MLB The Show 21 (PS5, PS4) review, Games Reviews

Postponed by one month due to the health crisis, this baseball season maintains its particularity on virtual fields since its MLB The Show license, developed by a Sony-branded studio, is released for the first time on Xbox platforms. The opportunity to interest initiates with a well-run series that has not lost its interest along the way.

The more the merrier, the more we dance? This is perhaps what the teams at San Diego Studios said when they offered their baseball simulation to Xbox players. Because, if this series is doing rather well on the other side of the Atlantic, the discipline still remains, apart from a very fervent Japan, confidential elsewhere and needs to open its speakers to the little curious. You still have to coax them with great spectacle, while remaining the door of the first rookie to come. A compromise not easy to find and which risks once again being worn out. But, in the event of a big problem, they can always seek advice from former subscribers, who, for their part, will set off on conquered ground so much. MLB The Show 21 retains the winning foundations of previous iterations.

Solid on its foundations

Developers have in fact very little touched the gameplay, which remains focused on three very distinct phases: batting, pitching (management of the launchers), both of which require an increased sense of timing, and finally fielding ( the one concerning the receivers), more fun with its share of QTE and various animations. And lo Sony has thought of the newcomers, it is by offering three playing difficulties, including the Casual mode which, as its name suggests, allows time to learn the mechanics and increase in speed. For example, by choosing this configuration, you will only worry about the area in which you would like to throw the ball while the more seasoned will have more options, in the form of gauges, having to master. A welcome door for novices, which suggests a large margin of progress, condition of speaking English very well. As usual with the license, the game does not offer any translation or subtitles (menus and comments), which will leave several sheep in the locker room who wanted to hit the ball. Especially since nobody will take the trouble to explain the basic rules to you, the tutorials being content to unroll the various actions to be carried out. A black point all the more damaging as MLB The Show 21 walks around with his opening episode tag.

In order to attract baseballixs, everything has been designed to impress them, thanks to a high-quality graphic and sound atmosphere. We think in particular of the famous MLB Network skin which is modeled on that of TV broadcasts in the US. Only the modeling of the faces creates a task and spoils the immersion a bit, the rest (stadiums, play of shadows and lights, music, comments) touching the sublime and shattering the border between real and virtual. For the trouble, San Diego took care to add a hundred animations to make the parties even more believable. And for those privileged who have had the opportunity to attend a Dodgers game in real life, know that the speed of play has been adapted to the virtual sauce, the games being much more dynamic and spectacular and leaving you the right to no nibble between. two actions.

Are you OK? You beat

Peck, players can indulge in the many game modes that make up MLB The Show 21. Here again, this opus is still as rich as ever, but does not offer any big surprises. The Road to The Show adventure, which promotes the rise of a young star in the league, remains similar to the previous episode from a storytelling point of view and is sorely lacking in substance. The other modes (Franchise, March to October, Diamond Dynasty) also take well-trodden paths, even if they are still just as pleasant in their concept. We think in particular of the latter which, like FUT in FIFA, allows you to compose your team through the acquisition or purchase of packs of cards. Already seen but which must be mentioned when it is well balanced. On the other hand, there is a feature that has its small effect: the stadium editor. From zero or basic enclosures, you choose to dress your playground to your liking (type of lawn, decorative elements, …) and then to share it.

As a sign of this desire for openness, no version has been left on the sidelines, all offering the same content and an ingenious online cross-platform system. All your data is thus saved and transposable regardless of the transfer between machines. I am simply whispered into the headset that only the duration of the loading times differs from one medium to another, with an advantage for the PS5, not to mention the minimal graphic drop inherent in the old generation. Aesthetic details that do not change the impression given off by this title: that of a realistic and intuitive simulation that would benefit from becoming better known.

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