TUCSON, Ariz. – “NHL 22” was almost certain to come in with the impact of an overlap in the tables due to two external factors: the full-fledged debuts on next-gen consoles as well as the debut of an extension team.
Any die-hard NHL fan will need to pick this year’s game just because it includes the Seattle Kraken and plays on their PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S or X. But there are plenty of other tweaks meant to draw gamers like a game. late, one goal deficit drives a goalie out of the ice.
Most prominent among the additions is the implementation of X-Factor abilities, which are spread across superstars, meaning game-changing abilities that elevate special players above the pack in categories such as the shooting, skating, passing and intelligence.
No matter how many stat boosts to a particular player, video game hockey has never really captured what makes players like Connor McDavid or Alex Ovechkin ice gods. The X-Factors – which give players some almost magical qualities that other players don’t have – are getting closer to reality.
There are a few other nifty touches, including a great team of commentators and streaming improvements.
Real-time statistics are projected onto playing surfaces and walls just like they are on television.
Tech geeks will appreciate the fine touches that have improved visuals and physics. The developers instituted the Frostbite engine, which adds tweaks and improvements to everything from fabric on jerseys, facial animations, skin shading, skate spray, and player awareness of the location. of the washer.
If you’re looking for whimsy instead of hard real-world truths – looking at yourself, Coyotes and Rangers fans – this is Ultimate Team for you. With a new list of bonuses and rewards for your team’s card-based wins, there is great replayability as you open card decks and level up your team with players from the past and present. The developers have responded to player demand for matches anytime, rather than the cumbersome scheduling system of previous editions.
World of Chel captures the free spirit of street play, and while the mode only features minimal upgrades, it’s easier to get into Palace Cleansing Mode thanks to a streamlined menu interface.
“NHL 22” also clings to some legacy strengths, most notably the presence of “NHL 94” style controls – my preferred method – that eschew the advanced nuance of the controller in favor of ease and momentum.
While there isn’t a full-scale reinvention of the puck here – and neither was it in order – the incremental advancement that is “NHL 22” more than justifies its place on. the list. The puck may fall, but the expectations of hockey video game fans never will.
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