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NHL15 Review: Some Fans Will Be Rightly Pucked Off

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NHL 15 has finally hit shelves, ending another wait for hockey fans but while many will have been anticipating a new game with various different elements they will be left reeling as EA have stripped the game right down.

If you only want to play NHL 15 in season mode, you’re in luck. If you want more of the modes associated with last year’s title then you may wish to avoid this game despite it being labelled as leading a new generation of hockey video games.

The game is as realistic as possible combining all the usual elements along with enhanced graphics and gameplay, offering the most authentic representation of ice hockey ever visible in video game format.

The overall smoothness of the game translates to its effortless controls. The controls are responsive, the goaltenders are aware but not as they have been in previous titles. Of course the puck still slams around at an almighty speed it’s akin to a pin ball machine. New player physics and a rejuvenated superstar skill stick give unprecedented levels of control. Obligatory on-ice fisticuffs included. If you were rating NHL 15 on graphics and gameplay alone then it is a must have but when you delve deeper in to the changes made to the title it may deter you.

Fans were left fuming when EA released the details of the game, omitting the various modes they have come to associate with the franchise. No GM Connected, no on-line team play on game launch, no EASHL, these are just some of the elements missing from years gone by. EA has said they will be patching in some aspects (from a very long list) but not all, with GM Connected and EASHL certain to stay on the sidelines until at least next year.

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Some of the small features that are missing will be pieced in here and there, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the game as a whole is incomplete. The logic behind stripping the title right back can’t be comprehended. How do you simply strip many modes that have proved popular since the foundation of the title?

NHL Moments Live also features enabling you to recreate scenes from last season’s campaign while this year’s matches will be available as and when they happen enabling you to change the course of history.

If the gameplay itself is your focus, you’ll be happy with NHL 15. If your focus is new and updated content/modes, you may want to consider keeping NHL14 and updating your rosters.

Here’s a full breakdown of what’s missing from last year’s title as per operationsports.com.

http://www.operationsports.com/news/760010/nhl-15-might-be-missing-more-than-we-anticipated-xb1ps4/

Modes/Features

  • No GM Connected
  • No Online Team Play (when this is patched into the game later this year, it will use real NHL players and teams)
  • No EA Sports Hockey League
  • No EA Sports Arena
  • No Online Shootouts
  • No Live the Life
  • No Be A Legend
  • No Winter Classic
  • No tournaments or Battle for the Cup
  • No season mode (you can only play seasons in Be A GM, which is limited to NHL teams)
  • No NHL 94 Anniversary mode
  • No custom music support
  • No create-a-play designer
  • Cannot customize each team’s AI
  • No create-a-team
  • No way to edit individual players
  • Practice mode is now limited to one skater vs. an AI goalie

Gameplay

  • No custom camera option
  • No Action Tracker replay highlights
  • No Top 3 Stars at the end of games.

Be A GM

  • Yearly draft is fully automated by the CPU
  • Cannot play the AHL games for your chosen franchise
  • Players sent down to the minors do not accumulate any season stats
  • No fantasy draft option
  • No preseason games

Be A Pro

  • No option to sim ahead to the next shift
  • You only play in the NHL; you cannot play for minor league teams
  • The Memorial Cup tryout period is gone. You now begin by picking an NHL team, or by letting a random CPU team draft you.
  • No All-Star game

Ultimate Team

  • Cannot play against your friends
  • No tournaments
  • No mobile app

 Images courtesy of EA Sports

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