NHL 13 Preview
As one of the few North American sports games that gains traction in the UK, it’s easy to see why the NHL series is popular: it’s like football, but faster, and you get to smash people into glass. It’s the sport of the future.
NHL 13 is no different, of course, and is just as much fun to play as its predecessors. You don’t have to be an aficionado of the game to enjoy yourself here. This isn’t Madden with its trillions of plays/rules, after all.
Nope, you just skate around, attempting to break people’s spines and score goals. It’s a fast game, but one that also requires some tactical thinking, especially if you want to get past the very capable keepers.
Playing the game for the first time at EA’s Vancouver office, we found ourselves in the middle of some pleasantly enjoyable back-and-forth matches, featuring everything from slaloming runs to tense, crunching battles for territory and possession.
Off the ice, EA is making a big noise about its new dynasty mode, GM Connected. By taking the popular Be A GM – general manager, for those of you not into US sports or wrestling – mode from previous games and moving it online, EA is giving players the option of partaking in 30-team leagues that feature 750 players.
It sounds very cool indeed. EA, like most publishers, is keen to position its product as a ‘platform’ or a ‘service’ to stop you trading it in – you pesky consumer, you – and with GM Connected it looks like it’s got a pretty good hook.
Goalies are difficult to beat, especially on your first few goes.
Also of note is NHL Moments Live. A scenario mode in all but name, the most memorable moments from the 2011-12 NHL season will be on the disc for players to emulate or change.
Complementing these will be regular updates featuring moments from the ongoing season, so if you’ve had a bad week you can digitally erase the cause of your frustration, or emphasise your elation.
It’s another solid package from EA Sports, then, and one that will definitely appeal to both rabid hockey fans and those that pick it up as a complement to FIFA.