You’d never expect elements of a soccer or a boxing game to play a paramount role in a hockey title, but Electronic Arts says "NHL 14" will be better because of it.
Using technology from both their “FIFA Soccer” and “Fight Night” franchises, EA said the gameplay additions will ultimately make "NHL 14" the best hockey game on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.
“’NHL14’ had to be the best playing, best looking and most authentic game on this generation of console,” "NHL 14" Producer Sean Ramjagsingh said. “In order to achieve this, we sought out to leverage the best technology from within EA Sports and bring that over to 'NHL14' to deliver on Big Hits, Real Fights and Unbelievable Speed and Skill.”
To help revamp the hitting engine, the “NHL 14” development team borrowed the Player Impact Engine from the FIFA games and modified it for hockey. This season, players can throw huge hits with just a flick of the left stick. Ramjagsingh said the hits this year are “extremely satisfying.”
While hitting is a big part of the sport, many casual fans are drawn into hockey games for the fisticuffs. With their old first-person fighting system getting mixed reviews, the development team used technology from their critically-acclaimed “Fight Night” boxing series to make scraps in “NHL 14” feel more realistic and fun.
“The 'Fight Night' tech has allowed for unprecedented depth to the fighting as now you can punch and dodge prior to clinching up and once in the clinch, you can throw overhand punches and uppercuts plus dodge and tug your opponent to get him off balance,” Ramjagsingh said. “You also have the ability to throw devastating counter punches and occasionally get a one punch knock-out.”
But the game isn’t all about retreads and modification either.
With so much focus on fighting and checking, the development team also created a One Touch Deking system, which allows players the ability to shift the puck and their bodies away from incoming checks.
“We wanted to give users the ability to read that a player was stepping up for a big hit then react quickly to counter the big hit,” Ramjagsingh said. “Our older loose puck deking system (which is still there) makes it difficult for most users to quickly react to situations because it requires the two sticks and a bumper or L1. We wanted our users to have a simple but effective mechanic to pull off some cool dekes without having to rely on multiple buttons.”
“NHL 14” skates its way on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on September 10.
Published at 11:56 AM EDT on Jul 12, 2013