MLB The Show 22: New Features, Updates to Top Modes and Latest Trailers

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2022

MLB The Show 22: New Features, Updates to Top Modes and Latest Trailers

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Like the games industry as a whole, MLB The Show 22 will push the boundaries of crossplay and accessibility with its Tuesday release. 

    The latest from developer San Diego Studio in the long-running juggernaut baseball series takes the former PlayStation exclusive and puts it on both Microsoft game systems as well as the Nintendo Switch. 

    Along the way, it boasts notable crossplay multiplayer and progression that is unified across all three ecosystems. 

    That's huge for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact the playerbase for online modes should remain healthy for the duration of the game's lifecycle. It's also fitting given two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels graces the cover this year. 

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

    Cover star: Shohei Ohtani

Features to Know

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    Like most years, The Show gets a ton of new features across the board. 

    There are, for example, a few new difficulty options aimed at making the game more accessible for all players. Besides the expected graphical upticks and new animations, there will be new announcers in the booth calling games, too. 

    Updates abound on the gameplay side, too. Batters in the box can now go all-in on one small section of the hit zone where they believe the pitch will go, providing bonuses—or serious drawbacks for misses. On the mound, a new Perfect Accuracy Region will help guide even the newest players in where all pitches should be placed. 

    And out in the field, that same sort of mechanic now extends to all positions. Last year, the timing-based placement of correct trigger placement was exclusive to outfielders. Now, the minigame-within-a-game will have players zipping perfect throws all over the field, potentially acting as both a strong guiding hand for new players and a skill-gap difference-maker, too. 

    While not overly shocking, the new pass of features will help breathe new life into the experience, especially for those returning to the series.

Updates to Top Modes

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    Road to the Show is usually the first thing that comes to mind when discussing a new The Show game. 

    The create-a-ballplayer mode set the tone for most similar sports games in the industry and will likely do so in this year's version. The in-depth locker room experience and conversations from last year get new additions in 22 and the developers have opened things up for players, allowing them to make more than one character as they pursue making the jump from the minors to the big leagues. 

    Diamond Dynasty is the other, as the card-based game gets some serious work in the form of digestible content. Mini-Seasons are exactly what they sound like—players get to partake in 28-game seasons against the computer before the playoffs. Besides the much-needed love in the form of time investment, daily and weekly challenges, there are already droves of themed packs and time-limited rewards in modes like the Battle Royale. 

    Then there's online co-op, a new addition permitting two-on-two or three-on-three gameplay. It loops in both the Play Now and Diamond Dynasty modes, meaning players can use real-life rosters or test their card collections. Players interestingly swap positional responsibilities every inning (pitcher and catcher or the rest of the defense). 

    While other game modes like franchise return with minor notes here and there, those are the big three that make up the bulk of the changes and are likely where most players will spend their time once the game launches on Tuesday.