MLB The Show 24 Review - Hitting It Out of the Park
Image Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

MLB The Show 24 Review – Hitting It Out the Park

Stepping up to the plate and sending expectations flying.

MLB The Show 24 on PlayStation 5

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Some things never disappoint, and when it comes to video game baseball, San Diego Studio’s MLB The Show series has always been a top performer out on the bases. This year’s entry is no different, with MLB The Show 24 building on the previous great work, especially on the storytelling front. While there is still room for improvement in certain areas, the stage is set for yet another homerun entry.

MLB The Show 24 Review Storylines
Image Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The standout feature of the The Negro Leagues returns with season 2, with four more outstanding stories available to players at launch. Once more, players keen to learn more about the history of the sport in the early years are treated to an experience unlike any other. From the fantastic video packages to the narration provided by the president of the Negro League Museum, Bob Kendrik, it is pretty impossible not to be pulled into this trip down memory lane for those who have prior knowledge and an even more enlightening journey for those of us who are discovering it for the first time.

Considering that there will be more stories to come, fans would undoubtedly be excited to see the rest of the magic San Diego Studio has in its pocket. With Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Hank Aaron leading the charge alongside the true-to-life trailblazer in Toni Stone, the first woman ever to play in a professional men’s baseball league, reliving baseball’s past has never been more fun or impactful.

For the more contemporary audience, the star power of Yankees legend Derek Jeter was an understandable choice for another Storyline inclusion. Providing a more intimate lens into his career with the help of The Captain himself, it does, however, pale in comparison to the other stories. This is not a slight on Jeter, but the general dominance of the Yankees from 1995 to 2000 and his high levels of professionalism leave no room for drama and tension that would generate more excitement.

MLB The Show 24 Review Controls
Image Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

As for the core gameplay of MLB The Show 24, it remains at all-star quality, with players given plenty of flexibility to tailor their approach to the game and being soundly rewarded for pursuing those marginal gains. Hitting and pitching are already satisfying on the default levels, but go deeper into the more nuanced control schemes, and you might gain a deeper appreciation of the mastery of the pros at this particular sport, albeit with you behind the action.

This extends to the less glamorous aspect of the sport, too, with defensive plays now getting the attention they deserve with the new Impact Plays mechanic. Whether you are trying to make it to the top in Road to the Show or just enjoying the game as an individual player rather than a team, Impact Plays see time slow down during pivotal moments, and players have to complete a quick time event to make that spectacular play. Be it executing game-saving throws or scaling the walls to rob a home run from the batter, defense never felt so good to play.

This robust gameplay helps make all of MLB The Show 24’s various game modes a joy to play most of the time. Road to the Show is still the de facto choice for players to attempt to live out their dreams of making it professionally, and this year, female characters can join in the fun with the whole nine yards. More options for body types, hairstyles, and even distinct cutscenes and storytelling help differentiate the journey of a female player, and rightly so. Unfortunately, the static delivery in lieu of full voiceovers does take away from the experience quite a bit.

There is also the addition of the Draft Combine in Road to the Show, a showing of your skills to impress scouts coming to discover the next big thing. At least, that should be the idea of the event, but with no tangible impact on your player’s attributes and the team choice being the player’s to make, it feels more like a novelty rather than a well-thought-out idea.

MLB The Show 24 Review Road to the Show
Image Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

For those into team management, the Franchise and March to October modes continue to be solid options to enjoy, even if they are largely the same offerings from before. Depending on your preferences, this could mean living game to game, diving into statistics like your life depended upon it, or you could simulate most of the season and focus on the organizational side of things.

This is helped by a useful tool in the form of Custom Game Entry, which functions as a filter to weed out game situations and scenarios that you feel require no player input and only drops you in when the stakes are higher. Not everyone has the ability or patience to play the entire season, and having options is always welcomed.

That said, the biggest timesink in MLB The Show 24 will likely be Diamond Dynasty, back once more to tempt players with card collection and building out the best squad the sport has ever seen. If you have tried the mode before, everything should remain familiar as you try to climb the ranks and construct a competitive team from card packs and events. Thanks to the returning Sets and Seasons mechanics, better cards are always seemingly within reach, but it is not all perfect.

Although such cards can be used for a now-extended season, the looming use-by date will still give players food for thought. As your collection grows, it can become painful to decide which of your best and favorite players will need to be cut to make way for new ones, and even the presence of wildcard slots that extend the shelf life of selected cards can’t take away the feeling of loss among the grind. Still, Diamond Dynasty is a mode worth investing time and effort in; just try not to develop too much of an attachment to your players.

MLB The Show 24 Review Diamond Dynasty
Image Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

MLB The Show 24 also continues to evolve side-by-side with the sport, keeping up to date with everything new to maintain the authentic experience. Whatever you see in an actual MLB game is replicated in the digital space. Small touches like larger bases and more critical aspects like implementing new rules all contribute to bridging the gap between the video game and its real-life counterpart.

The presentation has also improved on the already high standards, with America’s pastime looking and sounding even better than before. Be it the crowds or players, down to the announcers, crank up the volume, and it almost feels like watching a game live, and the improved lighting system is the cherry on top, allowing the action on the plates to come to life even more.

All in all, MLB The Show 24 continues to swing for the fences as the best representation of the sport in video game form, and save for a few misses, it always delivers. The outstanding gameplay is enhanced with an elevated presentation in all of the modes, and the storytelling in Storylines is a big draw for those wanting to embrace the game’s roots and pay homage to the legends from yesteryear. While Diamond Dynasty can be an acquired taste, and the inclusion of Derek Jeter may not appeal to all, these missteps hardly take the shine off the gem that is MLB The Show 24, and it’s time to play ball.

4
MLB The Show 24
All in all, MLB The Show 24 continues to swing for the fences as the best representation of the sport in video game form, and save for a few misses, it always delivers. The outstanding gameplay is enhanced with an elevated presentation in all of the modes, and the storytelling in Storylines is a big draw for those wanting to embrace the game's roots and pay homage to the legends from yesteryear. While Diamond Dynasty can be an acquired taste, and the inclusion of Derek Jeter may not appeal to all, these missteps hardly take the shine of the gem that is MLB The Show 24, and it's time to play ball.
Pros
  • Baseball's history is given a rightful spotlight.
  • Female inclusion a great plus.
  • Robust gameplay is improved further and presentation takes a step up.
  • Various game modes largely delivers on promise.
Cons
  • Diamond Dynasty still needs to be tweaked.
  • Derek Jeter's Storyline is a hit-and-miss.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S.

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Author
Jake Su
Jake is a full-time trophy hunter and achievement gatherer on consoles, and a part-time Steam Sale victim. He has a thing for Batman and awesome statues, and running out of space for both. Send help. Jake was a freelance writer for Twinfinite between 2021 to 2023 and specialized in writing detailed guides on every new release he could get his hands on.