developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment
publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet / common screen, players: 1-8
MLB The Show 21 is the sixteenth installment of the series of baseball simulators on the license of the American MLB league. As every year, it was developed by Sony, and more specifically by the San Diego Studio team. It is also the first instalment of the series to be released on Xbox consoles. This time, the cover of the game features a picture of Fernando Tatís Jr. from the San Diego Padres team.
Like most sports games, MLB The Show 21 follows the rules of the original sport. In this case, we take part in a baseball game, managing our team and controlling it directly on the field. So we take care of the condition and abilities of the players in consecutive seasons, to improve their statistics with successive achievements.
This does not mean that the 2021 instalment does not differ from its predecessors. On the contrary, the developers introduced a lot of improvements, completely modifying the interface related to throwing. These, as in older parts known as MLB 2K, boil down to making "gestures" with the controller's analog knob, with each type of throw requiring a different movement. As before, each action is scored, but in MLB The Show 21 we get a lot more feedback.
The game also gives us more freedom in managing and personalising players, while increasing the importance of the decisions we make.
In MLB The Show 21 the game modes known from the previous part of the cycle return, allowing us to compete against artificial intelligence or other players. We also got some modifications here, for example, the possibility of accelerating the progression in March to October through efficient management and joining minor league games. An important change is the possibility to use a self-created player not only in the career, but also in other game modes. The player avatar can also be a two-way player (i.e. playing as a pitcher or batter).
In addition to the changes to the existing content, the game introduces a new feature for ninth-generation consoles: the ability to create custom stadiums from over 1,000 available elements. Players can also customise the gameplay according to their own preferences. There are six difficulty levels to choose from and three settings: Casual which serves as a tutorial, Simulation, which faithfully replicates real-world competition, and Competitive.
MLB The Show 21 also includes the Diamond Dynasty mode, which functions on a similar basis to Ultimate Team known from the series of sports games published by Electronic Arts. In short, we collect player cards and complete our dream team. Importantly, all players can be acquired through active play.
MLB The Show 21 is a typical licensed sports game, using realistic 3D graphics. The faces and players' bodies are faithful copies of real baseball stars. The developers from San Diego Studios have also refreshed the players' animations, improving the old ones and adding completely new ones. The game also allows users of different platforms to play together ( cross-platform).