Just as EA Sports falters with its recent release of NHL 15, 2K Sports seemingly takes advantage of the moment by bringing back its NHL 2K series that it shelved a few years ago, with one small catch: the new game is for iOS and Android only, not consoles.
NHL 2K for mobile is being positioned as a “premium” experience that will cost $7.99 when the game releases later this fall in the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.
2K Games did have a mobile version of its console title in 2010, but this game looks to be much more than just a roster update. NHL 2K is being rebuilt with enhanced graphics and includes a number of new game modes and features. Here’s a rundown of what your eight bucks will get you, direct from 2K:
- Classic game modes, including NHL Winter Classic, Free Skate and Shootout;
- New immersive My Career mode;
- New three-on-three competitive Mini-Rink game;
- New multiplayer options;
- Live roster updates;
- MFi Controller compatibility, NHL GameCenter LIVE™ connectivity and iCloud support (for iOS only).
Perhaps the most exciting advancement here is the compatibility with MFi controllers. Sports games have long struggled to adapt to touch-screen gaming, with the controls often feeling imprecise and awkward. But if 2K Sports can pull this off, it sounds like we could be getting a console-like experience from the title.
That’s probably great news for gamers who are lamenting the less than stellar reviews for EA Sports’ NHL 15 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 2K Games and co-developer Visual Concepts have a long history of providing stiff competition for EA and retain plenty of hardcore fans even today, especially for their dominant NBA 2K series.
NHL 2K’s focus on a “premium” experience as opposed to free-to-play may also be welcome to gamers who have been turned off by some of EA Sports shoddy mobile ports over the years. Games like “Madden NFL Mobile” have seemed far more interested in getting players to open their wallets than in actually doing anything to replicate the console version.
The most intriguing possibility to come out of this announcement of course is that perhaps 2K is testing the waters again with a mobile title to see if there is any traction for a return of a console version of NHL 2K. The original NHL 2K released in 2000 and the franchise received an update every year through 2010, although we should note that NHL 2K 11 only released on Wii and iOS. It received strong reviews as well which is hopefully a good sign for the series’ return on mobile. Check out the infographic for more details on the history of the NHL 2K series to date:
NHL 2K releases sometime this fall for Android and iOS devices.