Published on August 24th, 2012 | by Mark Gibson, Editor/Community Manager
NHL 13 Demo Impressions
Developer: EA Sports (EA Canada)
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: September 11, 2012
In loom of another possible NHL lockout this year, EA still rolls out a new edition of their annual title with NHL 13. This year’s theme: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
The graphics are still crisp, the commentary is still entertaining, and the gameplay is still engaging. However, EA knows they need to throw in a few extra features to warrant an upgrade from last year’s game. Along with upgraded precision skating controls known as True Performance Skating (physics based precision skating system); there will be a few new features that may tickle your fancy.
The Precision Skating feature gives the game a smoother gameplay feel with actually physics being taken into consideration. But, be cautious, the slightest touch to the analog sticks can make an impact on the moments of a player.
In previous games, you could be skating at full speed, stop, and turn on a dime. Anyone that knows how to skate or even knows the basic laws of physics knows that this is impossible. You will now have better handling with speed and turns. It’s not a big enough change to throw you off if you are used to EA NHL controls–but it’s enough to make the controls feel more “right”. There is a handy tutorial in the Demo that explains how the new Precision Skating works.
NHL 13 will have some new game modes including GM Connected and a few new features in My NHL. This version of EA’s Hockey Franchise does away with Season and Franchise mode, and instills a new game mode, GM Connected.
GMC is an online based career mode that is essentially Fantasy Hockey mixed with RPG like elements. Like in past games, you can create a franchise player or choose an existing athlete (this one including a head coach) and play through a career. The catch is your career will be connected over the interwebs on EA servers and you can play along with your friends.
It’s the same concept that will be coming in Madden 13 with the Connected Careers mode. It’s an interesting idea that brings a new MMO element to the sports simulator world. If online gaming isn’t really your thing, there is still an option to play a career offline. However, this defeats the purpose of the GM Connected. The only downfall to this idea is not being able to access your Player when the EA servers are down for maintenance.
Only time will tell if these changes will be a big enough reason to upgrade from last year’s game, but I encourage you to give the demo a try and see for yourself. You can play a rematch of the last season’s Stanley Cup Finals between the LA Kings and New Jersey Devils. NHL 13 hits store shelves on September 11.