NBA 2K22 hasn’t been officially announced, but most believe it will arrive the second week of September. With the release date just around the corner, we still haven’t heard about any features, or even seen the cover athletes confirmed, though multiple leaks are floating around.
No matter who’s on the cover, or how many of the 10 things we’d love to see make it into this year’s game, it’s almost certain NBA 2K22 will be short one element that Madden 22 will deliver.
Madden 22 features a new gameplay element called Momentum Factors, and they are designed to emulate the tug-of-war concept that can take place within a single NFL contest. Even more, the M-Factors add a home-field advantage element with each NFL team owning a unique M-Factor that can be activated during a game. The home-field M-Factors are designed to be related to the stadium, team and city.
As I sat in on the exclusive preview event at the beginning of June, I couldn’t help but wonder to myself, man how cool would it be if NBA 2K had a feature like this in their game?
Home-Court in the NBA is Powerful
You could make a winning argument that the NBA has the most powerful home-court advantage in any sport. It’s part of the reason teams battle tooth and nail for 82 games (in a normal regular season) to gain the right to have more games on their own home floor in the playoffs.
With Madden giving the Denver Broncos the Mile High M-Factor which causes visiting teams’ stamina to drain at a higher rate, it’s fun to wonder how a feature like that would enhance the immersion if 2K gave the Denver Nuggets a similar perk when playing in Ball Arena.
The signature (we’ll call them court factors) in 2K are one thing, but we might also see generic home-court advantages like more fouls called, enhanced ratings for role players, etc. Star players are traditionally not impacted by the venue, but the old adage says role players are better at home.
The strength of the advantages could be dictated by the quality of the team.
Basketball is All About Momentum
If you’ve watched basketball at all over the past 20 years, you’ve probably heard an announcer say, basketball is a game of runs. Those runs can easily be results of, or characterized as momentum shifts.
The entire concept suggests 2K probably should have had some sort of momentum mechanic in the game. One might suggest the Takeover and Team Takeover system are 2K’s version of that concept, and that’s partially true.
However, Takeover isn’t really environmental, and it doesn’t give any credence to the presence of fans or player’s familiarity with a certain court. Those elements are missing from the 2K experience.
EA may fail to properly execute the M-Factors in Madden 22. They have made such errors in the past with other ideas that were conceptually strong, such as the QB Vision cone. In any case, they are on the right track with trying to deliver a portion of the real-life sports experience that no other sports game has been able to capture.