I have dreams about this game. It is incredible. The way I can glide so gracefully using EA's new engine makes me tingle inside. The new deke, deke, shoot feature is incredible. EA if you are reading this. I love you.
The latest outing from Electronic Arts is as good as hockey games get. The action keeps getting better and deeper, but the game also manages to avoid becoming impenetrable and inaccessible. Developers have eschewed new feature overload this year and have instead concentrated on a few fun extras.
The new features brought to the table don't add enough over what was available in NHL 13, making this a dubious buy for anyone who still has last year's game and can live without the crushing new hits and more widespread fisticuffs.
I have been playing EA NHL games since 08. I mainly only play online team play (with some HUT). My review is based on that.
This game bugs the hell out of me starting with the AI defenders. They make bad passes, don't step up on defense while in our zone, don't make ANY smart decisions while in the offense zone and make you scratch your head (or punch your TV) 90% of the time. Example, 10 feet away from the computer skating into the offense zone with no one around me, I need to call for the puck because the computer won't pass and then they make a horrible pass and turn it over while there is nobody on them. Really? That's the kind of crap that turns off people from a video game.
People have learned that you can just skate through people like they aren't there and then use the skate right, shoot left glitch goal (or vice versa) on the computer goalie. That is pretty much the only way people score now especially if you play twos.
If you play with 6 (or 5 and one computer goalie) this game really shines in OTP. Even just having one user defender makes this game MUCH better.
Alas, this game is like a drug. You will get pissed off but you will come back for more because it shines at times. Even with all it's inconsistencies, it is the best sports team game money can buy. If they can fix some of the main issues in the next game, the next game could potentially be one of the best of the series (especially if they make a next-gen version). Skating, shooting, and passing are phenomenal. Still rough around the edges but there is always next year.
This game is the best NHL game there is, but at the same time it feels bit of lazy effort. New hitting and fighting engines are by far the best improvements in this iteration, however, there seem to be lot of content in the game that seems quite pointless and shallow, such as the Live the Life mode. I have never understood the point of Hockey Ultimate Team mode as anything else than an attempt to grab more money from people who have purchased the game. There also silly graphical mistakes that are still in the game from the previous iterations, seeing your players switching places at the bench in fast robotic fashion kills the immersion of reality quickly. Also, why does Teemu Selanne carry that silly helmet (which he does not use in RL) from one NHL game to another? The way how the developers have assigned attributes to new players seems completely wrong as well, as this is true for every NHL game release so far. Being a rookie in the NHL does not mean that you are automatically a worse player than every NHL veteran. I'm keen to see the next-gen iterations of this great franchise, I just hope that some common sense would be applied to microtransactions and the game modes that seem to revolve around grabbing more money from people who paid the full price for a video game.
Quite possibly the worst NHL game yet. I mostly play Ultimate Team and the teammate AI is really, really horrible this year. Every time you get a rush up ice you're going to be alone on the break since the computer feels the need to make line changes whenever someone steps foot into the neutral zone on the rush. Ultimate Team online basically amounts to who can score the most top-corner goals. Every goal is scored in pretty much exactly the same fashion. Person with the puck skates low then suddenly changes direction into the slot between the circles and wrists it past your netminder into a top-corner while your defense stands there and just lets them walk through. Don't even bother trying to get chances from the point. Just walk in on the other team, skate into the high slot and aim for a top-corner, you'll pretty much score every single time.
I really, really, really wish that 2k would start putting out hockey games again. EA clearly hires people that know nothing about the sport and they don't give them the budget to pull things off correctly anyways. If the NHL franchise were a bit more like FIFA there wouldn't be half of the problems. I seriously doubt I'm going to buy another NHL game from EA after this one.
SummaryUnlock the highest level of hockey aggression, speed and skill. Deliver hits with the NHL® Collision Physics, built from FIFA’s Player Impact Engine. Drop your gloves with the new Enforcer Engine, powered by EA SPORTS™ Fight Night technology. Dangle defenders with new One-Touch Dekes and experience enhanced speed and control with the sec...