One of the challenges that the MLB The Show franchise has had to grapple with is the fact that gamers love playing an entire season with their favorite team but, given the 162-game schedule, this can take an enormous amount of time that few are willing to commit. Throughout the years the series has found ways to address this from the “road to the show” mode that allowed you to only play events that involved your rookie player to options to shorten the season to something more befitting a video game.
Sony San Diego Studios, developers of MLB The Show 17 have taken new steps to allow gamers to experience what it is like to control a full season without having to put in the hours of playing every single moment of your team’s schedule. From the franchise level, gamers can take a hands-off approach to the actual dealings on the field, instead focusing on building a strong franchise, signing contracts and trying to operate in the black all the while negotiating inflated player contracts. These options also include the ability to micro-manage, or completely delegate, player development tasks, coaching tasks and GM tasks. It is up to you how involved you want to be in the day to day running of the organization.
Aside from GM duties gamers can choose how much they want to be involved on the field. Yes, you can still play each and every nine inning game (or 19 innings) but other options are also now available. Critical Situation mode puts the controller in your hands when things really matter. Is your clean-up hitter at bat when the game is on the line? Is your lead-off hitter gunning for a hitting streak? These are the times when you will take control of what is happening on the field to influence the outcome. Another option is player lock
Another option to speed things up is “player lock”. This allows you to only play the events that include a pre-selected player. I’m looking at you 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson. Everything that happens in the game the does not involve that certain player is simulated by the CPU. MLB The Show 17 released March 28, 2017, exclusively for PS4.