July 17, 2009
The biggest omission from the last few editions of EA Sports' NHL series has been the fantasy draft. Gamers who pick up NHL 10 in September will be happy to know that the fantasy draft will be back, along with some more cool additions.
Users will now be able to begin their franchise modes with the choice to build their team however they wanted, and not have to wheel and deal with the preset or updated rosters to get their squad to their liking.
In NHL 10 producer Andy Agostini's latest blog, he drops some nuggets on the fantasy draft, as well as the brand new Be-a-GM mode. You can also check out his video diary here, courtesy of Operation Sports.
The "GM Reputation" feature is another addition that brings more realism to the game. No longer will you be able to badger a team about trading Jarome Iginla(notes) for your backup goaltender straight up without that offer affecting your ability to swing deals in the future. Also, signing highly-rated players to contracts and trying to swap them immediately for cheaper talent will hurt you in the free agent market.
Fans of the NHL series have complained in the past about how the game and franchise mode doesn't follow many of the rules in the current collective bargaining agreement. Enter 'contract buyouts' for NHL 10 as Agostini writes:
"I have read on some message boards saying we don't have a way to cut a player during the year. So just to clarify the CBA rules says you are not allowed to release a player during the season. The only way you can release a player is to buy him out in the offseason or put him in the minors during the season but still pay his full salary while he is there."
It seems like every week EA releases more information that makes you jazzed about the upcoming release. The "Prospects Game" with all draft-eligible players is a nice addition and is a much better way to determine how a guy plays rather than reading about his skill set from one of your "scouts".
Already packed with the new first-person fighting engine, board play, Be-a-GM, improved franchise mode as well as the returning Be-a-Pro mode and EA Sports Hockey League, is there anything else that the good folks at EA are withholding from us at the moment?