MLB

MLB: The Show 17 introduces plethora of gameplay improvements

Playstation’s MLB: The Show made its debut ten years ago when it featured David Ortiz on the cover. I realize that’s a sore subject, but since then, each year the studio at SIE San Diego has produced a new version of the game.

The most recent production of MLB: The Show 17 will feature an array of gameplay improvements to celebrate a special year.

One of the first new features for the game is for new ball physics which will make for a huge variety of hits possible. The new model is referred to as a “game changer” to make the ball-from-bat ratio more realistic with bloopers, drives down the line, and ball-flight paths.

Flight, temperature and altitude effects are also updated in this installment using real world video and measured home run distances.

Gamers can also experience the franchise’s most diverse time of hit possibilities.

“There are hundreds of thousands of hit varieties this year,” according to the promotional video.

In addition to physics, the artificial intelligence is receiving a facelift (no pun intended) to show these players “behaving more like a human” to reach the goal of the players acting more life-like.

Paul Sporer of FanGraphs is an avid MLB: The Show player and said right off-the-bat the developers answered a big gameplay question.

“In 2016, there were animations from infielders that allowed mediocre speed players to beat out what should’ve been routine plays for base hits,” said Sporer. “They explicitly mention that it’s been addressed for 2017. Another major aspect that game players ask for yearly is a variety of hit types and while they incrementally improve that yearly, they seem to have taken a quantum leap with it this year. The catcher throw meter is another strong improvement as it will better incorporate a catcher’s defensive stats into their play, something that was lacking in 2016 outside of the elite end (namely Yadier Molina). The added personality animations are just another step in making the game more real and are welcomed by all.”

There are over 300 new and redone pitching motions and over 1,000 captured new gameplay animations.

The gameplay and retro mode deep dive will air on Twitch.tv February 9 at 2 pm PT.

About the author

Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jessica is a sports writer with an obsession for baseball. You can catch her in the stands or in the media booth. She's the one with the big hair. In addition to Sportsnaut, Jessica has been featured on Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, and MLB Nation.