With the second round of the Stanley Cup play-offs well underway, there’s no better time for Electronic Arts to give puck aficionados a glimpse at what awaits them in the next installment in its NHL series. To kick off the company’s unveiling, EA Sports released a teaser trailer that provides fans with a look at the improved visuals that await them on next-gen consoles with NHL 15. Suffice to say, it’s looking pretty good.
While living up to the teaser aspect of its name, there are some cool visuals that can be pulled from this very brief look at the game. The divots in the ice that skates have carved out, the equipment awaiting players on the bench, and the recreated innards of the arenas are just a few tidbits that detail-oriented gamers will instantly notice. It’s certainly pretty to look at, but it doesn’t offer much in the form of the concrete information. Fortunately, EA also took the liberty of releasing a handful of details on NHL 15, all of which make the game sound leaps and bounds better than its predecessors.
According to NHL 15‘s official website, the latest iteration will beef up its physics engine substantially — something that caused a number of hysterical moments in NHL 14. The ’12 Player NHL Collision Physics’ being implemented this time around will allow for multi-player pileups on the ice, secondary collisions, and more. It’s a true-to-life prospect that sounds great in theory and should line the franchise up with the real world feel it’s going for.
These high-speed collisions and pileups, however, would induce a lot more harm on players if it weren’t for the equipment that each players dons, and it’ll be getting its due this time around too. Now separated into three different layers (the body, the equipment, and the jersey) everything is said to flow and move much more realistically. The puck itself will also be getting on overhaul, and is said to bounce, spin, and redirect in a more true-to-life fashion.
NHL 15 will also enhance player likenesses this time around, thanks entirely to the same method that EA has captured the appearances of fighters in its forthcoming EA Sports UFC. While Bruce Lee won’t be making an appearance in this game, each in-game player will allegedly look a lot more like their real-world counterpart. Meanwhile, the Skill Stick that players use to deke, shoot, and attempt to go bar-down with will be upgraded to a ‘Superstar Skill Stick’ — allowing for users to “protect the puck, receive passes without breaking stride, and discover an arsenal of sweet new dekes.”
As hinted at in the teaser, arenas have also gotten a significant amount of shine added to them. Every in-game rink has been recreated to look exactly like the actual arena it’s based off of. Everything from the lighting in the arena to the entrance tunnels that teams skate through have been added, and the design of the crowd itself has been revamped to create an experience that’s as close to the real thing as it’s ever been before.
Last, and far from least, Electronic Arts has announced a partnership with NBC Sports that will play into NHL 15. The biggest change to come from this deal is the removal of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement from the announcers table. Instead, they’ll be replaced by NBC’s Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick and Eddie Olczyk, while TSN analyst Ray Ferraro will also be joining in on the fun with ice level critiques. Players will also be introduced to each and every game through an NBC intro, creating a convincing game-time atmosphere in the process.
There’s still a lot that Electronic Arts has left to show in regards to NHL 15, but E3 2014 should shine more light on what’s in store for hockey fans. There is also another vote to determine the cover athlete of the video game, with the results set to be announced during the NHL Awards ceremony on June 24th. Anyone interested to see what players are in the running and desire to submit a their vote can do so here, but stay tuned to Game Rant for more details on the next NHL.
What did you think of the teaser trailer for NHL 15? Are you excited for the changes it’ll be bringing to the franchise?
NHL 15 will be arriving on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in Fall 2014.
Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.