|Dev: SIE San Diego Studio|
|Release: March 27, 2018|
|Players: 1-8 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Content is generally suitable for all ages.|
Players also choose between various camera styles. The broadcast style creates the appearance of a game being broadcast over the television as contrasted to the polar-opposite option which produces a faster, more typical gaming experience where the emphasis is on the competitive aspect of the game’s fundamentals and mechanics. A hybrid option offers a nice compromise between the two. It’s worth noting that a lot of effort seemingly went the creation of an enveloping visual experience so your choice in these options is going to be largely dependent on what level of atmospheric presence you desire from the game. I wholeheartedly recommend trying the broadcast style, at least for a little, because it better showcases all the finer details of MLB: The Show 18.
Visually, MLB: The Show 18 features nearly photo realistic fields that are only disturbed by decidedly less realistic players. True, they look better than they ever have which is precisely why they can be slightly off-putting to look at; the uncanny valley is becoming common place in this generation of games, it seems. That said, it is only a small gripe which is easy to forgive when you consider how well-animated the models are; movement looks natural and varied as opposed to stock and universal.
Further assisting the realistic tone of the game are the visual and audible details of the environment. It is surprising the level of familiarity I get from playing in stadiums that I have visited in real life. Weather effects somehow manage to increase the magnitude of the competitive drama encountered in the middle of a game. Commentary provided by Matt Vasgersian, Mark DeRosa, and Dan Plesac is a welcome treat for fans of the sport. Also, team-specific player celebrations are fun to watch but, more importantly, help twist the dagger during a rousing bout of smack talk against a friend in the wake of a triumph. Moments like that are staples of the genre and, in a way, can give it a universal appeal to gamers in general.
MLB: The Show 18 is a refined experience that stands tall as the best baseball game currently on the market. Of all the iterations of the title, this is, to my eye, the definitive best and, I imagine, exactly what fans of the genre are looking for. Beyond that, in a similar vein to soccer or hockey games, MLB: The Show 18 is an enjoyable, competitive, multiplayer experience that can easily be enticing to non-sports fans if they simply look past the baseball veneer to see the mechanically sound, tactile, multi-faceted game below the surface; you don’t need to watch or play baseball for the game to function as a more than serviceable pastime and I recommend a rental to anyone who is on the fence about getting into this genre.