NHL 11 Xbox 360

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 71
  2. Negative: 12 out of 71
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  1. Feb 4, 2011
    6
    Since the release of NHL09 the EASPORTS hockey franchise has seen very little in game-play updates and lingering bugs from the previous titles are still present. The new feature for this year is Ultimate Team mode and is basically the only new game mode addition to the game. Similar to FIFA and Madden in years past you use playing cards to build an NHL team, salary cap compliant of course,Since the release of NHL09 the EASPORTS hockey franchise has seen very little in game-play updates and lingering bugs from the previous titles are still present. The new feature for this year is Ultimate Team mode and is basically the only new game mode addition to the game. Similar to FIFA and Madden in years past you use playing cards to build an NHL team, salary cap compliant of course, and then take this team online/offline to complete in games/tournaments. You even need training cards and coaching cards to keep your team competitive. You must sign players with contract cards. You earn EA pucks by playing games and can spend them on all these necessities. This all sounds good in theory however there are a few issues. For one you must be connected to EA servers to play even offline against the CPU. This is a problem considering the state of affairs the EA servers are currently in. It's virtually impossible to play for a few hours and NOT got disconnected. The EASPORTS official forums are littered with similar complaints. Here's the issue: When you get disconnected, you receive a loss. Many people report 1/4 games they will lose connection. This very much so ruins the competitive nature of the game. Second to consider is that when you usually lose, you get 300 EA pucks or so instead of the usual 500 pucks for winning. When you lose connection... you get 0 pucks. Consider that every player has a contract length and you can see why this becomes a problem, especially for the people who have this happen in 1 of 4 games. The second issue with HUT (and this applies to all forms of versus mode too) is that the team who deserves to win does not often enough. There are 3-4 "go-to" plays in the game that if you setup, all game, you will likely win. However if you attempt to play normally, like real hockey, trying all sorts of plays to simulate the sport... you will find yourself many times with twice as many shots and twice as much time on attack as your opponent, yet losing 2-1. In hockey this can happen, however in NHL11 this happens far too often. It takes away from the competitive nature of the game knowing that no matter what you do, if you don't setup the same 3-4 plays you know work almost every time, you might as well just toss up a coin for who's the winner. Moving past HUT let's take a look how the AI. Once again little to no improvement. The good is that they challenge you a lot more defensively. The bad is that they still setup almost nothing offensively, only to match your goals with the 2-3 times they actually do something right. I've tried making the game the most difficult it can be. They are still not competitive. You'll be in their zone all game, 28 shots, 3 goals for... 5 minutes left in the game, they'll get 9 shots on your net, double their time on attack in a matter of minutes and match those 3 goals. That is the game's idea of increased difficulty; having the AI cheat with puck control and score goals at will, after not being competitive all game, just to keep the score clean. If you are new to the franchise you might be able to enjoy the offline play on lower difficulties, however if you are an experienced hockey gamer you will find yourself dominating the AI on all difficulties only to have them randomly tie up games with 2 minutes, over and over again, out of no where. Let's move on to the final part of this review: The game-play This is what the game is renown for, the main reason it's won dozens of sports game of the year awards. I am sad to say it's not really fixed from last year. Improved however, to some degree. There is a new physics engine for hits that truly makes playing online fun again. The hitting engine is not realistic but it is entertaining at that. Also, no more bouncing off people, not often anyways. They've also fixed the stick lift so it's more realistic. They've added in a manual one-timer which is useless but neat. Finally the new passing system involves you having to charge your passes and aim them properly now. Good in theory but could use some tweaks. Overall the gameplay is improved and rather entertaining. The game truly shines playing casual games offline with your friends. However taking this online, into the online team play mode that the game is renown for, is more hit and miss. Over the course of your first 150 games you will unlock various player cards, boosts and equipment that will increase the attributes of your online character. However once a user has reached their max unlocks, they can build their player up in a manner that gives them an advantage over most other users. Stats such as puck control, agility, balance and hand-eye can be put to 99, making it overly difficult to pull simple, properly timed defensive maneuvers against them. This can combated with other stats, yes, but that requires you to also have your player maxed out with unlocks. Much like MW2 was, OTP and EASHL is only truly enjoyable as a veteran of the game... Expand
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    This is easily the best NHL hockey has ever been on a console, and it sets the bar incredibly high for EA's next release.
  2. Jan 10, 2011
    85
    For the puck lovers, it's still the best simulation out there. Yet, it shows too many similarities with its predecessor.
  3. Jan 10, 2011
    70
    That said, there is no denying that NHL 11 provides an enjoyable recreation of ice hockey, which manages to be both accessible to newcomers and packed with content to entertain more dedicated fans.