once help defence is triggered. Defensive AI now has the ability to anticipate certain play actions like down-screens. When the AI properly detects these situations the off-ball defender can now go into a chase defensive technique.
The last major change to defence is the cutter help defensive system, which helps fill in defensive gaps and sends help anytime a player has a clear path to the rim. This system can pick up that cutter and send a rotation defender to cover the helper when possible.
All of the defensive improvements should help add up to the most comprehensive and immersive NBA basketball title to date. Make sure to stay tuned with our entire 2K22 tab as we approach September's release.