MLB the Show 22 Release Date, Top Features, New Modes and Cover

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2022

MLB the Show 22 Release Date, Top Features, New Modes and Cover

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    MLB the Show 22 from developer San Diego Studio aims to continue the strong tradition of the best baseball video game series out there. 

    That's no easy task to accomplish. Last year's version of The Show was the first on next-generation consoles and the first to appear on multiple game consoles, as opposed to only Sony systems. 

    Not only did last year's game accomplish those feats with strong results, it innovated across the board, including upticks in gameplay and new functionality, especially in fan-favorite modes like Road to the Show. 

    Now, MLB the Show 22 appears to lean even harder into the next-generational horsepower in those same ways, hoping to emulate cover star Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels by excelling on a variety of different fronts.

Release Details

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    Developer:  San Diego Studio

    Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

    Release Date: Tuesday, April 5

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

    Given the things this year's game hopes to accomplish on multiple fronts, it's only fitting a two-way superstar like Ohtani graces the cover. The cover reveal itself in New York City's Times Square was downright stunning. 

    Last year marked the first time the series appeared on Microsoft consoles, and this year marks the first time it will appear on the Nintendo Switch. 

Top Features

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    One of the bigger talking points about The Show 22 longtime fans will bring up is the new duo in the commentary booth. 

    Said booth now belongs to "Boog" Sciambi and Chris Singleton, and so far, the breath of fresh air they bring to the routine on-field proceedings is a welcome change. That, paired with the expected droves of new animations and general uptick in visual fidelity, makes this year's release quite the pleaser in the immersion department. 

    Besides notable new animations in fielding, things continue to evolve in the batter's box as well. The three types of swings—normal, contact and power—will see bigger penalties for whiffs outside of the batter's box, and new ways to dial in on specific squares of the strike zone with PCI (Plate Coverage Indicator) mean more options for players offensively.

    Like past entries, the new gameplay features will attempt to strike a balance, so while batters have more control than ever, little things like allowing perfect throws to all three bases keep defense feeling souped-up and competitive, too. 

Mode Notes

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    Like many modern sports titles, this year's version of the Show boasts so many game modes that some of them feel big enough to stand as their own separate releases. 

    Take Road to the Show, for example. One of the industry leaders in create-a-character modes returns again with beefed-up options and choices for players as they start in the minors and work all the way up to the big leagues. This year, players will finally have the ability to create more than one character and use them in other game modes, too. 

    One such locale is Diamond Dynasty, the collect-a-thon card-based mode that will now feature a progression track similar to that of a battle pass found in other games. Of particular interest is Faces of the Franchise challenges that offer dailies, legends, flashbacks and even final bosses. 

    Maybe the biggest talking point this year is the arrival of online co-op, which finally opens things up for two-on-two or three-on-three play. This might not sound like a big deal to someone who invests all their time in say, Diamond Dynasty, but it's a requested expansion of the game's offerings that has a chance to make 22 the most robust game in the series to date.