NHL 18 Official Review



What's New


HOCKEY CANADA TRAINING CAMP:


Brand spanking new to the franchise, this training camp mode covers all of hockey fundamentals from basic shooting mechanics to all the nuances of faking out defenders with effective dekes and mastering the art of the faceoff. The tutorial features real-life professional Canadian Hockey players along with in-game training videos to ensure that both newbies and experienced players can perfect their craft.



GAMEPLAY ADDITIONS:


Creative Attack Dekes

Aimed to give users the freedom of movement and control in today's NHL, players can utilize one-handed moves, between-the-legs dekes, back-handed toedrags, heel drags, cheeky puck flips just to name a few. To take things to the next level, NHL 18 expands on the use of deke combinations so you can string them together to make real-time decisions and moves.

Defensive Skill Stick

Finally defensive players are given full control over their hockey sticks with the ability to keep their sticks steady in front of an attacker to disrupt him or sweep it back and forth to cover a zone.

Creative AI:

Now your teammates won't be on thin ice as improved AI will utilize the same deking and passing abilities that you do. The new AI allows the computer to find user-controlled players breaking down ice with more regularity and improving overall lead passing and positioning.

Authentic 3-on-3 EA Sports Hockey League:

The popular EASHL match mode now only needs three human players to experience the frenzied. high-paced action. This arcade-inspired hockey delivers humorous commentary coupled with an over-the-top play style that keeps the crowd roaring endlessly. Included in this mode a complete single-player campaign where you compete against different teams and leagues in a circuit-style tour. Additionally, players can enjoy online team play where up to five of your friends and finally local team-play with up to five friends along with online or local head-to-head.

Rules?



A flip of the coin determines who sets the rules and the winner gets to select how many periods to play and the goal limit. The coin flip winner also decides whether you want to play in a super-fast first-to three game or with standard NHL periods and clocks.

The open ice mode allows players to showcase new skill moves and creative passing between teammates. 3-on-3 EASHL demands a high skill level and utilizes all the new gameplay additions to its fullest.

Trade Requests in Be Like a Pro:

The game has changed with users now gaining the ability to set specific trade criteria by having their Be a Pro traded to other teams.
As long as the Be A Pro career starts making some waves in the NHL, the trade scenarios are endless.

Hut Challenges:

An expansion to the Hockey Ultimate team mode, HUT challenges gives players the chance to earn rewards and upgrade their roster almost instantly. Included in HUT challenges is co-op challenges so friends can join in to share in the rewards.

New Button Controls

The control scheme has been revamped and allows players who prefer to use the facebutton control technique to utilize the same skills, moves and goals as Skill Stick Players. Now every player can showcase exemplary puck handling, passing and scoring by simply using the L1/LB + face buttons to execute advanced dekes that up until now only Skill Stick Players could pull off.

Franchise Expansion

Vegas Golden Knights

Players can select the expansion team from Sin City before the first NHL game featuring authentic rosters, uniforms, logos and all of the bells and whistles of the shiny new T-Mobile Arena. Franchise expansion lets players reboot the expansion draft and utilizes real player protection lists so you can build the roster from scratch.



Expansion Draft

Users can change the landscape of the league where they create an expanded franchise and select the best players across the NHL. Assemble a talented roster and assume a front office position to manage the team's personnel, make business decision and the adjust the strategy and roster for actual games.

Users can also play as an existing franchise and set your own Protected Player List to keep a current roster intact.

More Expansion Locations
Pick from countless cities across North America and Europe to find the ideal place to build a championship team and bring a Stanley Cup to your hometown or favorite place.

Create-a-Mascot



Using the in-depth Creation Zone customization tools that are used to select your city, build an arena, design a uniform/logo and now the unprecedented ability to tailor-make a mascot!

OVERALL REVIEW:

NHL 18 expands into a variety of co-op game modes like never before. This year's version caters to users in favor of co-op modes via Hockey Ultimate Team™, Online Vs. and NHL THREES. Team play is the name of the game. Players of all ages and experience can hop right into to a dynamic gameplay experience and emulate the pros with creative puck handling and scoring normally reserved for the hardcore gamers.
While the playing mechanics have been refined to create a more fluid and NHL-like game style, first-time players should take advantage of the Hockey Canada Training Camp mode to learn the basics and work their way up to mastering the nuances of the game.

The zany NHL-Threes arcade mode creates endless hours of amusement with unlimited possibilities as the rules are entirely customizable. The frenetic end-to-end action tests the skating, passing and shooting prowess of all players, while defenders can deliver hellacious hits and punishment for attackers who don't have their heads on a swivel.

NHL in Vegas, what could be better? The Franchise Expansion mode allows eager hockey fans to simulate what it's like playing with the NHL's 32nd team. The ability to play the flipside the coin and protect existing team's players from the expansion draft is another interesting twist that allows users to manage every aspect of the team's roster moves.



The Defensive Skill stick addition to the game seems to be over-engineered as players often find themselves tinkering with that tactic instead of positioning correctly in front of an attacker. The player models and on-ice action appear to be a carbon-copy of last year's iteration, but the in-arena atmosphere in NHL-Threes is festive and Oktoberfest-esque. The visual upgrades to the crowd while not significant enhance the quality of the game experience.

While the skating in open ice is the stuff dreams are made of, on the flip side, defending goal in this year's iteration is nightmarish even with the addition of the Defensive Skill Stick. While point blank shots often don't produce goals, wacky deflections, slapshots from near mid-ice and impossible angled attempts find the back of the net far too often. Scoring is the name of the game in this offensive-centric version.

Not all defensive ability is lost however as body checks are as bruising as ever and the high intensity fighting is always a great way to pass the time. The gameplay controls and mechanics have been refined, the game modes have been expanded and geared toward co-op play.

The new modes including NHL-Threes, Franchise Expansion and Create a Mascot tool make this the ultimate title for the casual and die-hard hockey fan alike. While the visuals are stunning, they're not groundbreaking or vastly improved from prior versions, but steady gameplay tweaks and enhanced features create glass-shattering fun for all.

OVERALL SCORE: 8.9










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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

1 comment:

  1. NHL Threes is the most ridiculous game mode I've ever played, but for some reason I can't stop playing! I'm not a fans of the Canadian Hockey training camp, the tutorials are too slow-paced!

    ReplyDelete

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