NBA 2K22 has been out for just one week, and something has already become abundantly clear about how things turned out on current gen.
While The City is a major boon on next gen, the lack of it is leaving current gen players behind and NBA 2K22 desperately needs to find a way to remedy it.
NBA 2K22: The City is a revelation, but only on Next Gen
While there were big improvements to core gameplay and polishing in various other game modes, nothing in NBA 2K22 stands out as more of a triumph than The City.
The City is full of exciting events and challenges, and as a result it's turned MyCAREER into something completely unique compared to recent years.
They're even dropping new music with a temporary in-game XP boost via a night club in The City, but once again it's another improvement current gen players won't see.
If you haven't been lucky enough to get an Xbox Series X|S or PS5, either because you can't afford it or due to the rampant supply chain issues keeping them out of stock, apparently none of these great features are for you.
MyCAREER is ruined without The City
While The City was given what amounts to a trial run in NBA 2K21 launching on Next Gen last year, it's the integration with MyCAREER in NBA 2K22 that has taken everything to the next level.
Players get to wrap their entire MyCAREER experience into The City with intriguing quests giving them challenges as varied as picking the right agency to tackling an important interview advancing your NBA career or your interests off the court with music and fashion.
These situations provide choices for players on next gen, but those choices have been stripped away from Current Gen, and instead, a husk of MyCAREER remains.
2K explained during the buildup to launch that current gen players on Xbox One, PS4, and PC would instead be getting a traditional narrative MyCAREER experience akin to previous years.
That's technically true, but the part that was omitted is that the MyCAREER experience on Current Gen is just a stripped-down version of the next gen story.
They've re-used all of the cutscenes and story, but whenever you're at a point where you'd normally get to make a decision (i.e. choosing an agency) the game just makes one for you, as one of them is usually more interconnected with The City.
MyPLAYER Builder also got left behind on Current Gen
They've also introduced a new MyPLAYER Builder on next gen, which on paper is absolutely a great step forward, and it's something Next Gen players have been loving. But the new changes that first appeared for NBA 2K21 next gen still haven't found their way to current gen players in NBA 2K22.
The problem lies in that current gen builds rely on the color pie system and offers entirely different restrictions.
That means current gen players might spot an exciting Small Forward or Guard build to try out, only to realize the build is specific to next gen only. Instead of the freedom next gen builds enjoy, current gen builds also still must fit in the color pies offered.
Next Gen exclusive Locker Codes and new items are arriving
If you're always on the watch for new content to arrive in NBA 2K22, you'll have to keep in mind that some of it isn't for current gen players.
Whether it's through the Club 2K event and its weekly new music or via Locker Codes giving out freebies exclusive to The City, some players will just have to get used to missing out.
While 2K have stated there will be unique events where players can temporarily leave the current gen cruise ship Cancha Del Mar and go to an island, this expansion won't hold a candle to what The City offers next gen players.
If NBA 2K22 ever wants to feel comparable on current gen, the game desperately needs The City that next gen players already enjoy.