MLB The Show 20 is suddenly in a unique position. The COVID-19 coronavirus has disrupted the sport around the world, and baseball is no different, as the opening day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season was recently delayed for at least the next two months – and even that seems optimistic. It’s an unfathomable turn of events, but it also means that the latest Sony San Diego baseball sim is now one of the few ways to experience the 2020 season of America’s favorite pastime. This is our MLB The Show 20 Review.
MLB The Show 20 Review: About
- Platform: PlayStation 4
- Developer: SIE San Diego Studio
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Genres: Sports game
- Release Date: January 14, 2020
MLB The Show 20 Review: Official Trailer Video
MLB The Show 20 Review: Gameplay
It is, therefore, suitable that MLB 20 maintains the consistently high quality of the series. On-field refinements and hitting may only be incremental this year, but they add more depth to what is still one of the fascinating sports games on the market. At the same time, new additions and off-field modes increase the variety of the game as you charting a course towards World Series Glory.
Fielding and defense got a lot of love in last year’s game, so MLB 20 adds a few more wrinkles without rocking the boat too much. The distinction between Gold Glove-caliber outfielders and regular mortals is now a bit more pronounced, especially when the CPU is in control. The best outfielders in the game are chosen much more this year, responding with factual accuracy and a decisive first step on the ball.
There’s also a new Extreme Catch Indicator that identifies those bloop singles and hard-sinking line drives that are about to get caught. If you have a player like Minnesota Twins midfielder Byron Buxton patrolling the outfield, you might have a chance and try a risky dive catch on one of these hard-to-reach balls knowing he’s good enough to make a spectacular grab. However, with an average defender chasing the ball, you may prefer to play it safe and position yourself to collect the ball after it bounces.
If you grab that single, you might even get a chance to use MLB 20’s new Throw Home indicator. By nailing the small needle in the center of an outfielder’s throw meter, they will launch the ball home with as much force and precision as they can yield, giving you a higher chance of catching one of those bang-bang- record on the home plate. It’s smart, if subtle, in addition to the game, which applies to all of these improvements in the game’s field.
When using the standard PCI, the outer reticle shows the view of your batter plate, while the inner reticle shows their ability to contact. Previously, the PCI consisted of an average between these two characteristics, so there was some tricky guesswork trying to straighten the ball and make firm contact. Splitting these attributes up with separate crosshairs illustrates precisely what your batter’s contact and vision are, which makes a direct distinction between good and bad hitters and give you better feedback for setting up the PCI in the optimal position.
As for new modes, MLB 20 enhances the franchise experience with a few additions. You now have the option to add custom teams to your franchise by replacing a current team with a group of your own. You can change the name, design your uniforms, and choose a home location – be it the historic Polo Grounds or the brand new Globe Life Field from Texas Rangers. The fact that you can’t select the selection means that this isn’t quite the expansion team mode the community has been wanting for years.
The most important new addition is the inclusion of full Minor League rosters. In the past, the community created its custom rosters, replacing each Joe Random with the best prospects and Double-A veterans from each team’s MiLB partner. Now, these players come straight out of the box, with real names, accurate stats, and in some cases, even face scans. Instead of waiting weeks for the community to come up with the goods, you can now start franchise mode and have an entire organization from the start, including players like Gavin Lux, Wander Franco, and Luis Robert.
Elsewhere, the online leagues return in MLB 20. These are customizable one-off seasons that offer you many options when it comes to setting up an association with friends. You can even use your Diamond Dynasty grids, which is an excellent addition. The problem is that there are none of the Minor League teams mentioned above to call up players, nor is there a concept or some free agency. It’s a one-time season with no CPU teams – far from the robust online franchise mode that was once part of the season and continues to feature in other sports games.
Diamond Dynasty also got a lot of love last year, so MLB 20 doesn’t mess with the formula too much. There is a new Showdown mode, which is a mix between Moments and Battle Royale. You start by building a skeletal team of players and then play through a series of scenarios that are often based on key moments in baseball history. You don’t know exactly what challenges await you, but each playthrough ends in a Showdown against a formidable pitcher, where the task is to come back from a variable shortage before taking 15 outs.
March to October and Road to the Show have received some similar minor improvements. The latter still offers the same shortened season experience, only now you can influence the selection of your team with Minor League trades and calls. With RTTS, player relationships can develop both on the pitch and during locker room conversations. By bonding with your teammates, you get valuable benefits all season long and feel more natural now.
MLB The Show 20 review is not making great strides and instead opts for refining areas that needed improvement over last year. This results in a game that feels more balanced in variety across a range of game modes. At the same time, action on the diamond is sharpened with rewarding consistency and added dynamics that maintain the series’ lofty standards. It’s the ideal foundation to build on as the PlayStation 5 looms on the horizon. With baseball season suspended for the foreseeable future, MLB 20 is somehow going to fill a space in our pursuit of escapism.
With baseball season suspended for the foreseeable future, MLB 20 is somehow going to fill a space in our pursuit of escapism.