Go ahead and tell your loved ones, friends and co-workers that you’re scheduled to come down with the flu on Sept. 10.
The ‘NHL 14’ trailer from EA Sports has arrived, and it’s spectacular as expected (make sure you watch it in HD):
Go ahead. Drool. It’s an acceptable human response when a new edition to the greatest hockey series in gaming history is announced.
Oh, but make sure you save some of your joy-gasm for the special features in the new edition, which include what can only be described as an HBO “24/7” influenced “off the ice” feature that you'll either love or hate at first sight.
NHL® Collision Physics – Developed from the same core technology that powers EA SPORTS FIFA’s critically-acclaimed Player Impact Engine, NHL® Collision Physics introduces bigger, more thrilling hits, and truer-to-life collisions. A new left-stick control scheme makes delivering a game-changing hit simpler and more rewarding than ever.
Enforcer Engine – There is a code in hockey, when it's broken you have to respond. A first for the NHL franchise, Fight Night technology delivers a new 3rd person experience, physics-based punch targeting and player size differentiation to every fight, creating the most authentic and electrifying experience yet.
One-Touch Dekes – Experience what it feels like to be a superstar through a new, more responsive deking system controlled only with the left stick and one-button. From beginner to advanced gamers, the system allows for quicker reactive dekes and intuitive combination dekes, creating more moves than ever before.
True Performance Skating – Built on the breakthrough innovation that introduced physics-based skating and over 1,000 new skating animations to the EA SPORTS NHL franchise. The second year of the True Performance Skating features improved acceleration, explosive first-strides, quicker pivots and enhanced lateral skating, resulting in greater player responsiveness and unprecedented control.
Live the Life – The new incarnation of the Be a Pro Career Mode, now you can truly Live the Life of an NHL player. On or off the ice, every decision you make shapes your legacy as an athlete. Interact with teammates outside of the rink. Take part in media interviews. Each choice you make will affect your relationship with fans, teammates and management, influencing your skills and progression.
EA SPORTS NHL Online Seasons – NHL 14 adds the best-in-class promotion and relegation system in the sports category to the Hockey Ultimate Team & EA SPORTS Hockey League modes. Win games and advance to the next division to face tougher competition, fall short and see your team bumped down. Teams will be able to track their progress across multiple seasons.
First impression: The improved fighting engine and skating animations are going to be well-received by gamers. The “one-touch dekes” for a game that frankly can be too dekey for its own good – a problem that goes all the way back to 'NHL 94', actually – and the lack of any announced tweaks to the goalies, whose superhuman saves were a detriment to 'NHL 13', will catch flack.
But that “Live The Life” mode is going to be quite divisive.
It speaks to the “24/7” culture in today’s NHL, and really brings a heretofore unseen aspect of the playing experience to the game. But maybe there’s a reason we haven’t seen it before, you know?
Dying to know more about this mode. Is it like an RPG where you gain or lose skill points based on the interviews you take or decline? Is there some button combination that’ll make your chat with the NHL Network studio show more compelling? (And, in turn, can that button combination be shared with Mike Johnson to make him more compelling?)
And please tell us that “interaction with teammates away from the rink” involves high-stakes poker games on planes. Or picking up women at road bars. Or some crazy meta mode in which you play as a player playing NHL 14 against another player in your hotel room (brain asplodes).
Here are some first impressions of the trailer from the wonderfully names JenNettalia: