NHL 12 has arrived and it brings with it a whole bunch of new features. Along with the new features also come with some revamped modes. You have things like the Hockey Ultimate Team, the Winter Classic, My NHL, the Be A Legend mode and more. Of course this game comes with an online pass so that you can access the online features for this game, however, that won’t be an issue for anyone who purchased this game new. After playing this game it is clear that the development team over at EA Sports is really trying to nail down the speed of the game to try and ensure you are playing the most realistic NHL game possible.
The Hockey Ultimate Team mode has you assembling your team and competing in the Ultimate Hockey League against others in monthly seasons and playoffs. You will need to pay attention to various details such as how long contracts are, how well your team is working together, salaries and more. In this year’s NHL title you can play with legends against your friends and compete against other users teams. There are “EA Pucks” that you can earn which will allow you to purchase new cards so that you can keep upgrading your team. You can also either purchase packs of cards or search for some cards in the auction. The EA Sports Action Tracker is also something new and this can be found by pausing the game. This visualization tool will allow you to see replays of marquee game events such as goals, hits and maybe even a fight. You will get to see who made the plays on the ice and where your opponents have been the most successful. Another mode that hockey fans should enjoy is where you get to become the general manager. This mode will allow you to take on the roles of a general manager, coach and player to run your favorite franchise for up to 25 seasons. There is a search functionality so that you can focus on player’s actions for a game. If you see that your team is starting to get in trouble you can now intervene at any point in the game. EA also revamped the trading engine which allows you to see a bigger difference between star players and your average NHL player. There is quite a bit that can be done here and hockey fans should have a blast trying everything out and see what they can accomplish.
In the “Be A Legend” mode you start as Jeremy Roenick. You’ll receive tasks, critiques (positive and negative), goals to reach and more. As you progress through this mode you will eventually unlock other legends as well. You’ll have an energy meter that will keep you up to date on what you should and should not be doing and the game is balanced in such a way that you can’t simply take the game over yourself and act like a one man army. After every shift you will receive comments on what you are doing well out there and what you could improve on. In the “Be A Pro” mode you can create your own player or take over the career of a real life NHL or CHL player. You’ll have tasks that you need to watch out for from your head coach and how you play will determine how much play time your hockey player will get.
As far as how NHL 12 compares to last year’s version it does look and play in a similar fashion. The controls for the game are pretty much the same as last year, although they appear to be much more responsive this year. Another new addition this year was the inclusion of the Winter Classic. If I remember correctly 2K previously held exclusive rights to the Winter Classic so it is good to see others be able to put this in their game. The Winter Classic in the game takes place at Heinz Field and hockey fans should get a pretty good kick out of playing this mode. NHL 12 also has online leagues which everyone should be happy to hear about as well as the EA Sports hockey league, online team play, online shootout and more. I had a lot of fun trying to work on moves in the shootout mode with friends and seeing who could score the most goals.
If you are the type of person who wants to go after the Stanley Cup without having to work your way through a season then the “Battle for the Cup” mode is definitely for you. This will immediately drop you into the NHL finals and this game feature will tell your story from game to game as you battle to win it all. Overall, EA has put together a fantastic game for hockey fans. I’m much more of a casual hockey fan myself so I am sure there is stuff that I missed, however, I really enjoyed my time with NHL 12. As a casual fan I really liked how it plays really smoothly and how responsive the controls were. My only real complaint with the game is that it takes way too long to initially start up thanks to having to connect to EA’s servers. If they can fix this loading issue then the game will be even better. If you have any interest in the NHL then you definitely need to give this game a try. Even if you aren’t usually a hockey fan I would urge you to give this game a try as it is a fun title for both the hardcore and casual alike.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network