The smell of fresh-cut grass; the sound of a bat making solid contact with a fastball; the lingering suspicion that my Pirates will implode this year–baseball season is almost upon us, and along with an odd name change, MLB The Show 16 is bringing two new modes to help spice up the game for those fools who think that America’s Pastime is boring.
“Diamond Dynasty exploded last year and is quickly becoming one of the most popular modes in the franchise,” says designer Lance Leahy. The team at Sony San Diego is expanding on Diamond Dynasty with two new and violent sounding modes: Battle Royale and Conquest.
Battle Royale, which Leahy calls “the most challenging and competitive game mode Diamond Dynasty has ever seen,” uses your in-game stubs currency to buy elite players for the mode’s draft. After picking a legend like Al Kaline or Rollie Fingers and drafting the rest of your team, you enter a double-elimination tournament, with each game only lasting three innings.
Conquest, meanwhile, is described as a “classic turn-based strategy game,” not to be confused with the recent Fire Emblem Fates release. The mode tasks you with building up your fanbase to gain and hold new territory across North America, and fans can even change the difficulty for games. It’s certainly a departure from anything the series has offered before, with the map of North America looking more like something out of Settlers of Catan than a baseball simulator. Like Battle Royale, individual games of baseball in the mode are limited to three innings to keep the pace quick.
MLB The Show 16 launches for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on March 29. An “MVP” edition of the PlayStation 4 version will be available for an extra $10, packaging the game with a steelbook and extra currency. Unlike the past several iterations of the franchise, it will not be available on the PlayStation Vita.