MLB The Show 22 | Review – Are we finally in next-gen baseball?

MLB The Show 22 | Review – Are we finally in next-gen baseball?

We are used to annual appointments with sports titles. For the Italian public, the most awaited is certainly the one with the usual football simulators, which record sales records every year; in America, on the other hand, among the most anticipated titles we certainly find those dedicated to baseball, one of the most popular sports in the USA.

This year the baseball title race takes place alone, at least in the West: MLB The Show 22 , in fact, will be the only title dedicated to this sport to be released during the year. The game, developed by Sony’s San Diego Studio and published by the same Japanese company, is already available on PlayStation 4 , PlayStation 5 , Xbox One , Xbox Series X | S and Nintendo Switch .

This is the seventeenth chapter of the long-running series, and like every year it faces the difficult challenge of improving a formula that is already widely tested and effective.

When it comes to sports titles, net of sporadic radical revisions of the formula, the first aspect that needs to be checked is the technical one . And it could hardly be otherwise: in this genre, much more than in others, it is difficult to talk about revolutions in terms of gameplay, so the tendency is to concentrate efforts on the technical side, aiming for ever greater realism.

This year, this is also made possible by the landing on the new generation of consoles. To tell the truth, the last MLB The Show 21 had already landed on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, but we know that the titles released around the launch period of a console rarely really exploit its potential, at least when you it’s about cross-gen multiplatform.

At this stage, in fact, the transition to the new generation is felt slightly more , especially in the creation of the models of the characters, their animations and in the physics of the ball, much more realistic than in the past. Let’s be clear, this is not a real epochal leap forward, but rather a further piece that is added to the long and slow history of this series. We are still a long way from real exploitation of new hardware .

Here, the concept of slow evolution will be central in this review to understand what kind of experience you can expect from this MLB The Show 22 , so keep that in mind because we will come back to it.

Returning now to the game, this year there is a big news: the arrival on Nintendo Switch. Our test took place on PlayStation 5 (you can find the game in this version at this address on Amazon), so we didn’t have the opportunity to test the version for Nintendo’s hybrid console; however, from the footage we watched, the arrival on Switch required an onerous compromise in visual terms, which not everyone may want to accept.
Nonetheless, it is still a historic event. Not only that, in fact, it is the first modern portable version of the game; it is also the first arrival on Nintendo consoles for the series .

Not a small achievement, if we consider that the series is developed and distributed by Sony itself. Even the arrival on Xbox, after all, only dates back to last year, when the series said goodbye to exclusivity for the first time. By the way, on Xbox the game is available for free on Game Pass , which is sure to delight fans of the discipline.

As far as the audio sector is concerned, there has been a change of guard at the commentary booth ; Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Chris Singleton are the new commentators, well-known names for those who follow Major League Baseball programming on ESPN Radio. Hearing new voices can be pleasant, but the novelty effect is limited by the conspicuous reduction of recorded dialogue, which will lead to hearing the same comments all too often.

The different control systems ensure good accessibility.
As we mentioned before, MLB The Show 22 is a classic example of the slow evolution that the sports titles released annually go through: there are no real revolutions compared to the previous release (which you can still recover at a reduced price on Amazon), rather, small advances have been made in terms of gameplay and modes.

As for the gameplay , the focus is basically the same as in past editions. And that’s not bad at all, because the formula was already working very well in the past few episodes . One of the flagships is certainly the adaptability of the controls and the game system : several options are available, designed for all types of players, from beginners to veterans.

This allows MLB The Show 22 to be a very accessible experience for everyone, without sacrificing simulation complexity. Obviously, choosing the advanced control system will allow you to have greater control over the player’s actions, so over time you will learn to prefer this system.

Nevertheless, the presence of these multiple command schemes is still very useful for having a gradual approach to the simulation experience, so we recommend that you take full advantage of it to learn how to play.

In terms of pure gameplay, therefore, the only real novelty are some secondary improvements , above all the renewed physics of the ball we mentioned in the previous paragraph, which makes possible a wide range of rebounds, many more than in the past.

As we said, the game remains very fun to play, so there was no need for real news. Nevertheless, the absence of changes of any kind could make those who already own the latest edition of the game desist from buying, given that we are basically facing the same experience.

 

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