MLB: The Show 17 – Early First Impressions


MLB: The Show 17 is back with Aaron Sanchez of the Toronto Blue Jays gracing the Canadian cover in this very deep, quite fun baseball RPG.

The amount of content in MLB: The Show 17 is incredibly impressive. This game filled to the brim with goodies. I just received a copy last night so I only got a few hours into the game but so far I’m very impressed and I’m not even much of a baseball guy.

I grew up in Vancouver, BC. I didn’t grow up watching baseball, and no one around me had any interest in it. My grandparents watched the dreaded CFL and my friends and I all enjoyed hockey. It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto in my 20’s did I start to appreciate the sport. Sure I still think it’s too long and a bit boring, but nothing beats sitting in some good seats, enjoying some cold overpriced beverages in the sun while watching screaming on your team. It also helps that are Toronto Blue Jays are quite good.

Right off the bat the game is going present to you a number of choices. MLB: The Show 17 has a number of new and updated gameplay features including, Retro Mode, Diamond Dynasty,  Road to the Show and Franchise Mode. How you want to play is totally up to you.

The Booth has also been updated. Former MLB players and current MLB Network on-air talent Harold Reynolds and Dan Plesac join the booth in MLB The Show 17.

Retro Mode is exactly what it sounds like. A retro gameplay experience that pays homage to classic baseball games. It’s got a rocking old school soundtrack and has been tweaked to look like classic arcade baseball game.

Retro mode is entirely separate of the other game modes. It’s got couch co–op, Ken Griffey Jr. commentary, and an 8-bit throwback pause menu. It’s like being back in 94. I have some friends coming over tonight and we’re going check this out. Too bad it doesn’t have Old Time Hockey’s one hand mode.

Diamond Dynasty will test your deck building skills as it’s basically a card game. It’s a stats junkies dream. It updates frequently with real-life baseball events. Honestly, I’ll probably be skipping this mode. I’m a casual baseball fan at best. This mode is great for highly competitive players who like the off the field shenanigans.

If you were into baseball cards as kid, Diamond Dynasty is for you.

Road To The Show is a damn good RPG mode. I got hooked on it last night and couldn’t put down the controller. You start off with a high school player you create and shape a few months before the draft. You make the shots and guide your own career.

You can design your own character in incredible detail if you so choose. I must have spent an hour and a half getting my guy, Hank Mardukas aka Bubba Big Dog just right. Character creation is lightyears better here than in say Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Hank got drafted to the Milwaukee Brewers after a few practice games. UGH.


A high school coach who acts as your initial manager said it was a great idea to head to Milwaukee and a better option than going to school. I put my trust in this man.

These scenes with your agent happen in the locker room after a game or on a couch presumably at your home. They are paired with an absolutely unintentional hilarious narrator. It sounds like something from a bad 80’s movie trailer and I love it.

Road to the Show allows you interact with coaches, managers, representatives and more as you make off-the-field decisions that can affect your career in unpredictable ways. It’s a ton of fun both on the field and off.

Franchise mode gives you the power to make your own moves and play a perfect strategy as you take full control of an entire MLB franchise.

Choose who you employ and where. You’re in charge of coaching, player development, and GM duties. It sounds overwhelming and I’ll be easing myself into this mode as I progress with Hank Mardukas in Road to the Show.

This is an absolutely incredible game. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn raised the bar for open-world games while MLB: The Show 17 raises the bar for sports games. I’d love to see the return of the NCAA franchise in this kind of detail. It’s truly remarkable.

The graphics are outstanding and no I haven’t seen any of those horrifying facial animations that have been floating around the internet.

The control scheme is very intuitive. I can play at a casual level without feeling stomped on. If I want to go deeper I can ease myself into it by adjusting a few settings.

A few years ago the only baseball game I’d have said I ever liked was Backyard Baseball and R.B.I. Baseball and now MLB: The Show 17 deserves a spot on the mantle.

Even for a casual baseball fan, this game has hooked me. The intro alone will give you chills. The RPG elements and the highly entertaining ballgames are enough to keep me coming back all summer long.

I’ll be back with a full review in the coming weeks and let you all know how Hank Mardukas is doing in Milwaukee.

Release date: March 28, 2017
Developer: SIE San Diego Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Series: MLB: The Show
Genre: Sports game
Platform: PlayStation 4

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital code provided by the publisher, with the latest patch available, and on a PS4.

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin 🕹 🎮 Twitter @brockmclaughlin New Media (B)Rockstar. Blogger. Video Gamer. Podcaster at the Game Moose. UnBrocxer. Somewhat Charming.

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