As has become standard with EA Sports, they’ve unveiled new details on some of the features and innovations we can expect to see in NHL 13 when it launches on September 11. Given that the franchise has had next to no competition over the last few years, it’s hard to see them push the envelope too much, but a couple of these features should be well-received.
The most highly touted of these is True Performance Skating, a change in the skating mechanics and physics for players depicted in the game. Given the speed of NHL hockey as it is today, the idea here was to “replicate the explosiveness, momentum and top end speed displayed by today’s NHL players”. What this means is that 1,000 new animations have been thrown in to make skating more lifelike during gameplay, so this should include during stoppages in play and when goals are scored.
This goes hand-in-hand with Hockey IQ, which will tweak the AI so that players have better awareness of others on the ice. The way it’s been all along was that players could only react to players in their immediate proximity, while goalies could only react to players in possession of the puck. Hockey IQ expands this so that a player is aware of every other skater on the ice, which is supposed to lead to better decision-making and quicker plays by AI skaters.
NHL Moments is actually something that’s been very popular in FIFA games, whereby you have the chance to replay certain games at pivotal moments to see if you can change the course of history. It’s about time this came to the NHL franchise, but it’s a shame that it will only apply to games in the 2011-12 season. There will also be additions based on the 2012-13 season as it goes along.
GM Connected is an extension of Be a GM mode in that you can play with and against friends in your own 30-team NHL league. There will also be a mobile app that can complement the mode so that you can make changes as a GM between games.
Other new features that were only vaguely mentioned include Team-First Presentation to customize the NHL 13 experience based on your favourite team, applying Hockey IQ to a created player and unknown improvements to the core offline and online modes.
And lastly, there will be a Stanley Cup Collector’s Edition of the game that includes:
· 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
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