NHL15 rebuilt from the ice up, physics take top position

As the battle for the Stanley Cup rages on, those of us with “next-gen” consoles were left out in the cold with NHL14 being a last-gen release only. It comes as no great surprise that NHL15 will be coming to the PS4 and Xbox One this Fall, but instead of just being incremental, EA Sports is pushing innovation into their new game.

The List of Xbox One and PS4 improvements include 12 player and real puck physics – what that basically means is that all players on the ice are going to be subjected to real-time physics events, not just the players who are on the puck. Collisions, net scrambles and pile-ups included, we’re hoping for some unexpected power-plays based on how the team, not just your controlled player is behaving. The puck physics are said to introduce the unpredictable nature of puck spins, rolls and bounces based on realistic conditions including changes in the ice surface. The skill stick controls are said to be deeper with options such as protecting the puck and new dekes.

Some improvements are more cosmetic – for instance each player has a separation of jersey, equipment and body, and they’ve worked on closing the gap on player likenesses with emotional reactions and facial expressions. We’re told we can expect 9,000 individual crowd models that react to the events in-game.

EA Sports has put more work into authentic arenas and a new set of commentators. Leveraging a partnership with NBC Sports Game Day, Mike Emrick and Eddie Olcczyk have taken up the role of colour commentary, both before and during the game to blur the lines between reality and NHL 15.

The box-cover is still open to vote – either directly at or through Twitter on Thursdays using hash-tags. Not to sway you, but let’s just use #NHL15CoverVote #NHL15Subban and call it a day (Go Habs!).

Stay tuned as we get closer to the fall release. We expect to have some hands-on time before the Fall release on PS3, Xbox360, Xbox One and PS4.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, at a young age I was forced to decide whether the harsh northern winters were going to claim my fingers, or to turn to the safer pursuits of indoor activities. Little did I know that a little game called Ninja Gaiden would bring my digits more pain than frostbite ever could. Starting with Vectrex and C64 games and moving forward through the era of electronic entertainment, I sampled as much as I could in the different platforms, and began my interest in PC gaming from wrestling with DOS memory management.

While console games were a part of my earliest gaming memories and I certainly had played on most platforms including 3D0, all things Nintendo, PS1 and the like, truly the PC was my domain until the Xbox. As an old PC gamer, I ever chased the cutting edge technology. Eye of the beholder with CGA 4 colors was my first step down the the path of blowing thousands of dollars on PC upgrades over two decades. Ultima 7, with the Guardian talking to me through my monitor, still haunts my dreams and keeps me ever hoping for a decent Ultima 8 and 9. From the 3DFX SLI VooDoo2s and Aureal to today's GPU driven DirectX games, the new and shiny pictures seem to keep me going. My PC gaming has slowed down with the market shift though, and although I have choice games that will ever be on PC, I have found myself in console gaming with a bit of portable gaming in my life.

Back around the turn of the millenium (and long before fatherhood), I had fired off an email offering to help Ron with a little-known site called ConsoleGold. Little did I know it would be be a part of my life to this day. While I've seen my fair share of shovelware (thanks Ron!), I manage to try and find the fun in most games. Leaning towards sandbox and action titles, I've grown to love games for their potential to reach art. Console agnostic and excited for the progress of tomorrow, I fancy the latest and greatest, but still enjoy the good old classics ... as long as they've been revamped from their 8bit graphic roots.

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