There’s an interesting portion of the video gaming population that plays hockey in the virtual world, but doesn’t play (or watch) in real life. The games are just that good.

The always highly-anticipated NHL games from EA, in particular, are a major reason for that; this year is no different.

The press release for the latest edition of the game (available September 11th, 2012) caught my eye for a couple reasons: first off, the screen shot at the top of this post – good lord the graphics look great. But secondly because of the text below – a couple changes will make the games more realistic than ever.

True Performance Skating – A game-changing innovation for the franchise that adds physics-driven skating and over 1000 new animations. True Performance Skating authentically replicates the explosiveness, momentum and top end speed displayed by today’s NHL  players.

You knew the somewhat clumsy skating had to improve at some point. And also…

EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. – In previous NHL games, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate proximity and goalies could only react to the player in control of the puck. With EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q., all players are now fully aware of every other player on the ice, resulting in quicker, smarter and more true-to-life decision-making.

Awesome. I’d love to catch a tender cheating on a 2-on-1 and go short-side.

I’m not much of a gamer, but I love the hell out of this series. Check out the videos below – I’m pumped.

(I should note that this wasn’t some paid for ad. I just genuinely love these games.)

Comments (9)

  1. also a online be a gm. let your imagine fly!

  2. Hopefully they fix the one biggest problem in the whole series: the AI. My god, the things my computer teammates would do just blow your mind. You’re down a man with 2 minutes to go in the 3rd period – you need one goal to catch up. What do your teammates do? Dump the puck the second they get it, negating any chance to rush up the ice.

    Or maybe the fact that even when you on a 2 on 1, the computer just dumps the puck down into the corner.

    Forget graphics and gameplay, the game was pretty good absent the ridiculously stupid and predictable AI.

    • It sounds like that’s what this part was referring to:

      “EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. – In previous NHL games, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate proximity and goalies could only react to the player in control of the puck. With EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q., all players are now fully aware of every other player on the ice, resulting in quicker, smarter and more true-to-life decision-making.”

      • We can only hope. Maybe then the goalies will stop playing the puck in the non-trapezoidal area…..something that has been banned since 2005 and yet the AI goalies keep doing it.

        I do know that EA works in two year cycles: every other year they actually update the game (as in NHL 11) and the next year they coast and cash in on another 60$ from every buyer with minor tweaks (OMG! Goalies can get hit and fight!). I was hoping NHL 13 would be a return to actually adding substance to the game.

  3. Even better, bring back the PC port of the NHL series. I’m not buying a spare monitor and video game system for one game.

  4. Maybe goalies will be able to anticipate the cross-crease one timer now.

  5. Not to burst your bubble, Justin, but these games are god-awful. Skating is extremely bad, you have very little control over your player (stick lifts and poke checks take forever to ‘reset’), there’s no boardplay (the Y button is a joke) or any actual scrums for the puck, the puck is/isn’t a magnetic to a stick dependant on random factors, fatigue isn’t realistic as its based on simply where the puck is on the ice and not what the players are actually doing.

    I could go on and on. These games are truly terrible. I used to play a lot. I went home (in the Army) last week and played a few games with my brother. We laughed at how unrealistic the game is and how the goaltenders are brick walls. The only way to consistently score is a cross crease one timer. And Tyler Kennedy from the Penguins scoring a cross crease from the circle? In this game it happens.

    • Holy cow, your expectations are high! You realize this is a video game right? If you want the real thing, grab a stick and puck and actually go play.

      • expectations are increased when you play the real thing, watch the real thing, then have to sit through horrible animations and extreme unrealistic game play, nonsense like goaltenders going down for no reason (like in that 2nd video above).

        what they need to add is scrums for the puck.

        those videos are glamorized versions of the actual game. every year they say “hundreds (or thousands) of new additions” but when you play the actual game its nowhere near as fun.

        then they show gimmicks like the new skating and get hype going, until you open the package and put the disc in the system. then you realize that the amount of frustration in controls wasn’t worth the money.

        they need to revamp the poke check and stick lift system, too.

        when you stick lift someone and still can’t get the puck, something’s wrong. when you poke check and your stick goes through the puck, something’s wrong.

        at least I’m throwing out improvements.

        i played fifa for the first time a few months go. that game is simply amazing.

        a lot of people talk about how fifa is the model sport game. try it, you’ll see.

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