Fans of the MLB The Show series will be able to get their hands on the 2017 game on March 28. This year’s game has a number of new features and improvements including more detailed player graphics, the addition of a “Retro Mode”, more options when creating a player and expanded storylines for the “Road to the Show” career mode.
According to Engadget, this year’s game will only be released on PS4. It has long been a PlayStation exclusive title meaning it is unavailable on XBox, but it will no longer be released on PS3 leaving owners with last year’s edition as the final installment on the older gaming system.
Here’s what we know about this year’s game.
1. MLB The Show 17 Will Be Released on March 28
The new edition of the baseball franchise will release just in time for the new season. The game will be released on March 28 a few days before Opening Day on April 4. There are several different versions of the game. Fans can pre-order the Digital Deluxe edition in the PlayStation store for $99.99.
The digital edition includes the game along with 11,000 stubs, one diamond season starter pack, one gold season starter pack, one digital deluxe pack, one sponsor Pack, 20 standard packs and 31 PS4 themes. Fans of Ken Griffey Jr. will want to check out the Hall of Fame edition available at GameStop.
The Hall of Fame edition comes with a limited edition New Era 9Fifty snapback hat which features the MLB logo on the front except the player has a backwards hat instead of the traditional front-facing lid of the normal logo. It is a nod to Griffey, this year’s cover man, who was known for his signature backwards hat. Here’s a closer look at the special edition hat:
In addition to the hat, the game comes with a steel book, a digital New Era hat for Diamond Dynasty, 11,000 stubs, one diamond season starter pack, one gold season starter pack, one digital deluxe pack, one sponsor pack, 10 standard packs and 31 PS4 themes. The standard edition of the game will be available on March 28 without the additional items but will retail at a lower rate.
2. Ken Griffey Jr. Is This Year’s Cover Star
Vintage baseball gamers will love the look of this year’s cover. According to Forbes, Griffey not only is on the cover but will be playable in the game making it the first time he has appeared in a video game in 20 years.
He is known for the infamous 1994 Super Nintendo game Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball. Griffey was motion captured for this year’s game and his iconic swing will be part of the game. Here is a look at some of the outtakes with Griffey:
Times have changed a bit since his last appearance and thankfully gamers will not have to blow on the cartridge to play this year’s game.
3. Retro Mode Will Be Introduced in This Year’s Game
MLB The Show 17 will have a vintage touch. This year marks the introduction of the “Retro Mode”. The new mode has the feel of older baseball games without losing the updated graphics and new additions of this year’s game. While the visuals for the score and player at-bat will look like an older baseball game, the player graphics will remain detailed and updated. Pitching, hitting and fielding are all controlled with one button making it simpler than ever for the user to play the game.
PlayStation explained the simplified controls on their blog.
For example, in an effort to simplify the batter vs. pitcher battle, we’ve taken all the pitching attributes out and boiled them down to velocity, break, and control. Because there is no high and low in the strike zone, you have three pitches at your disposal that you can trigger with the touch of one button. To throw a fastball you hold down on the left analog stick and press X. To throw a changeup you hold up on the left analog stick and press X. And to throw a slider you press to the left or right on the left analog stick after the pitch is released.
4. Designers Focused on Improving the Player Graphics
While the design team was happy with the way the various ballparks looked, they felt like the look of the players could be improved. The team focused on enhancing player visuals for the new edition. The improvements can been seen particularly in the player eyes which look much more lifelike in 2017.
Users will have a lot more options when creating a player. According to Game Informer, there are 49 heads to choose from which is an expansion from 17 heads in last year’s game. There are 22 new facial hair options as well as expanded hair styles. You will be able to customize everything from the size of a player’s hips to mixing a particular batting style with another player’s home run celebration. The new options allow for a wider range of body types to appear in the game.
While this year’s improvements focused on the players, there are some additional tweaks to other visuals. MLB The Show 17 features an overhaul to the grass on the baseball fields. The new system allows for the grass to look different based on the lighting when you are playing. The field will look different at various angles allowing for a much more realistic viewing experience.
5. MLB The Show 17 Features New Ball Physics
This year, players will notice more realistic ball movement. According to game designer Ramone Russell (via Game Informer), this update allows for hundreds of thousands of different ball pathways. This will allow for a more expansive range of hits. The team also strengthened the A.I. of computer controlled players. Game Informer explains what the changes mean for this year’s edition.
Players are smarter and understand context more, which the team has dubbed “Humanity A.I.” For instance, a fielder knows he has to get to the ball and get it out faster if Billy Hamilton is at bat because the A.I. understands how fast Hamilton is. Conversely, you’ll see throwers take more time with the ball if they feel they have it. When players rush throws, the game takes that into account when it’s calculating the accuracy of the resulting throw.