Sports games haven’t been on the rise lately, with the 2K Sports titles being a bit of a letdown and FIFA 22 not as innovative. Still, there are a few sports games that are on the way to being released. Among these is MLB The Show 22, which we’ll talk about today.
Is MLB The Show 22 the best sports game you can get this year? Let’s find out.
What Is MLB The Show 22?
Major League Baseball or MLB The Show 22 is an upcoming sports video game published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and created by San Diego Studio.
The game is set to come out on April 5, 2022, for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. All of these releases will have their editions which we’ll talk about below.
Who’s the Cover Athlete This 2022?
The game’s cover athlete for the year is Shohei Ohtani, a professional baseball designated hitter, pitcher, and outfielder from Japan. There’s no other choice than Shohei, as his accolades are plentiful for his age. In addition to this, the MVP and Digital Deluxe Editions of the game will have a bonus treat. The cover art for the game’s MVP and Digital Deluxe Editions will be made in a manga-style format. For those asking who’s the illustrator, look no further than Takashi Okazaki, Afro Samurai’s illustrator.
Shohei Ohtani became the 2021 season’s All-Star, AP Athlete of the Year, American League MVP, and the All-MLB First Team. A commanding and great year for the Japanese hitter. In addition to this, he also won the Edgar Martinez Award, the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, and the Silver Slugger Award in no particular order. All these, in just one year, cemented him as one of the biggest baseball superstars in the current era.
MLB The Show 22 Editions and Bonuses
MLB The Show 22 has three different Editions, each with its bonuses. If you’re going for the Standard Edition, you’ll get the base game, which costs $60 for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Meanwhile, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S variants cost $70.
The MVP Edition also has the base game, plus a few additions. It costs $85 for all consoles.
On the other hand, Xbox players get a plus as MLB The Show 22 is available on the Xbox Gamepass. If you’re a baseball fan with the game pass due to the availability of good games there, you’re in luck. Taking the game pass allows you to get MLB the Show 22 for free.
Digital Deluxe Pack
MLB The Show 22 Game Preview
MLB The Show 22 Graphics
The graphics of MLB The Show 22 will depend on what console the player is playing in. If they’re playing on the next-gen consoles, they can expect a lot of graphical improvements to the game. These include dynamic 4K resolution and 60fps, among other things. On previous-gen consoles, the graphics aren’t bad, but it is a bit of a downgrade, but not that much. This also includes the Nintendo Switch version.
The main attraction of MLB The Show’s graphics is usually the various stadiums that players can see. Combine this with the game’s Stadium Creator, and players can have a blast creating the elaborate stadium of their dreams. When these are rendered in 4K, it’s going to be lovely. However, there’s a dark side to this, which we’ll talk about below.
MLB The Show 22 Gameplay
If you’ve played the previous MLB The Show games, then there’s not that much difference between the previous and latest releases. It’s still a decent baseball game, don’t get us wrong. However, when compared to MLB The Show 21, it’s an almost identical game with a few new bells and whistles.
Of course, it’s not fair to criticize repetitive gameplay. After all, there’s not much you can do with just baseball. The only thing you can put is additional game modes that add more content to the game, which we’ll talk about below.
Overall, there are five confirmed game modes in MLB The Show 22, which we’ll discuss in detail below. However, there is another feature called Stadium Creator, which is only available on next-gen consoles.
Road to the Show
Road to the Show is MLB The Show’s version of Career Mode. Players create a custom baseball player based on their preferences and then send them to the grueling world of Major League Baseball. Of course, the player’s ballplayer isn’t going to start in the big leagues; they need to go through the Single-A, grinding their way to the top.
All in all, though, Road to the Show is a good way to learn the game’s ins and outs. There’s a lot of grinding involved, but that’s just par for the course. After all, you need to work hard to get to the cool stuff.
Still, Road to the Show is perfect to get used to the various ways the game will throw the ball at your player. This is in addition to the various swing types, player attributes, playstyles, and equipment.
Next, Diamond Dynasty is MLB The Show’s version of Ultimate Team. This game mode allows players to create their dream team of baseball players that they can then pit against players online. It’s pretty exciting to have a team made by your own hands duke it out with another player’s creation.
In previous MLB The Show games, players can gain new player cards through various means without paying anything. They can simply do various Moments, which is a game mode where players relive hype plays by various baseball players. These allow the players to get the cards they need for Diamond Dynasty, while also giving them a bit of a lesson on baseball history. It also helps that Moments is a cool game mode overall.
As of right now, however, there’s no indication that Moments will be added into MLB The Show 22. Hopefully, this will be included as a way to add more content while giving players options on getting cards for Diamond Dynasty.
Next on the list is MLB The Show 22’s Co-Op mode, which doesn’t have anything substantial yet. However, we do know that there are 2v2 and 3v3 Co-Op modes in the game. Other than this, we’ll have to wait and see.
Custom Practice is exactly what it says on the tin. Players can choose any team they want, which stadium to play on, time of day, the weather, etc. After that, they can practice away and try to learn the game’s various ins and outs.
All in all, it’s a really good practice mode that hopefully will have a scoring system. This is because the previous iterations of Custom Practice didn’t have a scoring system.
Options Explorer isn’t really a game mode but is more of an evaluation. Options Explorer is how the game evaluates the player’s handling on the various systems in MLB The Show. This allows players to get a feel of the game’s systems before they start, and adjust them to their preferences. However, this is completely optional on previous iterations and they can be skipped.
When it comes to sound design, MLB the Show 22 hasn’t changed that much compared to previous games. It’s still baseball after all, and it’ll be a miracle if the sounds of the baseball arena would be changed in a significant manner.
Still, the devs did add a few things to the sound design to improve immersion, which is helped by the capabilities of the new console generations. There’s some hope that it’ll trickle down to the previous-gen consoles, but fingers crossed on that one.
Verdict: Is MLB The Show 22 the Best Sports Game Today?
MLB The Show 22 is going to be the best baseball sports game available when it’s released — the best baseball sports game, that is.
It has a few additional features that will be added to the game itself. There are some graphical improvements to keep the looks fresh, and overall has gameplay that can satisfy baseball fans.
MLB The Show 22 vs Similar Games
Now that we’ve talked about MLB The Show 22, let’s talk about other games like it. Except for Rocket League, these games are remarkably similar in terms of their game modes. Gameplay-wise, all of them are pretty different.
First off is NBA 2K22, which is a basketball version of MLB The Show. Overall, the game has a few good things going for it. It has a decent My Career Mode, and that’s it.
Its various failings, on the other hand, are as high as the sky. These range from the various bugs to the utter hilarity that is the movement and shooting.
The shooting in 2K22 is straight-up horrible, as it seems that the players have 20 different ways they shoot the ball to the hoop. Combine this with the weird clunkiness of the movement and the utter dominance of defense meta, and you’ll have a not-fun at all gaming experience.
Overall, NBA 2K22 isn’t recommended if you want to have a good NBA game. Stick to 2K21; at least it’s still good. 2K22 feels like merely a copy of 2K21 sometimes, which was commented on by a few who played the game itself. Combine this with the aggressive microtransactions and you’ll have disgruntled and annoyed players.
Next on the list is FIFA 22, which has the same problem as 2K22. The gameplay suffered quite a bit from the transition from the prequel. In addition, there are a lot of weird things happening backstage of its FIFA Ultimate Team, which has the bulk of its microtransactions and gacha gameplay.
If the player wants to get the good stuff, they need to spend a lot. The game’s not inclined to give player packs for free either, as the grind to get free player packs is so obnoxious it’s enough for even dedicated fans to bring out their wallets.
And gameplay-wise, there are some problems there. An example of this is Player Switching. When defending, the gamer would usually want to switch to a player that’s near to the opponent with the football. That’s not happening in FIFA 22, as the player switch is random. This can lead to a mess-up on the formation which can lead to the opposing team getting a point.
That’s just one example. There’s also the tackle randomness, the overpowered goalkeepers, and other shenanigans. Overall, like NBA 2K22’s case, just play the previous entry. It’s safer on your sanity.
NHL 22 is a complete and utter disappointment to hockey fans everywhere. Its offline modes haven’t been improved, and some players even say that it degraded a bit. The Frostbite Engine caused a few lag issues when not played on a next-gen console, which is a lot of people.
Combine this with an AI so busted they can make a comeback and win on overtime if the player isn’t quick enough? Well, all these things mentioned lead to players quitting, and a lot of bad reviews. This is also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to EA’s sports games though, but we won’t talk about that here.
Last but not least is Rocket League, which is a weird addition but it’s considered a sports game so it’s in. This is football if the players are cars with nitrous and an arena that encourages rising to the air to make sick goals. Gameplay-wise, it’s weak. Your only reason for existence in Rocket League is to ensure that the ball makes its way to the opponent’s goal. How that’s done, however, is all up to you and your team.
Want to do sick backflips midair while “kicking” the ball to the goal? Doable. What about rushing using nitrous and stealing the ball from a charging opponent and taking them off-guard? It’s very possible. Passing the ball to a mid-air teammate who proceeds to dunk on the opposing team with style? Yes, very much so.
Combine this with a robust LAN and online multiplayer and co-op mode and you have a great game to play together with friends, or even other players online.