Last year, MLB The Show debuted on next-gen consoles and, for the first time, on Microsoft gaming platforms as well. This year, even gamers who own a Nintendo Switch will be able to step onto the gaming diamond. Like any sports game, it is increasingly difficult to find news given the annual frequency with which these games are published and part of the news usually ends up being aimed at enriching the game modes or improving already established mechanics. San Diego Studio is unrivaled when it comes to baseball simulation and the franchise it built, it doesn’t take much effort to strike out even in 2022.
At the first start, a practice session is immediately available from which to evaluate the available options, try and choose between the different mechanics that regulate serving, shooting and fielding by further customize the experience based on your skill level. There are also two new difficulties: Amateur and Minors. All of these interventions are aimed at making the game even more accessible and less abrupt for those approaching baseball for the first time. Regardless of your knowledge of the game and previous installations, you can also activate dynamic difficulty that adapts to your progress and performance on the field.
What changes in MLB The Show 22
After customization, the exit is practically almost immediate: you will start in the MLB draft and work your way up through the minor leagues to reach the Major League. You will be able to create more than one player archetype and try various positions on the field. During your career you will have the opportunity to make important decisions and train in the gym or in the bullpen to improve your statistics, while the important moments of your career will be accompanied by the interventions of personalities from the world of baseball. Narratively it remains linear. and well anchored to reality, without going overboard as sometimes happens in the NBA 2K race. The show is given by what you do on the field and not outside.
Diamond Dynasty is MLB The Show 22’s answer to the game format popularized by Ultimate Team. Collect cards to build your team and play online or against the CPU in a variety of challenges and ad hoc modes, earn checkbooks and get more and more rewards. This edition presents the “mini seasons” for those who prefer participate in a shorter competition, immediate and in any case full of opportunities to improve your team. The aspect that most contributes to the varied offer is given by the inclusion in the league of teams created by other players who, however, face each other in single player mode and are managed by the AI.
Another now stable mode of MLB The Show that has received a number of improvements is the March to October. Often seen as a simpler alternative to franchise mode, it instead comes with a greater degree of depth than in the past. First, the duration has been extended, allowing players to play through more seasons before giving way to Franchise mode.
The other immediately visible element is the greater customization: the teams are no longer limited to the existing ones but can be assigned a name, a logo and define the stadium. However, the biggest addition in terms of gameplay is Free Agents and the ability to trade. There is some overlap between the two modalities, but could be an incentive for new players who may initially be scared by the complexity of the management in the Franchise.
The most notable addition in MLB The Show 22, which is sure to be appreciated even by those who don’t want to stop playing on the go, concerns cross-progression support with shared saves for all three different platforms. You can start playing on one platform and continue your game on another, finding exactly all your progress. This year, another goal was to do it too the online modality is more varied and attractive. The skills required to compete online are very high, but the fun is guaranteed with the new cooperative mode.
Offensive players alternate hitting, while defenders alternate between pitching and fielding, swapping roles between innings so everyone can get a handle on pitching, catching and defending work to block runners advancing. Online co-op also touches on Diamond Dynasty mode in which your companions will be able to select some of their cards to combine them and create their own dream team, although the risk of finding unbalanced teams always lurks with collectible cards.
All of these modes would be worth little if MLB The Show 22 didn’t have solid gameplay that pushes to make the games engaging. The development of the matches is very fluid and even playing online we did not find any problem. The presentation, on the other hand, did not make the expected jump to the new generation beyond the facial scans and the expressions of the players. Where the game returns the greatest degree of immersion is in the DualSense haptic feedback when you feel the tension of the saddle or the satisfaction of a perfect swing. Unfortunately, changing commentators results in a limited number of lines of dialogue and accentuates the tendency of sentences to repeat themselves by making plays repetitive.