NHL 14 DEMO Review
Written by Brenden Mernagh
Published on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 17:32
First off--- It looks essentially the same as last year's version, which is to say; it still looks very good. Almost every element seems consistent with what we saw last year, save for the player animations during hits and checks. The new physics engine is impressive and while EA has for years talked about making each hit feel more real, this year it feels like they succeeded.
Commentary and sound seemed very similar to last year as well, but this is a demo after all and it is kind of hard to make a general opinion on the sound effects and soundtrack of a demo
The new Enforcer Engine is really cool. If you shoot a puck after the whistle at your opponents' goalie, then you better get ready to drop the gloves. This also applies if you make a big hit on a vulnerable star player or just make a dirty hit in general. What I think this will do is eliminate some of those annoying online players who just can't help taking shots on your net after the whistle or taking special liberties with your stars after the whistle.
The new fighting engine is also much improved and better emulates the look of an actual game; players of both teams stand around the fighting players tapping their sticks on their ice, and the winning fighter will make a celebratory gesture to the fans right after the bout. It's all very cool. And despite the fact that I am not a big fan of fighting in the game, this seems like a welcome addition and I hope it translates well into the full version of the game.
The goals you score also seem much more believable. If you get by the opponents defense and have time in front of the net, you have a much better chance of scoring a goal. One timers also seem to work much better than they have in recent versions. That said, one-timers are also a lot harder to perform. The puck no longer seems to magically go through players on its path towards the receiving player, it reacts the way it should.
I don't want to give too much away or opine too much as we will have the review up very soon, and this is just the demo I am talking about, but from what I have seen so far I am very pleased. Could NHL 94 be the modern incarnation of NHL 94? Will we finally have that seminal hockey game that defines a generation? Stay tuned to Gamefocus to find out!
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