Time For a Break; High Expectations for EA SPORTS NHL 14

By Skylar Peters

If you have ever played any of the EA Sports NHL video games, you will soon come to realize just how down-right fun they are. This September, the twentieth installment of the popular franchise will hit stores. For the last three years I have lined up at midnight to get this game, and every year they seem to get better and better. If you have not tried the series and you are a big hockey fan, I would suggest giving it a shot, with all the game modes and online play against anyone in the world the game has lots of ways to relax and have some downtime. With the trailer being released Monday, let’s look at what’s worth staying up that late for this year.

Picture Credit: www.easports.com

“Life The Life” Game Mode

New to the NHL franchise is the “Live The Life” game mode. Essentially an extension of the already popular “Be A Pro” game mode, this new perspective on the game is very similar to watching the HBO 24/7 series, or NHL 36. In this mode, you play as a certain player in the game, and only that player. It doesn’t stop there, however. You now get to take part in media interviews, talk to the fans, and interact with ‘the boys’ all off the ice. The “Be A Pro” mode was a cool way to live your own dream as an NHL superstar, and the “Live The Life” game mode takes it one step further. This game mode will take you a while to finish, but it is fun all the way throughout, and these new features will only make it better.

Redesigned Hitting and Fighting

One thing you can notice from the game’s trailer, is that the physical play has gone through a face-lift. Hip checks look more realistic, and the new control scheme for hitting makes body-checks more realistic, and easier to do too. As you can see from the picture above, the players will fall in ways more true to what they would actually do if Duncan Keith decided to step up on them. (Recommended action following a NHL 14 Duncan Keith body-check: get off the ice, if you’re still under your own power.) With the redesigned hitting comes a made-over fighting scheme as well. It has switched from a first-person view back to the classic third-person, and the player’s dimensions play a bigger part than ever; for example, punches will glance/miss completely if they are not aimed well, if Zedeno Chara Nathan Gerbe decided to drop the mitts. This new physical play will bring more of the heart-stopping toughness of the game into your video game.

True Performance and Skating: Version 2

When NHL 13 was released last year, it came packed with an all-new skating engine, which took into account things such as momentum, stops and starts, and top-end speed. As with anything that is brand-new, there were some parts that needed some improvement. Out of anything in the game, that was the part that really lacked refinement, even though the game was as good as ever. EA Sports says that 14 will come with improvements on those issues. If there ever was an industry that is controlled by the consumers, it would be the video game industry, and EA Sports would have no doubt heard from many fans with varying degrees of anger about these problems.

EA SPORTS NHL is a great way to spend time with the game that brings us together. You can play with friends on the chair beside you or around the world. If you’re looking for something new to try, I suggest this. It will release on September 10th in North America and September 13th in Europe.

Have You ever played NHL games? Answer that on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up, or Facebook: Blackhawk Up. If you would like to play NHL 13 online with me, contact my personal Twitter @SPeters_BU.