For those who spent the past year embedded in MLB The Show 21, slight but specific improvements from Sony San Diego Studio in MLB The Show 22 would be welcome. This is the annuity where one of its major tweaks includes tweaks to the trade logic, which prevents teams from swapping their premium players for relief pitchers. Honestly, while this baseball sim plays better than ever, the lack of meaningful add-ons will make it a somewhat difficult sell for the average MLB fan.
Of course, to say there no The changes may be unfair, but a lot of the headlines here read like patch notes – no matter how much effort was invested behind the scenes. Flagship features include a new co-op mode, which allows you to team up online with up to two friends and take on rivals from all over the world; In Diamond Dynasty, the series’ very popular card-collecting mode, you’ll be able to combine your own card combinations, allowing you to create a really massive roster, which is an incredibly fun idea.
There are also some very major changes from March to October, laying down the seasons of the franchise. In previous posts, this was a one-off campaign, where you chose your favorite team and played key moments throughout the year on your way to world championship glory. You’ll now be able to moderate multiple seasons, with a really fun fast-paced off-season system that lets you choose free agents and customize your team. It’s a nice addition that adds longevity to the mode, and we actually prefer it over the traditional franchise mode just because of its simplified format.
Not only is Diamond Dynasty the most generous card-collecting mode on the market, it also has a new wrinkle in single-player gameplay, in the form of Mini Seasons. This allows you to take your custom team, made up of the cards you’ve collected, into a mini-league format, where you can compete for XP, upgrade your Parallels, and cross quests. This, along with Conquest, cements the mode as the best of its kind by far – and will give both newcomers and veterans hundreds and hundreds of hours of fun.
Far from these headlines, though, MLB The Show 22 begins its transition to MLB The Show 21. The gameplay looks great, as always, and has been further updated with new animations and balance upgrades. One tweak sees batter visibility reduced slightly when swinging for pitches outside the strike zone, and you can also install PCI at various points. In addition, positioned players can now make perfect baseball throws away from home, building an even larger gap between regular players and truly premium players with high ratings.
The entire package has also been simplified. While the previous entry was a bit crazy with Battle Pass-like software trying to standardize all its modes, this year’s game is a bit lighter on that front, while still achieving the same basic goals. We’re a bit concerned about focusing on one all-encompassing program that might result in lower rewards for casual players overall, but that’s a hard thing to judge for now, and something we’ll need to monitor over the coming months. The main thing is that the whole thing looks a little more logical out of the box.
The same is true of Road to the Show, which unfortunately adopts the same format as old sports documentaries, but is peppered with new podcasts. While there is a clear effort invested in these — and they feel a lot more polished and a lot less polished than they were last year — this mode is in dire need of a spring cleaning, as it feels solid compared to what 2K Sports is doing in NBA 2K22. Progression is at least faster, which is great, and you can create multiplayer – again, good news.
Less positive is the show that’s gone else Iterations without any real improvements. A handful of players have received new face scans, including cover star and two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, but all the same gritty, earthy textures return. For a game in which you spend an inordinate amount of time staring at meticulously cut lawns, MLB The Show 22’s grass looks incredibly bad – it’s tragic to think this series was the best sports game on PS3 and PS4 because it’s miles away. About the pace these days. We can only assume Sony San Diego Studio has major improvements planned for future installments.
Despite all that, the game plays great – and still has a zen-like quality, no matter what mode you’re playing. There are two new difficulty levels that make the gameplay more manageable for all abilities, and custom practice has been given another pass to expand the field and even the ability to replay. Meanwhile, the new commentary team starring Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi and Chris Singleton is decent, though with a smaller library of lines to speak of, you’ll start hearing some repetitions sooner than you’d like.
Netcode seems relatively robust – especially for a franchise chain that has a rich history of its servers failing during release week. All of the cross-play functionality, which extends to cross-save saves, can be a little tricky to set up, but it’s impressive once you turn it on — and with the addition of the Nintendo Switch, it means you can go ahead on the go for the first time since MLB 15: Presentation on PS Vita .
It might be shorthand to describe many of MLB The Show 22’s improvements as the kind of thing you’d expect to find in the patch notes, but it’s still fairly true. The gameplay looks great as always, and we really love the March-October additions as well as the Mini Seasons mode in Diamond Dynasty. But while this is undoubtedly a simplified and improved version of the already excellent MLB The Show 21, casual players will struggle to determine the difference – and frankly, some aspects of the series are Is that true I started getting tired.