Sony's highly acclaimed baseball sim, developed by SCE Studios San Diego, returns for the 2014 Major League Baseball season. This marks the series' debut on PlayStation 4.
A new mode for MLB 14: The Show (not available on PS Vita), Online Franchise allows players to play the franchise mode with other players. The MLB: The Show series has already offered an Online League option in the past, but the new Online Franchise mode includes scouting prospects, trades (including Minor League players), drafting players, contract renewals, and free agent signings. A league members can scout prospects throughout the year, then assign their draft picks to any of the three tiers of minor league teams in their franchise.
League options include:
- Schedule Types
- Designated Hitter Preference
- Realigning Divisions
- Custom Rosters
- Playoff Round Lengths
- Total Games in Season
Additions to Online Franchise
Although the basic structure of the online franchise mode is similar to the offline experience several improvements were made from the base franchise mode which was already present in previous games. These features are exclusive to the online version of franchise.
- Refined player generation
- New contract decision logic
- New lineup logic
- Refined trade logic
- Retired players stored for every season
- More player stats stored for every season
- Team management via TheShowNation.com
Additions to Offline Franchise
Several additions were also made to the base offline franchise mode that are not present in the online version of the mode including the ability to hire and fire coaches during season.
Online vs Offline Franchise
Due to how the online franchise mode was developed significant differences between the online franchise and offline franchise were present in the final game. The developer stated that the new online franchise mode was developed separately from the base franchise mode and that they ran out of development time to implement the improvements into offline franchise as well.
Changes to Road to The Show
- Revamped advancement system which includes the removal of advancement goals
- Topps Amateur Showcase: Series of games against other draft prospects
- Training system revamped
- New player-creation process (PS3 and PS4)
- Reintroduction of "broadcast" presentation (PS3 and PS4)
- Revamped Catcher mode (PS3 and PS4)
Year-to-Year and Cross-Platform Saves
In addition to save files working across all three platforms, starting with MLB 14, saves will transfer into future installments of the game. For example, a Road to the Show player's progress through the minors and into the majors in MLB 14 will be able to continue into MLB 15 without having to start over.
An expanded in-game currency system that is earned as players progress through the game. In past iterations of The Show, Road To The Show training points and other micro-transactions were made directly through the PSN store.
Allows players to play as only one specific player during any game mode similar to Road To The Show with that player being the center of control for the user. Games can take as little as 10 minutes with player lock enabled.
In an effort to speed up the process of playing a full game, Quick Counts offer players generated pitch counts that intend to allow for full nine inning games to be finished in under thirty minutes. Quick Counts should not compromise the outcome of realistic statistics, although some counts will not occur as to further speed up the gameplay (0-0,1-0, 2-0). All other pitch counts are possible with Quick Counts on. In order to keep the pitch counts in line with realistic results one pitch per at bat is subtracted from the pitch count. This is due to quick counts resulting in higher than normal pitch counts. One reason why this occurs is that there are no 0-0, 1-0, and 2-0 counts which remove the ability for a pitcher to get any fist-pitch outs.
Universal Profile (PS3 and PS4)
Similar to other video game franchises, MLB 14: The Show introduces a new tendency tracking profile to its 2014 release. The tracked profile can be viewed by anyone and offer a quick scouting report of the human player. The profile can also be subbed in place of the human player in offline games in modes such as Diamond Dynasty and Online Franchise when head-to-head match-ups are not possible.
Community Challenges (PS3 and PS4)
Players can create custom situations to challenge the community. Things such as who is on base, where the ball is hit, score or innning can be edited to create these custom scenarios.
An advanced logic system will grade a user's skill and adjust the challenge level based on their overall performance. Pitching and hitting are judged separately. Difficulty can incease or decrease independently between the two. On screen indicators notify the player of how they are being graded.
Diamond Dynasty Extra Innings (PS3 and PS4)
Users can not challenge other user-created teams in an offline matchup. The challenging user will need to be online to do so however. A challenged team can alos only benefit from receiving the challenge even if the team does not perform well agains the human challenger.
Other Additions to MLB 14
- New injury presentations
- Completely re-done catcher animations suite
- New baserunning paradigm
- New dynamic catch position indicator for fielding
- New dynamic cameras for batting and fielding
- New overall and potential formula
- New pitcher/batter status screen
- CPU plate discipline has been re-written
- New assortment of organ recordings
- New pickoff camera
- New player search feature
- 20 new signature HR swings
PS4 Only Features
Beyond the visual enhancements the PS4 version will receive there are additional features that will only be present on the PS4 version of the game.
- Intro fly-ins
- New bat boy and ball boy presentations
- All-new high-resolution crowd reactions, ambient noise, cheers, etc….
- Japan League-stye and slap-hitter swing types
- Over 350 new fielding and batting animatins
- Team specific, player specific, team generic crowd signs
MLB 14: The Show was first revealed during the 2013 Players Choice Awards on the MLB Network. To coincide with the awards show, this marked the first time that the cover athlete was chosen by the players themselves. Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers was chosen as the cover athlete and announced by Andrew McCutchen (cover athlete for MLB 13: The Show). In Canada, the game's cover features Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays.