NBA 2K21‘s WNBA mode was barebones, to put it charitably, but 2K and Visual Concepts intend to flesh things out for the follow-up. The developers have detailed improvements to “The W” in NBA 2K22 that address some of the core complaints. Most notably, there’s a new badge-based player progression system that lets you upgrade your MyPlayer creations to match your specialties. It still doesn’t appear to be as sophisticated as the MyCareer mode from 2K21, but it should be more involving.
Off-the-court advancement has received improvements, too. Instead of picking options on a card, there are three playable experiences (scrimmage games, team practices and category-specific contact workouts) to improve your badges. The contact drills will also help you form bonds with WNBA stars, according to 2K.
You’ll also find upgrades to the next-gen-only online mode. You can now hook up with friends before you start matchmaking, and you’ll earn season experience points whenever you play against other people.
As Polygon noted, there are still areas where the WNBA component will be underdeveloped compared to the men’s league. There aren’t mentions of improved team management or options to spend your virtual currency. Like with other sports titles, it could take a while before the modes are on par. The creators are clearly aware they need to catch up, though, and 2K22 appears to be an important first step.
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