At the 2015 NHL Awards in Las Vegas last week we saw the announcement to have two NHL stars displayed on the latest NHL game coming out this September. With the dominance that the Chicago Blackhawks have had over the last six years it was only fitting to put their Captain Jonathan Toews and elite star Patrick Kane on the cover holding the Stanley Cup. NHL 16 will only be released this time around on Xbox One and PS4 with the older generation consoles still getting an NHL game, it just won’t be as beefed up as the cheap nhl 16 coins for Xbox One and PS4 versions.
Hockey has come a very long way, I mean if you were to take a video of the game from twenty years ago and compare it to a game played last season you can easily see a huge difference in the way the game is played and was played. I mean it’s fantastic how competitive the sport has become and almost amazing to watch the rivalries between teams and fans grow larger every year. On the other hand, this isn’t a review about the actual NHL that we all love. We’re talking about the NHL that EA sports is watching. Which I’m slowly starting to believe is in some other country or maybe even on a different planet.
Once we start an actual game we notice a few things before the puck drops, the true arenas that are showed before the game and the new play-by-play announcers. I was personally very excited for the new voices after years of the same 2 announcers with what sounded like the same 5 phrases. This change was to me going to be one of the small improvements that makes this game more tolerable than the previous ones became, however, before even completing my first game, I was already hearing the same phrases coming from the mouths of the new announcers. To top it off, some of the thing they say make no sense, don’t fit the situation and aren’t even funny. If you got annoyed with previous games announcers you will probably be in the same boat with this game after only a few games.
While making NHL 16 a new-gen exclusive will certainly help it make better use of the consoles’ power, it’s hard not to compare this decision to last year’s Assassin’s Creed fiasco, where Ubisoft released two underwhelming games following 2013’s stellar Black Flag. Of course, only time will tell if the split development hurts or helps the series, and with only four months to go until the two games launch, we won’t have to wait too long to find out. Better yet, the release will include the features missing from NHL 16 when it hit current-gen consoles for the first time last year. Our review of NHL 16 said the game had “half a heart and zero soul” due to “too many cut-down or missing modes.”
Re-added to the mix is the EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL), a competitive online 6v6, team vs team mode. Moreover, modes like Online Team Play (OTP), added to NHL as a post-launch patch, will be included in NHL 16 coins online at launch. Being a GM is about more than just getting the best players, it’s about getting the right players to play well together. Each player on your NHL and AHL team has a different personality that you will have to manage. Deal with trade demands, teammate relationships, and much more by calling team meetings or adjusting your roster to directly affect your team’s on-ice performance.
“In NHL 16 there is a brand new way to control goalies. We have added all new motion capture which allows for much more realistic motion when moving in the crease. You can now decide between controlled strides and longer t-pushes. If you want to track a single skater with the puck or push over quickly to track a cross ice pass, you now have the tools to do so.
The mode organization is largely the same as last generation. As teams perform well, they will rise up to more competitive divisions. Teams can still select their team name and one of the many jerseys in the game. NHL 16 does not support customizable jerseys. EA is working long-time team names into the audio to recognize their important role in making the EASHL a destination mode.