I’ve been a sports fan my whole life. Consequently, I cherish watching and playing at every sporting event I can. However, many of the “Americanised” games are of little interest. Most of them seem slow, complicated, and convoluted. Yet, my curiosity always gets the better of me and I end up trying them, anyway. Subsequently, when I saw that MLB The Show 22 was coming to Xbox Game Pass, I was intrigued.
Developed by San Diego Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, this is a sports simulation title. It is jam-packed with features, looks fantastic, and captures the atmosphere of the ballgame. Furthermore, it has been added to Nintendo Switch and cross-play has been introduced. Therefore, it is easier to play with friends across multiple platforms.
Across the pond, baseball is considered an enthralling and entertaining event. Yet, being. British, I consider it a glorified game of rounders. I’m sure I’m wrong, so let’s jump right in and see what makes it so popular.
MLB The Show 22 has something for everyone.
I was instantly struck by the breathtaking graphics and the sheer scale of the game. The choices in front of me were overwhelming at first and this made me a little uncomfortable. However, this fear soon melted away as I began to familiarise myself with each game mode.
The developers have blown other sports franchises out of the water because of their creative options and in-depth gameplay. There are retro modes, the Home Run Derby, challenges, exhibitions, online matches, Diamond Dynasty, Road to the show, and so much more. On top of this, there are oodles of stats to sift through, and you can create your stadium.
In short, MLB The Show 22 re-introduces many of its much-loved ideas to this year’s iteration. Yet, it isn’t a rehash of previous gameplay mechanics in a new guise. No, instead, the action feels more polished and tighter while also being user-friendly for newcomers.
Diamond Dynasty and Road to the show.
Diamond Dynasty returns to MLB The Show 22 because of its addictive content. The card-collecting endeavour is similar to Ultimate Team and other team-building modes. Here you must rely on luck, judgement, and tactics to build a fantasy lineup. If this is your thing, you’ll lose hours of your time fine-tuning every layer in this deep and interesting mode.
However, if this doesn’t interest you, maybe, Road to the show is more your thing. This option allows you to create a rookie who must work through the ranks and become the next big thing. It comprises character training, an underdog story, excellent cinematic, and many highs and lows. Consequently, it was my go-to mode, and I became addicted to creating the world’s greatest pitcher. Fortunately, it was extremely easy to pick up, and every element was well explained.
There are, of course, other modes to explore. These include online options with cooperative action, and the chance to compete in the World Series. Thankfully, every choice feels like it offers something new and this was fascinating.
MLB The Show 22 is incredible to play.
My expectations of a modern sports title were exceeded many times over. MLB The Show 22 looks exceptional, runs smoothly, has no frame rate drops, or noticeable glitches. What’s more, the cinematic is fantastic, the stadiums are ultra-realistic, and the characters are lifelike. On top of this, the UI is clean-cut, easy to navigate, and simple to understand.
More importantly, though, the fast-paced section of the game is buttery smooth. The transition from pitching to fielding is incredible, and this helps balance the gameplay. Furthermore, the viewing angle behind the batter is perfectly set to make it easier to play. All in all, it looks great and is easy to follow.
Sports simulation titles are hollow without excellent audio. Fortunately, the ultra-realistic sound effects transport you to each game. The crowd roar as you make a home run, or go crazy as someone is struck out. Alongside this is the exceptional commentary. This offers real-time updates of each player’s stats with a rundown of what’s happening. Consequently, I loved the realism of the audio and appreciated it when it padded out the slower moments.
MLB The Show 22 is exceptional for inexperienced baseball fans. Its mechanics are well-explained thanks to the phenomenal tutorials. Yet, there is one glaring oversight! Sadly, many of the stats are abbreviated, and I had no idea what they meant or what they did. It was extremely frustrating as the information forms a key component of the gameplay. Therefore, it would have been useful if this was better explained to newcomers. Other than this, the controls are amazing. There is an array of unique methods for every element. Thankfully, this ensures that you can get the best out of the game. What’s more, there is a dynamic difficulty setting that adjusts the gameplay. This option makes sure that you are always challenged in every element of the game.
Does this have replay value? Of course, it does. With the introduction of cross-play and the inclusion of the Nintendo Switch, online gaming has never been so easy. The longevity is further enhanced thanks to masses of game modes at your disposal. However, to get the most out of this, I believe you’ll have to love this sport. Consequently, if you are like me, you’ll enjoy this casually between other titles.
MLB The Show 22 doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
Using many well-trodden elements comes at a risk. However, MLB The Show 22 has done well to mitigate this. Thanks to its many modes, polished mechanics, and cross-play, it has the fresh impetus to succeed. Furthermore, it’s included in the Game Pass subscription, so that’s a massive positive for Xbox gamers. It may not be my go-to sport, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Subsequently, I recommend you buy it here! Will you build a fantasy team or create the next big thing? Whatever you choose, there is a gameplay option just for you.