Hands-on impressions with the stunning next-gen sports sim
Big and small. Those two words best describe the visual improvements San Diego Studio has implemented in MLB 14 The Show on PS4. From the detailed stitching and fabric of a glove to the 4x texture resolution of entire stadiums, the team has pushed itself – and PS4 – to create an unrivaled experience in baseball.
The PS4 version of MLB 14 The Show boasts plenty of obvious enhancements over its feature-rich, PS3 counterpart. Players look better even at a glance, with uniforms and helmets that wrinkle and flash under the grace of a new lighting model. While stadium crowds in the PS3 version were made up of about 40 different models, the PS4 version hosts 1,000 individual models in varying clothing and gear — and each model has approximately the same number of polygons as the actual players did on PS3.
The list goes on. Individual blades of grass provide a subtle accent against a player’s shoe. Stubble grows on his cheek. These details, big and small, push the PS4 version ever closer to visual parity with a game broadcast on television.
For those that haven’t played the PS3 version yet, MLB 14 The Show brings a litany of new features and improvements over last year’s outing. Quick Counts simulate the pitching counts in a game, reducing the number of total pitches while preserving the outcome. This allows gamers to jump in and out of a game in less time, while still experiencing much of what The Show has to offer.
Series favourites, including Road to the Show, have been improved. Cross save support across all three platforms encourages baseball enthusiasts to bring their progress on the go, or between PS3 and PS4. As an added bonus, year-to-year saves enable gamers to bring their progress this year to future entries in the series.
A less obvious addition, though no less addictive, is the new player lock feature — something San Diego Studio dubs “Road to the Show, anywhere.” This locks the camera — and the action — to any individual player in a game. Player lock opens up the tremendous diversity and strategic richness in each position on field, from the planning and quick thinking of the catcher to the patience and precision of an outfielder.
Each position plays a bit different, and unlocks a whole new way to experience The Show. If that player happens to be out, The Show can simulate all the “in-between” moments in a slick interface brimming with statistics, or gamers can watch it all play out in real time. The amount of options and customization is staggering, inviting the most devoted baseball fans to plunge into a sea of possibilities and fine-tune the experience to their liking.
In fact, MLB 14 The Show aims to cater its fun to all types of players, from those with a craving for a quick fix, to gamers in it for the long haul. And with player lock running underneath every game, each position on field is a new perspective into the sport.
MLB 14 The Show hits PS4 this May, and is available now on PS3 and PS Vita.
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