One game I lock in every year for release day is the Fifa franchise. I don’t care that it has minimal changes to last season, it’s just my personal vice that I allow myself for the game that I play more than any other title. It’s my go-to game and rarely do I delve into other sports as football is my life.
One of those rare occasions is the NBA games that I usually load just to try out and on this occasion, I’ve journeyed into the world of Major League Baseball for the latest instalment MLB The Show 22 on the PlayStation 5. The game is also released on Nintendo Switch and the Xbox via its Game Pass service but I was excited to review a sports title on the PS5 just to see how far the system has come in its short lifespan.
The tutorials will show you through every aspect of the game, even if you know very little of the sport in general and the thing you’ll find is that there are nuances to the game that only true fans will know that help you to win. The good news is that MLB The Show will teach you everything you need to know and getting there is half the fun. Choose how experienced you are with the game right from the outset, it will determine just how much control you have and if you are just starting out beginner is a lot like an “Arcade Mode”.
Diamond Dynasty is this franchise’s version of Ultimate Team and you collect your card collection through playing the game or by buying card packs through in-game purchases. The better or rarer the cards you have the better team you can field but watch out for your wallet on this highly addictive mode of the game.
Co-operative play is the real standout of the game. Play as either 2V2 or 3V3, the game alternates turns so that you aren’t sitting in the dugout bored for too long. It’s a strong multiplayer title as you can also face off against your mates using cross-platform and also cross-progression which is great.
Some games of Baseball can go on for what seems like forever, so the team have added a “Mini Season” mode which gives your three-inning games in a 28 games season. For me, this is the perfect way to play through a season and keep it fun and fresh.
If playing full seasons in a career mode is more your thing then “Road to Show” mode is where you can play out season after season building your team with new drafts and managing their progression. It’s in this mode you can also create your own rookie player and work your way up through the leagues. This is how I like to play Fifa, but with MLB I was more of a fan of the shorter faster games. If choosing between this mode or “March to October” where you play the key moments on the way to the World Series, I’d choose the latter.
Commentary can make or break a sports title and the team on this are fantastic. You might hear the same thing multiple times, but name a sports title that you don’t. Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Chris Singleton have a strong partnership in the game with apparently around 450,000 lines of audio. Although both are experienced commentators there is the hope that with some years under their belts doing this game that the voice over can be added significantly.
The gameplay feels quite free-flowing, moving along quickly between sections to make sure you are getting the most out of playing the game rather than just watching cut scenes. Graphicly it’s pretty remarkable. In titles like Fifa, you are a fair distance from the players to actually take in just how far the body movement and realism have progressed over the years. In MLB you are up close and personal so you can see every minor detail. It’s a truly impressive experience and shows off the leaps and bounds in sports titles as well as the console generation.
MLB The Show 22 is a great all-rounder sports title that gives you solid single and outstanding multiplayer. It’s the baseball fan’s “FIFA” and worth jumping into over and over again to put in that All-Star Performance.
MLB The Show 22 was reviewed on the PlayStation 5