As expected, EA Sports gave the gaming world a first look at NHL 15 and a taste of what features to expect in the first installment of the series to hit PS4 and Xbox One. The teaser trailer, included below, is just that, a mood-setting device to get fans psyched up without showing too much outside of some very detailed ice and uniforms.
Much more interesting is the list of features for this year’s game, particularly for the eighth-gen consoles. Here’s a brief summary of all 10 items:
- 12 Player NHL Collision Physics
This makes it sound like everyone on the ice is headed for one big pile-up (hopefully on top of Marc-Andre Fleury), but it’s actually just a fancy way of saying that every player is governed by the game’s physics engine at all times. Last year at E3, the EA Sports team spoke in depth about how much better the PS4 and Xbox One would be at collision detection, so that should pay off here.
- Real Puck Physics
EA says the puck is one of the hardest things to get right. Look for it to spin, roll, bounce and carom off the live boards at Joe Louis Arena just like it does in real life.
- Authentic Player & Equipment Models
The players will behave in separate layers from their jerseys (old time hockey fans prefer you call them sweaters) and equipment. That means if you lay a big hit on Ryan Getzlaf, his body may fly one way while his shirt and stick head in other directions. Just kidding. Actually, I hope I’m not.
- Unprecedented Player Likeness
Again, this is something you would assume would be true for the now-current consoles. EA has mostly used its upcoming UFC title to show off the ridiculous likenesses and expressions the current tech can produce, but expect to see those in NHL 15 too.
- Superstar Skill Stick
I feel like we’ve been down this road before, but the right stick is supposedly simple to use but still capable of all kinds of moves controlling your player’s stick. I’ll need to be convinced on this one.
- Authentic Arenas
Previous NHL games did a pretty good job at least making the hallways near the dressing rooms unique, but this year’s game should take things to the next level. As EA Sports puts it, “Now those home games will truly feel like home.”
- New Commentary Team
Gary Thorne and Bill Clement are out, Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk are in. This is a welcome addition, as long as Pierre McGuire stays far, far away.
- NBC Sports Game Day Presentation
This is pretty simple: the games will look a lot like they do on NBCSN when it comes to presentation, graphics, etc.
- Living Crowds
Except in Phoenix, am I right? (Just kidding Coyotes fans, but you were bottom of the league in attendance this season) Of course the crowds will look better, but I hope they’ll also react to events on the ice in more realistic fashion.
- Vision AI
Vision has always been one of my favorite Avengers. What’s that? This is something else? Then never mind. This seems to deal with the computer-controleld players reading the game more accurately. We’ll be getting more info on this before launch, no doubt.
Check out the full list of features in EA’s words right here, and enjoy the teaser.