Game modes, graphics shine in NHL 16

Luke Dahlin

NHL 16, released on Sept. 15,  has succeeded expectations of fans
NHL 16 has exceeded expectations of both fans and review critics.  The NHL simulation game was released on Sept. 15.

Looking to put last year’s disappointing game behind them, the Electronic Arts (EA) Sports franchise has developed this year’s game, “NHL 16,” with a variety of new features that have received praise from both fans and critics.

Several amendments to last year’s game include the modification of the online game mode “EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL),” and a long awaited option to add playoff beards.

When I first began playing this year’s rendition, I was lost because there was so much happening on the screen. The creative team at EA added in automatic suggestions, called the “On-Ice Trainer,” suggesting what the player’s next action should be. Some players may see these features as useful, but I believe they take away from the flow that viewers would see in an actual game, making it less realistic.

The EASHL, an online multiplayer mode that allows players to form teams that compete, is making a return to the game after not appearing in last year’s version. Online Cooperative gameplay is also making an exciting debut for the franchise, as it enters uncharted territory for both EA and their NHL branch’s enthusiasts.

I was blown away by the new features that allows players to personalize “NHL 16.” Inventive new attributes are showcased in “Be A Pro” mode, in which players can customize their own characters, including their hair, beard size and color, facial structure, and equipment type and color–none of which were possible in previous games. Though they may seem irrelevant, the smallest creative details make the gameplay experience significantly more enjoyable for fans.

In “NHL 16,” one of the most iconic traditions in hockey–the playoff beard–is finally represented. As one of the longest surviving rituals in the sport, playoff beards give the game a more precise graphic design of the players, and also provide the game with a little more personality.

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Enhanced remote controls allow the player to play as both a skater and a goalie, and aid in seamless, uninterrupted skating ability for the players on the screen. While playing “NHL 16,” I noticed more efficient skating and increased command within the game.

In the eyes of GameSpot, a website that compiles thousands of video game reviews and opinions, “NHL 16” has improved by three points, going from a five out of 10 in last year’s game to an eight out of 10. This shows that, in their opinion, the game’s quality has heavily improved upon that of “NHL 15.”

The game was released Sept. 15, and costs $59.99. It is only compatible with Next-Generation consoles, which means that the game won’t ever be sold for XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 consoles.