Each year, MLB The Show tries to fill in the gaps and build on the successes of the product of the previous year. 2021 not only represents the first step in the next generation of consoles, but also the first time that the franchise developed by Sony arrives on Xbox platforms. But MLB The Show 21 doesn’t stop at these steps forward. I got to see the game in action and experience the biggest improvements to the game this year.
MLB The Show 21 adds a myriad of improvements to improve the on-court experience. After selecting your preferred team, you’ll be greeted with a new Play Styles menu that will ask you to choose between Casual, Simulation, and Competitive options. Casual is built around the pick-up-and-play style for newcomers to the series, with onboarding experiences that give you pitching, hitting, and fielding tutorials. The simulation focuses on the in-game evaluations of the players as well as your stick skills to determine the results of the games. Meanwhile, Competitive, which is now the default for head-to-head online play, depends on your skill level rather than the skills of the players in deciding how games unfold.
Speaking of letting your skills decide the outcome, a new launching mechanic called Pinpoint Pitching gives you more control over the mound than ever before. However, it is also more difficult. “The competitive crowd and people in general wanted a pitching method that could be more precise, like,“ I’m aiming to present here. If I hit the perfect counter it has to go here “” “, product development communications and brand strategist Says Ramone Russell.” For that to happen you have to have a lot of levers that can’t be easy to hit or You break the game. There must be some depth there, and that’s what Pinpoint Pitching is; we rate you on your move, we rate you on your move timing, and we rate you on your accuracy. If you can get those three things perfect, that ball is basically going to go where you put it, but it’s not it’s easy to get, and there’s that balance: it’s the hardest counter. to master, but it is also the most precise. “
If you’re not a fan of the Pinpoint Pitching challenge, you can still select other methods from previous games, including metering, analog, pulse, and classic settings. In fact, all of the launch mechanics have been rebalanced, and if you’re not sure which one is right for you, the casual playstyle mentioned above will give you a taste of each mechanic set.
New animations also contribute to a smoother experience, especially during commissioning. The new logic determines what animation players go into when they line up a ball. This includes animations for out-of-wall play, out-of-wall captures, and strafing. Sony has also implemented a redesigned wall meter to help you predict rebound and make it easier for you to track those hitters with warning trail power. If a strong breeze pushes the ball a little further towards the stands, new circuit take-offs allow you to better bring it back to the park. This year promises more help on the ground to make sure you fully understand what action to take.
Road to the show
Changes en route to the show
For those more career-oriented with their MLB The Show game, the 2021 edition brings several changes to the Road to the Show career mode. This year, you can take on Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani and become a two-way street player, which means you can be an everyday pitcher and position player. This opens up a host of new playing opportunities for players as they enter their careers.
“A lot of people create a pitcher and a position player,” says Russell. “Now you can be a two-way gamer and we’ve got this new set of storytelling features that speaks to you as a two-way gamer. If you choose not to be, you don’t have to, but you have this opportunity now. “
In addition, the revamped player progression with new archetypes and perks allows you to create and develop your player the way you want. Additionally, you can use your Road to the Show player in other modes including Diamond Dynasty, Programs, and Moments. However, for those who are concerned that this will mean the experiences will start to spill over into each other, Sony San Diego has deliberately kept them separate.
“You bring this ball player into different modes, but the modes themselves aren’t merged; the ball player has merged, ”says Russell. “This Diamond Dynasty experience … it’s still an experience for the Diamond Dynasty audience, and it doesn’t really interfere with the Road to the Show experience because we know some people are playing. at Road to the Show and that’s all they play. So you ‘share that ball player all over the place, but we still have separate experiences. “
Finally, new narrative elements join the mode, as top MLB journalists and personalities react to the way you play in a new in-game podcast. On the latest generation systems, this podcast will be audio-only, while the new generation consoles will get a video version. As a huge fan of MLB The Show’s March-October mode and its various vibrant storytelling elements, this piques my interest. Unfortunately, you can’t import a Road to the Show player from last year into MLB The Show 21 mode, so it’s time to start over at the bottom of the food chain.
The house you built
While the MLB The Show 21 package is so much about building your team or your career to be awesome, the next gen versions allow you to actually build the stadium in which your accomplishments will take place. By choosing from over 1,000 stadium props, including foul posts, batting eyes, and more abstract props like dinosaur fossils, you’re building the home of the next great dynasty in Major League Baseball.
Since baseball is the only major sport that takes place in an arena of varying sizes, MLB The Show 21’s Stadium Creator lets you get creative with your field. You can adjust the fence as you want, with different exterior fence dimensions, wall colors, heights, etc. For stadiums like PNC Park in Pittsburgh or Oriole Park in Baltimore at Camden Yards, the backdrop is important in establishing an identity. Sony San Diego knows this, so you can build what is beyond the outside wall to create a special atmosphere.
If you manage to create the next big stadium, you can save, share, and play in your stadium in modes like Diamond Dynasty and Franchise. Those in a hurry but still want to leave their mark on a stadium can choose from pre-designed templates that come with the game to get started quickly, then modify them as you like.
With so many items that can be incorporated, there’s a cap on how many items you can put in a stadium, and the game will let you know when you’re about to hit the max limit. Also, Sony San Diego is currently not commenting on how you get the disparate elements of Stadium Creator.
Game between leagues
MLB The Show’s player base is going through a year of expansion. Not only is the series coming to Xbox platforms for the first time, but it does so with cross-play and cross-progression in tow.
“No matter what system or what generation you’re a part of, you’ll take all of your progress with you, and PlayStation fans can play against Xbox fans,” says Russell. “These were the two characteristics that we had to have in the first year. [multiplatform]: You need to be able to track your progress and no matter where you are, you need to be able to play against any other group of people. “
The next-gen version not only adds the Stadium Creator, but also 60fps performance and more accurate visuals. On top of that, those who play on PlayStation 5 can enjoy 3D audio on compatible headsets, as well as exclusive DualSense features.
MLB The Show 21 launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 20.
This article was originally published on March 25, 2021. We are re-promoting this article to celebrate the opening day of Major League Baseball.