MLB 14: The Show Visual Analysis – PS4 vs. PS3 vs. PS Vita

MLB 14, crushes the sports game stereotypes with its visual prowess.

Posted By | On 15th, May. 2014 Under Article, Editorials


The last time a sports game had had gamers and critics held in awe at it beauty was in late 2013 when NBA 2K14 had come out. The game had really killed the notion that sports genre games aren’t meant to compete with graphical behemoths of the age. And this trend is now followed suit by MLB 14: The Show. This Sony exclusive came out on all three platforms namely, the PS3, PS4 and the Playstation Vita.

The PS4 is of course the new generation console, so the corollary being, the game looks gorgeously effulgent on the PS4. MLB 14: The Show on the PS4 offers enough visual treats to satisfy the sybarite in you. The game has superb textures done in high resolution, resulting in detailing of the utmost calibre. If one spares a moment or two to look at the details, one wouldn’t be disappointed. Everything from the facial expressions of players, to clothes textures’ have been rendered in excruciating detail; every player’s straining muscles showing up distinctly and every glass blade is individually visible in the green field.

MLB 14: The Show

"An insane amount of effort has been put into making every strand of hair defined and acting in accordance with the laws of physics. Looking closely at the face so players would also reveal the light stubble that some players may have. Also, there’s a little saturation in the game that actually adds to the beauty. "

Bloom has been employed laudably in the game. Since the game is played in an outdoor field with the sun shining overhead, bloom significantly adds to the aesthetic beauty of the game. All the colours give off light as they should and this realistic effect is greatly amplified by ambient occlusion, which ensured that that the light in the environment acknowledges the small counters of game elements as well as in ensuring that the light given off by non reflective surfaces is even and waning.

Ambient occlusion is present even in the crowd, which in itself is very nicely portrayed with over 500 variables of clothing working out to give separate appearances to everyone in the stands.

Reflections in the game are nice and alpha processing allows for that little transparency when needed such as in the goggles of the players. One thing that really makes the developers deserving of the praise is how player’s hair has been done in the game.

An insane amount of effort has been put into making every strand of hair defined and acting in accordance with the laws of physics. Looking closely at the face so players would also reveal the light stubble that some players may have. Also, there’s a little saturation in the game that actually adds to the beauty.

All this is in stark contrast to the PS4’s forerunner, whose limits had already been pushed to the apex with the MLB 13. Still ,the developers ground enough out of themselves to improve even upon that. Inherently, the PS3 is bound to perform much lower than the PS4, but it still manages to put up a good show.

MLB 14: The Show

"Unlike the PS4, MLB 14 on the PS3 lacks in anti-aliasing a significant bit although it is not visible outrightly. The reflections in comparison are a bit too overtly done, with players helmets often acting as mirrors. The poorly done anisotropic filtering may put some people off but it’s not all that bad."

Unlike the PS4, MLB 14 on the PS3 lacks in anti-aliasing a significant bit although it is not visible outrightly. The reflections in comparison are a bit too overtly done, with players helmets often acting as mirrors. The poorly done anisotropic filtering may put some people off but it’s not all that bad. Ambient occlusion again, is not as good as the PS3’s successor, with some game elements appearing without shadows where there should.

The PS3 version also lacks a detailed depth of field but it’s not a matter of significance as even the PS4 version doesn’t offer much beyond the stadium bounds. Even the 2D skybox is merely satisfactory.

The PS3 version lacks the PS4 level of alpha processing and bloom, as well as cutting down on textures, resulting in more bland appearance of players, their clothing and the grass on the field which happens to lack grass blades altogether.

Also, instead of the ridiculously detailed hair of the players, the PS3 offers an often variegated lot of different colours and shapes of dried hemp attached to players’ heads. But considering you’ll be absorbed in playing the game, that shouldn’t be a bother.

The crowd looks almost the same on the PS3 and the PS4, with the former utilising lesser number of variables to dress individuals in the crowd differently.

Mlb 14 PS4

"The PS Vita version of MLB 14 looks coextensive with the PS3 version. It’s not excellent, but by any handheld’s standards, it’s not in tepid waters. The Vita version plays and looks and plays mostly like the PS3 version, with the obvious cut down on the graphical detailing. Nonetheless, the character details are appreciable and so are the shadows in the game."

The PS3 also tries to save on rendering by employing bokeh depth of field and cutting down on the texture and details of far off things unlike the PS4, which retains almost uniform depth of field with consistent detailing throughout.

Largely, MLB 14: The Show remains the same as MLB 13 while considering how it fares in the graphical benchmarks, but it does improve a lot upon the gameplay by means of introducing more fluid player movements, better animations and more beefed up character models, thus making it look and feel all the better.

The PS Vita version of MLB 14 looks coextensive with the PS3 version. It’s not excellent, but by any handheld’s standards, it’s not in tepid waters. The Vita version plays and looks and plays mostly like the PS3 version, with the obvious cut down on the graphical detailing. Nonetheless, the character details are appreciable and so are the shadows in the game.

Although what does feel missing is the sometimes almost apparent lack of shadows of players on the field. There’s a decent amount of anisotropic filtering by handheld console standards and the build of the stadium and the field add to the aesthetic experience.

Player movements are fluid and natural so no complaints there. The crowds on the other hand are a let down, who care very static and repetitive in their action and dressing. The character detailing is laudable but the models could have been improved to lend the game a more realistic approach.

There are rare times when the frame rate drops in the game but the instances do not occur at important points in the game, for example while pitching or striking. Apart from these small issues, there’s nothing that would ruin the game for anyone.

MLB 14: The Show

"The PS4 version of course scores high in graphics with superbly done character models, lighting and details, helped by the excellent implementation of the game on the console, albeit with the occasional glitches. The PS3 version still offers a lot to gamers and the game is still easily enjoyable on the older console. The PS Vita too handles the game quite well, except a few complaints here and there."

The PS4 has its own set of problems with players reporting the game’s colours turning into all pink, green and the screen going completely black. There have been some reported screen tearing issues but the instances are recherche. The PS3 on the other hand, remains relatively glitches free with almost no issues reported except the occasional screen tearing issues.

MLB 14: The Show really scores with its extensive and detailed use of textures and lighting, helped by the superb animation which look fluid and natural across all three platforms. With an occasional bit of overlooking on part of the developers, there’s nothing lacklustre about the game, and it plays really well across all three platforms.

The PS4 version of course scores high in graphics with superbly done character models, lighting and details, helped by the excellent implementation of the game on the console, albeit with the occasional glitches. The PS3 version still offers a lot to gamers and the game is still easily enjoyable on the older console. The PS Vita too handles the game quite well, except a few complaints here and there.

Overall, MLB 14: the Show will definitely be the new graphical touchstone for sports games for quite some time on all the aforementioned platforms. A worthy experience.


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