NHL 15 was the year of the rebuild. NHL 16 is the year it all came together. NHL 17 is now the point where it has leveled out, and now they are working on the “little things”.
Gameplay itself hasn’t seen any huge changes, with the biggest deals being in the physics and idiosyncracies. This includes goalies now having more “moves” to combat shots (including shoulder shrugs) and when you hit someone in open ice, the force is felt a lot stronger.
Be-A-Pro was ignored, and it’s still missing the personal touches that games like NBA 2K have worked in.
The biggest move has been with the “Creation” modes. You can now, from scratch, create a team and its environment.
Everything from their jerseys and team colors can be tweaked. Location of logo across the sleeves or pants legs, as well as designing the Home, Away and Alternate phone numbers.
The Creation goes to a whole new level with the arenas. Color and design the seats, the Stanchions, the scoreboard, the celebrations, the intros and the spotlights. The creation level can leave you playing around for hours before taking your new team onto the ice.
This game retains the 9 out of 10 that last years game had.