User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 46
  2. Negative: 6 out of 46

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  1. Feb 16, 2012
    5
    If the glitches would've prevent me from playing the game, I possibly could give a better review. However, considering how glitch-free NHL 09, 10 and 11 were, I am extremely upset with the product EA put out for 2012. I just can't see how they thought they could put out a game like this. I gave the game a 5 in belief that other people did not experience all the glitches and are able toIf the glitches would've prevent me from playing the game, I possibly could give a better review. However, considering how glitch-free NHL 09, 10 and 11 were, I am extremely upset with the product EA put out for 2012. I just can't see how they thought they could put out a game like this. I gave the game a 5 in belief that other people did not experience all the glitches and are able to enjoy the game for what it is. As me, if I can't play it, it isn't worth it's salt. Expand
  2. Mar 2, 2012
    0
    This game is god awful. Here's how it works; you aim in pass in one direction as you angrily watch the puck go another, while the other team intercepts it. Then they pass it and it does the same thing, and you try to go chase the loose puck but the guy your controlling just skates right past it like it's not even there. Are you kidding me? The only defensive tactic you have besidesThis game is god awful. Here's how it works; you aim in pass in one direction as you angrily watch the puck go another, while the other team intercepts it. Then they pass it and it does the same thing, and you try to go chase the loose puck but the guy your controlling just skates right past it like it's not even there. Are you kidding me? The only defensive tactic you have besides checking (which barely ever works) is poke check, which usually ends in a penalty for tripping. Because of this, the guy on the other team can just take 1 player and deke through your entire defense. So UN-realistic. The square, X and O buttons are barely even used, if at all, and the shooting is now replaced with pulling and pushing the right stick, which depletes the accuracy of every shot. The only real control you have over the game is those brief couple of seconds where the puck actually goes where you pass it, and you fire it at goal from way out and it magically glitches past the keeper into the net. But if you can get past all this, then the only thing you have to worry about is the game freezing on you at random times. Expand
  3. Sep 6, 2012
    10
    I really enjoyed this game and think that EA Sports did a great job with the improvements. I really like the full hit physics engine that makes the game so realisitic. I also really enjoy the goalie improvements because they make the game more realisitic also. I can't wait to see how EA can make NHL' 13 even better.
  4. Oct 27, 2011
    6
    I've given lots of thought as to why I rate this game only 6 when it's presentation is so stunning. But to sum up that is its best feature as there are countless problems associated with the gameplay itself. If you have not picked up an NHL game for 5 to 10 years sure I highly recommend this game for a year or two,but if you are familiar with the NHL series than you will find someI've given lots of thought as to why I rate this game only 6 when it's presentation is so stunning. But to sum up that is its best feature as there are countless problems associated with the gameplay itself. If you have not picked up an NHL game for 5 to 10 years sure I highly recommend this game for a year or two,but if you are familiar with the NHL series than you will find some entertainment here but more than likely become turned off and frustrated by many gameplay features that are not well implemented. My complaint with this game is it isn't tuned by the statistics of each player as one would deduce. Instead it is tuned by momentum which pretty much for the most part negates the true statistics of the players. In single player mode it is more often the case that a 65-70 rated team will play better than a 85-90 rated team. The reason for this is there are multiple levels of adjustments to make a fair game both online and offline but this degrades the whole realism of the simulation. Further there are tons of glitches and freezing problems with this game. In addition too much focus has been put into animation and artificial fantasy moves your players make such as falling to the ice or having sticks break which you have no control over. If momentum is set high your entire team acts like Gretzky and shots go in despite your skill. If your momentum is low your entire team can fall to the ice endlessly. When momentum is high shots go in pretty much no matter what because your shot accuracy goes through the roof negating your own player skill and whether you deserve the goal based on your own player accuracy. Likewise when your momentum is low you can have pretty much 5-10 % shot accuracy even if as a player you nailed the accuracy of the shot. Even in front of open nets you can whiff a shot with a silly animation or nail a slapshot over the net in a low momentum situation. So, in sum this game is a toggle of momentum rather than a decent similation of individual player skills. To a new person playing this game I would highly recommend this disc but for those who already played NHL i do not recommend. The focus is too high on presentation and selling consumables and not enough on the actual tactical nature of hockey that is left in the player full control. I want to reiterate full control. Just way too much fantasy stuff controlling the big picture. Further with the momentum engine in place it is easily able to be pimped by those online who want to play cheap and take advantage of engaging the momentum features of this game in their favor. EA has done a very poor job balancing the game and so online play is extremely cheap. Players play a few of the weaker aspects of the game and control momentum and of course destroy you. This is all fine if you are that style of player but for those of us like myself who want to play a game of hockey by position and tactics solely this game is a complete bust in that respect. It's strictly video game in that respect, expect immature people taking advantage of the game then trying to persuade you that you know nothing about hockey. Also, It seems like the online and EA forums are a boys club. All around the presentation of the game is stunning but the rest of this games features screams immaturity. Expand
  5. Oct 24, 2011
    10
    I don't really play the online features so I cannot rate those but the offline features are great in my mind. I love hitting other players in this game because the hitting mechanics are just great in this game. I also love the graphics and the goalie improvements that they made. Just awesome NHL game!!!
  6. Sep 21, 2011
    10
    This is one of the greatest sports games of this year cant stop playing it everyday beating people and they are always rage quitting when I beat them online, unlike NHL 11 there is a hit engine that u have to time it right goals are harder to score but its all funn all together
  7. Sep 19, 2011
    9
    As a fan of Ice Hockey in Australia, it's a tough sport to follow, and the NHL series has always kept me on touch with it which has been nice. However, i stopped playing it about 3-4 years ago, and got out of the loop. I was tempted this year, and bought NHL12 the day of it's release... and holy GOD did i make the right decision! Not having played it for a number of years, just meansAs a fan of Ice Hockey in Australia, it's a tough sport to follow, and the NHL series has always kept me on touch with it which has been nice. However, i stopped playing it about 3-4 years ago, and got out of the loop. I was tempted this year, and bought NHL12 the day of it's release... and holy GOD did i make the right decision! Not having played it for a number of years, just means that all the improvements to the engine, and the realism are all the more obvious and glorious! I've been a big time Fifa fan, but i now can i say i prefer NHL 12 to Fifa. Never a fan of Be a Pro before, but NHL 12 is SO close to actually playing the game, i love it! (as an ex player that quit due to injuries, it's a WELCOME and GREAT addition to the game!), further, the HUT Mode has been SURPRISINGLY addictive, to the extent, that as a long time GM Mode player, i haven't actually touched it yet, due to HUT and "Be a Pro"... i can hardly believe it... Damn, i'm in love with this game... I Bought Space marine and Dead Island a few days before this, and i'm struggling to stop playing NHL , and i LOVED both of those games... I'd love to give it 10-out of-10 but it's not perfect... As near to perfect as i require however, and i'd thoroughly recommend it. I can't compare it to NHL 11, but for someone returning to the series, it's a GLORIOUS time to do so!
    BTW, loving the board play, and front of the net elements!
    Expand
  8. Sep 17, 2011
    8
    NHL 12 is still on top. For those, like me, who played NHL 11 there a few significant adding, but not enough.
    But for somebody who buys ones in a while, this is pretty good game.
    Easports add physics on goalies and goals. In the same way, hits are not always huge hit, it depends most of all with which type of player you doing it (small, tall...). Also skating has been a lot improved, and
    NHL 12 is still on top. For those, like me, who played NHL 11 there a few significant adding, but not enough.
    But for somebody who buys ones in a while, this is pretty good game.
    Easports add physics on goalies and goals. In the same way, hits are not always huge hit, it depends most of all with which type of player you doing it (small, tall...). Also skating has been a lot improved, and now I might say that I see the difference between an Ovechkin and Hal Gill. Goalie fights are kind of useless. But now having a boy in front of the goalie really matters, unlike last year which was pretty random, here if you one big Getzlaf in front of you, shoot from the blue line, you don't have much too lose.
    Winter classic is quiet appreciate, but I find Legends pretty much uninteresting, it's only fun in HUT which is pretty much the same as last year.
    The huge difference we can find in modes is the new be a pro, you can start it whenever you want from the first year in CHL to your last year in NHL. Also you can simulate between your shifts which is really appreciate.
    Finally the simulation engine is more realistic.
    I just regret that there is no improvement in the Be a GM mode. The game is still heavy (loading, loading,saving,loading...). But still the same than last year (which was ans still is really good) but very well improved.
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  9. Sep 14, 2011
    7
    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love this game. And the fact that The Maple Leafs are awesome in it just makes me love it even more. What's disappointing me is how little work they've put into some of the features. Buying a jumbo pack and getting 3 contract cards and a coach as your rares just makes you want to quit playing it. Then getting to the finals in an HUT tournament only toDon't get me wrong, I absolutely love this game. And the fact that The Maple Leafs are awesome in it just makes me love it even more. What's disappointing me is how little work they've put into some of the features. Buying a jumbo pack and getting 3 contract cards and a coach as your rares just makes you want to quit playing it. Then getting to the finals in an HUT tournament only to be up 4-0 and having the game freeze on you resulting in a loss seals the deal. I say play this game for either online vs. be a pro, or be a gm. The new legends are cool but could be waaaay cooler. HUT is a joke unless you want to spend hours upon hours building through trades or forking over a ton of money to buy cards. The goalies need some work still, but overall this is a great game. But then again so was NHL 11. EA has a habit of adding just enough to make people want to buy, but not enough to truly satisfy. Expand
  10. Nov 8, 2011
    9
    I LOVE the "Be a Pro" mode in this game. Focusing on one player allows you to think about positioning and movement, rather than just trying to make the next pass when you're playing as everyone. It is intensely gratifying to score or get a pretty assist, but it's even satisfying to be on the ice for a simple +. Have played hours and plan to play many more.

    Shot aiming still doesn't jive
    I LOVE the "Be a Pro" mode in this game. Focusing on one player allows you to think about positioning and movement, rather than just trying to make the next pass when you're playing as everyone. It is intensely gratifying to score or get a pretty assist, but it's even satisfying to be on the ice for a simple +. Have played hours and plan to play many more.

    Shot aiming still doesn't jive with me. Maybe it's just the way my thumbs work, but using the same stick that controls skating to aim my shot-- I just end up shooting in the same direction I'm travelling. I turn on auto-aim, but it feels like cheating. I wish there was some third option...

    Fun.
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  11. Nov 23, 2011
    9
    I haven't bought an NHL game since NHL 09 and boy was I pumped to play this one! I cannot lie when I say this game has it *almost* all for the hockey fan in you! I actually pre-ordered this one (the best buy bonus points always help) but I have to say I am generally satisfied. There could definitely be some minor upgrades (why do they take things away in this game? Clearly to keep youI haven't bought an NHL game since NHL 09 and boy was I pumped to play this one! I cannot lie when I say this game has it *almost* all for the hockey fan in you! I actually pre-ordered this one (the best buy bonus points always help) but I have to say I am generally satisfied. There could definitely be some minor upgrades (why do they take things away in this game? Clearly to keep you buying, but still! I want to be waved from the face-off circle and I want a true hockey experience!) The small glitches completely outweigh the overall gameplay, upgrades and fluidity of play you will have online and off. Expand
  12. Dec 7, 2011
    9
    This the best sports game ever created, bar none. The 200+ new features, speed and complexity of the game make this game dynamic and a new experience with every new play.
  13. Jan 24, 2012
    10
    I love this game. This is my go to game when I'm bored and don't feel like getting into the story of an action or RPG game. Be A Pro mode is the best career mode I have seen in a sports game. If only Madden would take some of the better aspects of this mode and apply them to their career mode. I haven't gotten into any online games yet and Be A GM just bores me to tears. This game getsI love this game. This is my go to game when I'm bored and don't feel like getting into the story of an action or RPG game. Be A Pro mode is the best career mode I have seen in a sports game. If only Madden would take some of the better aspects of this mode and apply them to their career mode. I haven't gotten into any online games yet and Be A GM just bores me to tears. This game gets addicting for a true hockey fan. The addition of Be A Legend just adds extra hours of game play. Another great thing about this game is that it has high replay value. If you end up finishing your guys Be A Pro, you can just start another one with another position and start all over again. I highly recommend this game for anyone who watches and enjoys hockey! Expand
  14. Mar 30, 2012
    5
    I have never seen a game freeze so much and so often. You have to pretty much save after every game if you don't want to lose your work. It looks awesome and the physics are realistic, but the freezing needs to go away.
  15. Jun 23, 2012
    9
    This game has great online play! Probably better than any other sports game online. But the offline is boring and it is too easy. Even on superstar mode I can beat the computer 5-1. And this game freezes far too often! Whenever you try to play be a legend it just freezes up and I have to quit and start all over. Andi don't like how ifyoubarely touch the goalie with another player and youThis game has great online play! Probably better than any other sports game online. But the offline is boring and it is too easy. Even on superstar mode I can beat the computer 5-1. And this game freezes far too often! Whenever you try to play be a legend it just freezes up and I have to quit and start all over. Andi don't like how ifyoubarely touch the goalie with another player and you end up scoring, they call it no goal and give you goalie interference. But overalll it's seven out of ten for those reasons. NHL 13 needs to change the glitches so it doesn't freeze so much! Expand
  16. Jun 25, 2012
    9
    NHL '11 was only better because it didn't have the failed "manual passing" set to on. NHL '12 is still a great game with a few option tweeks, I hope NHL '13 can live up to the standards that this and '11 have set.
  17. Jul 1, 2013
    0
    I had the exact same experience as KeirDevou. It's a case of too many features taking away from the joy of the game. For hardcore NHL gamers with great twitch reflexes, who've played all the earlier versions of this game, this is likely as good as it's 86%. For those of you who just like to pop a game in after a day of work and tune out for an hour or so without having to spend half anI had the exact same experience as KeirDevou. It's a case of too many features taking away from the joy of the game. For hardcore NHL gamers with great twitch reflexes, who've played all the earlier versions of this game, this is likely as good as it's 86%. For those of you who just like to pop a game in after a day of work and tune out for an hour or so without having to spend half an hour tweaking the physics, or figuring out why the computer keeps deciding to send your passes in front of your net instead of up the sides to your forwards, I wouldn't waste your money on this game. Honestly, I have more fun playing the 99 version on my PS2. But for those who like the double stick feature, then 2008 might just do. Or just buy the cheapest, oldest version they have in the store, and avoid this one at all costs. And for crying out loud, you'd figure they would have cleaned up the kinks with goalie passes by now! Expand
  18. Sep 12, 2014
    7
    Hockey is one of my favorite sports and this game kept me busy for a long time, fun and challenging in the same time, solid online experience, good GM mode, good graphics at the time. I am about to replace it with NHL 14.
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Dec 13, 2011
    80
    The main focus here was to improve the AI and even though some of the additions like the ones I mentioned above are welcomed, overall it just feels more like some tweaks to the veterans of the series rather than something that's completely new and improved.
  2. Nov 27, 2011
    78
    Absolutely not worth getting if you have any earlier iterations. [Issue#210, p.93]
  3. Oct 19, 2011
    83
    NHL 12 is without a doubt better than last year´s edition. New physics engine reflects that size does matter in hockey and AI´s offensive movement is actually pretty solid. However, there are not any significant innovations that would really change the way the game is played. [Sept 2011]