The MLB The Show series has been a long-running franchise now, with the first installment coming out in 2006, and developed by San Diego Studio which is a part of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Over time there have been significant changes every now and then but the biggest changes over the years the series has seen are visual ones, ushered in by the hardware improvements over each subsequent PlayStation generation.
MLB The Show 21 in particular had some pretty significant changes in the graphics thanks to the arrival of the PS5 and even going cross-platform, which was a great move considering that MLB has always remained the best experience for fans of baseball, and a wider audience helped the game gather a bigger fanbase. Now, after over a year of the launch of the PS5, MLB The Show 22 arrives promising improvements in its gameplay as well as brings us some new modes that take a step forward from what we saw last year in MLB The Show 21.
To begin with, I want to talk about the graphics of the game, which have always pushed each generation of Sony consoles. But, this time San Diego Studio has done a great job focusing on the little details of the game such as better detailed stadium crowds, the bases, and the equipment of the players from their shoes to the sunglasses. Facial scans of the players are also pretty well done, even though some faces do feel a bit off from their real-life counterparts. Regardless, they still seem uncannily good and sharp, and it’s incredible to see how far the series has come in terms of visual quality, especially when you are playing the game on a 4K HDR TV.
When it comes to the game modes, MLB The Show 22 adds depth to the March-October mode by extending it from a single season to multiple seasons. This is great for players who enjoy playing this streamlined model, as it offers a more lengthy and more in-depth experience, with a full offseason of exchanges and free agent signings to delve into at the end of each year. Franchise mode is still present, of course, and is still the vastly more fleshed-out option for players who want the full experience.
One of the biggest additions gameplay-wise is the ability to have multiple characters within the game, allowing players to manage up to 10 custom players in MLB The Show 22. This along with the return of podcasts makes Road to the Show, the best it’s been in recent years. Players are also no longer required to play Diamond Dynasty to improve their players as we had seen in previous games, instead all the players’ missions will be on Road to the Show.
Diamond Dynasty also returns and is still an absolute blast to play if you enjoy building your own fantasy teams. Despite the presence of micro transaction, the card drops and player rates are fairly reasonable and I never felt compelled to spend an additional penny although I suspect hardcore collectors will be dropping real money for packs. MLB The Show 22 also features one of the comprehensive and content packed single-player modes in ultimate team-esque sports games modes which means that those of you who are reluctant to go up against actual players will still be able to enjoy and unlock all the game has to offer by playing against just AI opponents.
MLB The Show 22 has added an online co-op for the first time, and it is great for Diamond Dynasty, where you can team up with one or two friends and play in two-on-two or three-on-three matches against other human opponents. Another great point to note is that there is cross-play, which does a great job of expanding the chances of getting a match quickly, and I had no issues with regard to connectivity whatsoever.