Madison Bumgarner crashed his dirt bike and because of that crash he...
First Look: OOTP 18
I was lucky enough to get a preview copy of Out Of the Park Baseball 2018 and have been messing with it a bit this weekend. I haven’t quite gotten deep enough in this game as I will in the future, but from what I’ve seen so far I like it very much and it seems like a real improvement over last year’s game.
The first thing that I noticed about this new game is Challenge Mode. This is an interesting add to the game as it is just that, a challenge. You are challenging yourself and competing against others worldwide. It is achievement oriented and the achievements rank from player specific ones (five hits in a game, walk off grand slam, etc) to team (500 career wins) to making your owner happy (completing goals). Commissioner mode is completely disabled and you are unable to change many rules so you have to accept the circumstances and play on. This mode only allows you to sim a week at a time so it’s great for someone who likes to take their time with a season and manage most of the games themselves.
For those of you have enjoyed the World Baseball Classic (and who doesn’t enjoy Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor on the same team and Adam Jones robbing Manny Machado homeruns), that is now a feature in the game as well. Actually, the “World Cup of Baseball” is now a feature. It doesn’t stop there though as you can add tournaments all over the place. You can select a real world tournament, the WBC or the Olympics, or the Arizona Fall League. You can have up to 50 divisions, with up to 50 teams per division. So, yeah, that’s definitely something I want to try out in the future.
Another big (and long overdue) feature is the addition of the Negro Leagues and their players. It’s nice to have them in the game and you can go back and break the color barrier whenever you want. Thankfully, there is no racist owner feature. I’m currently playing a game in which my team, the White Sox, has signed Minnie Minosa three years earlier than they actually did. I then added Satchel Paige in relief to go with Al Smith and Artie Wilson in the field. The team improved quite a bit.
I haven’t been able to try it out yet, but there is also a mode called Promotion and Relegation that is similar the the UEFA Champions League in football. Basically, you have an A league and B league. Teams who play bad in the A league get sent to the B league and teams that play well in the B league get promoted to the A league. Building off the last paragraph, I almost wonder if this would be a good way to integrate the Negro Leagues into the Major Leagues as opposed to what really happened.
Minor improvements that I’ve enjoyed include: team morale overhaul that makes it more dynamic, adjusted owner goals, adjusted human running success rates and most of all, the speed. I’m not sure what they did, but this game is playing much faster than me over last year’s. I was just playing OOTP 17 last week and I feel as if the season went by in roughly half the time.
We’ll have our full review of this game coming soon, but as for now I can definitely say that this game is worth picking up early. I’ve said in the past that the “best got better”, but really a more accurate phrase would be the “deepest game just got deeper” and, naturally, better. This is the Mike Trout of baseball games.
Add Out of the Park Baseball 18 to Your Steam Wishlist! Greatness Has No Boundaries – Coming March 24! The award-winning baseball management game delivers its biggest, deepest experience ever, fully licensed by both MLB.com and the MLBPA! The Out of the Park Baseball 18 page is now live on Steam, which means you can add it to your Steam wishlist and be notified immediately when the game launches on March 24. Be one of the first to guide your favorite team to glory in this sequel to Metacritic’s PC Game of the Year 2016! OOTP 18 will be 10% off during its first week on Steam, but you can also pre-order the non-Steam version from us at a 10% discount between now and March 23. If you do so, you’ll also get early access to the beta version of the game on March 20th.