|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: EA Sports|
|Pub: Eletronic Arts|
|Release: September 10, 2013|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Season Mode is the classic sports-game mode where you play through the schedule of a team. The similar General Manager Mode takes you through a season but opens up some extra team-managing shenanigans to engage in. Another mode lets you transplant NHL legends to the modern era and play their career. At their core, these game variations are like different spices on the same dish. They don’t offer enough originality to engage players not interested in or bored by the core game.
Versions of these game modes, however, exist in the online content of the game. GM Connected takes the General Manager Mode online, and players can be created in a similar style to Live the Life in the EA Sports Hockey League. Essentially, most of the game can be played online with others. This increases the fun of the game; nothing satisfies quite as much as planting a friend into the ice. One major part of the game not included in the online content is NHL 94 Anniversary.
The graphics and sounds of NHL 14 compliment each other well. The life-like figures take full advantage of the capabilities of current-gen systems. The fluid skating motions never break. The appropriate skating sound accompanies players as they take a long zag or stop suddenly for a U-turn. The spot-on sound effects, combined with the realistic visuals, create a compelling representation of a hockey game.
All in all, NHL 14 is a very polished game that takes full advantage of its subject to create an intense, thrilling sports title. Its brutal, energetic nature offers a unique experience that most gaming versions of sports lack, and it’s definitely my favorite sports game of the year. I recommend this game both to hockey fans and non-fan gamers. Although I had never played an EA Sports NHL game before today, I’ll definitely be playing one tomorrow.
Date: September 10, 2013