Review – MLB The Show 21: A Step Into The Future


For the first time since the franchise’s inception in 2006, MLB The Show is available to Xbox gamers, ready for the rollout of the next generation of consoles.

Copy of the game courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Show 2021, by the way, has been available to Microsoft Xbox Game Pass subscribers at no additional cost since the game’s release day. It’s a giant leap towards a small revolution in the world of sports franchises since we is approaching, by the band, a system of subscription instead of a new annual edition at big price.

But that is a discussion for another moment.

Instead, let’s dive into the MLB The Show experience, 2021 edition for the new generation of consoles.

READ ALSO: MLB The Show 21: Jackie Robinson on the cover of the Collector’s Edition

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The view from the top

As has been the case for several years now. SIE San Diego Studio presents the crème de la crème of sports simulations with The Show. Playing on the pitch, whether it’s more realistic simulation or more arcade-style retro, The Show is in a class of its own and not just compared to other baseball games.

New this year, there is an even more precise (and difficult) way to control your gunner’s throws on the hill: Pinpoint Pitching. The learning curve for this addition will be perilous even for more experienced players. However, with a little dexterity and habituation, the new mechanics give breath to the experience on the ground and will offer a longer life to the game by its very interesting performances for a first version.

On the field, dozens of new animations are quickly felt for the jump to the new generation. It is also pleasant for regulars of the franchise who will immediately see the small differences.

Applying a fresh coat of paint to an edition that was already a lot of fun in 2020, the odds were good that the good aspects of the game were reproduced almost fully.

If you’re not lucky enough to be on Xbox Series or PS5, however, the differences will essentially end here between the 2021 and 2020 edition of MLB The Show.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Up to you.

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At the warning trail

The most interesting addition to The Show franchise is, for the first time, the ability to create a baseball stadium from scratch. With a new generation exclusive creation engine, players can now push the limits of reality with a very deep bank of adjustable options. We must even admit that we did not expect such a diverse machine.

Yes, it’s not perfect as a first version, but we quickly forgive the small technical glitches when you can do almost everything in your dream stadium, such as installing a roller coaster or a volcano in the background behind the fences. .

Tweaking a team like you has never been more personalized in the popular Diamond Dynasty mode, the heart and soul of The Show due to the presence of valuable microtransactions for the developer.

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Don’t beat around the bush, the card collection mode is the deepest and most sophisticated of the game due to its strong online community and the additional profits generated by transactions. However, unlike other publishers that we will not name, The Show is less greedy and offers the more patient excellent options without spending a lot of money. Just dive into the mode and invest some playing time in it.

Is it different from last year? Not at all, but the addition of the stages to our hand offers a breath of fresh air and a few adjustments improve the experience and replayability of the daily challenges.

Same story for the other main modes, the Franchise and the Road to the Show. Regulars will find much the same thing, except that the evolution of your player in Road to the Show is more focused on your decisions in his development, which will appeal to the most assiduous.

For those who just want to grab a late-night controller and ‘play catch’, March to October mode is back and offers, once again, a streamlined and satisfying version of the simulated season of the season. MLB.

The amortized sacrifices

To deliver a new game to a whole new bank of players on Xbox, Sony has undoubtedly had to make difficult choices in its creation and you can feel it in the visualization of the players and the game in general.

Yes, it is visually very beautiful and very fluid on the pitch. But the resemblance of the players to their real counterparts is deficient at best.

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Take Fernando Tatis Jr., the player featured on the cover of the game. The young Padres star was expected to receive an extra dose of love because of his high profile in promoting the game, but no. He looks the same generic as all the other players except for a few extra pixels to illustrate his long hair.

With the generation leap, we had the right to hope for a real leap forward in terms of graphic presentation. This is far from the case with The Show 2021 and we could even say that the game is identical to the 2020 edition. It may be less disturbing if you have not yet made the generation leap, but it leaves a little bitter taste in the mouth when you have the impression of seeing the same images again for a few years. The Show would need a big overhaul in its visual presentation, including audio commentary.

Otherwise, another part of the game can be found in the different menus. Yes, there are a lot of possibilities and players will be able to tailor things to their liking, but the items are hard to find in the menus and the navigation is not intuitive. As if we had saved this detail for the end and that time had sorely missed before the release.

In short

For its first edition on the Next Generation, MLB The Show 2021 hits a solid double down the aisle.

This is, as usual, the best baseball simulation on the market and the evolution is satisfactory compared to last year due to the addition of new mechanics and custom stadiums.

SIE San Diego shouldn’t be sluggish, however, because the novelty will quickly wear off for Xbox gamers. Starting next year, they will be asking for more from their more efficient consoles.

MLB The Show 2021 is a step in the right direction, but we feel the heaviness of dragging the burden of having to develop a game on two generations of consoles simultaneously. Strongly a purely “Next-Gen” edition to see how far the machine will be pushed.

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