EA Sports dominates the video game hockey world, bringing the action from the ice to the screen…sorta.
Gamers of EA Sports NHL 12 know the feeling when I bring up statement, “stupid AI.” Of course, other language could be used. Many of times gamers have lost overtime games, or any game for that matter, because the AI defense doesn’t pressure the forward or that the goalie allows the same curve shot goal in over and over. Not sure who has been chirping in EA Sports ears, but they have heard the complaints. This year’s game looks to bring new features that will pack a punch.
EA Sports Hockey IQ: forget the old AI, this year you will need to play hockey the way it is meant to be played. The focus is on real-world hockey systems and strategies. Goalies anticipate plays to avoid easy one-timers, defenseman pick up the empty man, and teams now can play an offensive and defensive system. See the video here.
True Performance Skating: NHL 12 could see a defenseman go as fast as the forwards, creating an unrealistic athleticism between the two players. Further, you could cut on a dime without losing the puck. Not anymore. In the NHL 13, those who make the first step gets the advantage. Also, cuts are more physics base, making you the player, having to balance speed and control. Check the video here.
Other features that have yet to be elaborated on are improved, more athletic goalies; improved GM control that allows players to manage, play, or coach with and against friends in their own 30 team human controlled league as well as a mobile companion application; improved matchmaking in the EASHL; and more.
With all the great features, there are sure to still be some bugs that glitchers (QC) will surely find. Still, with improved goalies to better anticipate one-timers, defense that actually read the play accordingly, momentum that is more realistic to the game and now having the ability to play within a set system, the game should be that much more worth purchasing. I can see it now, a recreation of the Philadelphia Flyers out waiting the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 1-3-1 trap. Well, hopefully not, but at least teams can now implement a dump and chase strategy that may actually work.