Aviously

Because, aviously…

NHL 15 is a fresh start for EA to reboot the franchise.

While it didn’t necessarily need it, a new next generation of gaming systems came out and they decided to rebuild it from the ground up.

Everything below is for the next-gen systems (Xbox One and PS4), while the old systems were simply a roster update this year, and visuals remained fairly static.

So let’s start with the good…

Visuals

The players look amazing, and everyone being involved instead of just those playing the puck, just makes the visuals pop on screen. Because they are all involved, it means goalies will get involved in shoving in front of the goal as well as penalties being called if you get too physical down there when there is no puck around.

Unfortunately, since it is a reboot, there are a few glitches. Simple things like passes towards the front of the net go in, with the goalie not even trying to block it (as he doesn’t read it as a shot).

Presentation

Getting a fresh sound this year with Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk from NBC Sports and Ray Ferraro from TSN reporting “between the benches” is nice. Pair that with the full graphics package from NBC Sports, and it is a good recipe.

Unfortunately, yet again, they only have one year of recordings in the game, so lines get stale really fast.

Gameplay

The gameplay feels  a little sluggish, but that could just be me getting used to the new system(?). The players are clomping around in the defensive zone, making it hard to actually position yourself in good places.

The gameplay is actually quite nice once you get into it, and you really need to work to get your goals (and on the flip side, not making dumb mistakes on defense, leaving players open in front of the net).

Puck Physics

These have been taken to a whole new level, as the puck will take weird hops if they hit scratches in the ice, and similarly to being able to hit off the stanchions.

Overall

I bought this game because I need my yearly fix of NHL action, but if you have a choice, I wouldn’t recommend putting it high on your list as there are better games currently on the market.

Sadly it is just a 6.5 out of 10 because of the glitches and stale audio.

After a few weeks of play, I am happy with my yearly NHL fix, and would recommend this to anyone that wants to play some hard hitting hockey.

Rating has been readjusted to 8.5 out of 10.

nhl15

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