NHL 14 Review: an icing that doesn't penalize retro or new players from playing

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NHL 14

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EA Sports takes its NHL series in a more realistic direction with a new skating system. While it's accompanied by some other authentic hockey features, it may turn off casual fans as they struggle to adapt to a slower game.

We like

  • Terrific presentation
  • Improved A.I., especially goalkeeping
  • A more authentic experience

We dislike

  • Slow skating may turnoff casual players
  • Slow load screens and laggy menus
  • Some animation and engine glitches

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

The trick behind annualized titles is the attempt to simultaneously change things and keep things the same, which keeps both veterans and newcomers interested in the same content. Profit is a fiscal thing, but those who always want access to more of what we like get that very thing from EA, and the perception of that is based on opinion only. EA Sports knows how to give its fan base what it wants, and that's why we keep coming back to titles like NHL 14. As is the case, this year's rendition still has a few lingering issues that EA can't seem to shake, but the additions may bring some of the new players to the ice, and one new gameplay feature in particular might have what it takes to bring in old-school players as well.

Last year's release of NHL featured a new skating engine called the True Performance Skating engine, which made skating more natural in its delivery. Our thoughts on it were that the game was slowed down from the release of the year before, but it did give it a more realistic feel to player movement. With NHL 14 enhancing the ice-navigating engine, gameplay has sped up a little, but it doesn't exactly go back to the way that things were. Still, after a year to stew on the change and a new release that settles the system in properly, the new style grants more opportunities to think through strategies and react properly. Personally, NHL 13 had me trying to overcompensate and overthink what I should be doing, but NHL 14 has a nice balance of action and reaction, which solidifies the new direction very well.

Check out some of the game enhances after the page break.

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Related information

  • Related game: NHL 14

    Release date (US):
    December 31st, 1969
    EA Sports
    Sports - Ice Hockey
    0 of 2,667 Games
    Up 0 places (in last 7 days)

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