Stepping our posts away from the Washington Capitals themselves today, Electronic Arts' incredible NHL hockey video game series is gearing up for its latest release, NHL 13, dropping in September. Yesterday, the first few details of what we can expect from this new instalment were revealed by EA. So, without further ado...
- 'True Performance Skating'. With this addition, EA has added 1,000 new animations, making the game far more true to the sport itself. It allows for all kinds of crazy moves and dekes to be dreamed up, and overall looks like a great addition to the game! More details later this month.
- 'EA Sports Hockey IQ'. Although EA haven't revealed much about this feature yet, they have confirmed that the artificial intelligence has been overhauled to make it quicker and faster, a welcome addition to the EASHL and the Be a Pro modes. More details later this month.
- Goaltender improvements. Very little has been revelaed on this, but from what I gather the goalie AI has improved and fatigue is now a bigger factor. By the way, EA there's a stats glitch with goalies in Be a Pro mode. More details in June.
- 'GM Connected'. This mode looks like the real deal. The Be a GM mode from previous games has been taken online so you can have your own NHL with 29 other people. It'll even have a mobile app to support it. Being an armchair GM myself, I can't wait for the chance to assemble a dynasty and lift the cup with the Washington Capitals. I'll probably blog about it, too. More details in June.
- Be A Pro mode. My favourite mode from NHL 12 is back with improvements. You now have more control over your carrer and are now able to retire and request a trade, so you won't have to stick three years with Flordia when you've been drafted. Hopefully this also includes rejecting contracts and shorter games - enough with half hour games! More details in July.
- EASHL. The EASHL, the league where players' custom hockey playing counterparts come together to form clubs and win championships is back, and with it come improved club matchmaking and the ability to select a captain. More details in July.
- 'Team First Presentation'. This seems to customise everything about the game depending on your favourite team. No prizes for guessing which team I'll select. More details in August.
- 'NHL Moments Live'. Imagine the 'History Will Be Made Commercials' and then imagine being able to re-enact these historic hockey moments in video game format. Awesome. More details in August.
- Hockey Ultimate Team. An existing fun game mode involving trading cards and playing for championships has been improved, but as for how, we don't know yet. More details in August.
According to EA, other game modes have also been improved, and this hopefully includes offline Be a GM, which lacks realism in some respects. Trade logic is skewed and waivers are wrong.
There's also going to be a limited edition which features:
- Exclusive collectible Stanley Cup® tin featuring an embossed Stanley Cup image
- Two Stanley Cup® Theme Hockey Ultimate Team packs featuring randomized player items from the Western and Eastern Conference Champions
- Gold Jumbo Hockey Ultimate Team Pack (Regular) featuring 24 randomized items, including an exclusive
- Wayne Gretzky Hockey Ultimate Team Legend and six other rare items
- A CCM Boost Pack featuring the all-new CCM RBZ stick (For use in Be a Pro and EA SPORTS™ Hockey League)
- A 10% discount on a one-time purchase at shop.NHL.com
- A complete copy of NHL 13
This apparently retails at $80. Assuming it's available in the UK, this is £50, which for a collector's edition like this is very reasonable.
Remember that the cover vote is still going on! There are no Caps left, but here are the remaining candidates:
Claude Giroux, Anze Kopitar, Pavel Datsyuk, John Tavares, Scott Hartnell, Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne. You can vote for your favourite here.
I think it's safe to say I'll be playing this come September.
Below is EA's trailer.
Till next time,