At the NHL Awards on Wednesday, Electronic Arts unveiled the cover star for NHL 18, and not surprisingly it was Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. The teenage phenom had a breakout year, leading the league in points and taking the Oilers to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. EA also revealed a full gameplay trailer for the game, as well as detailed various aspects of NHL 18, and what fans could expect to find come September when it launches.
NHL 18 is set to add even more control to the skill stick for players, both attacking and defending. They also are trying to make the game even more dynamic and speed up the pace. They have shown that the real life NHL is full of fast young stars, like McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews, who have a great deal of speed and skill, and they want that reflected in-game. Fans often criticize stick handling in the NHL series, but it looks like EA is doing its best to give more control and make the game more authentic to the actual NHL.
Some notable additions to the modes were unveiled as well. One in particular, is NHL Threes, which is a more arcade-focused three on three mode. The games will take place on smaller rinks, about seventy-five percent the size of a regular NHL rink, and face-offs will be limited to the beginning of periods, and there will be no icing or offsides for example. Don’t expect NHL Hitz 18, with big heads and flaming pucks, but EA is looking to make a more accessible and fun mode for players to drop into. As well, with the addition of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, when players are doing franchise mode, they can select the Golden Knights, and do an expansion draft, or start a 32nd team and hold their own expansion draft and take their team to the Stanley Cup.
NHL 18 releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 15. There is a beta that players can sign up for, to try out the new NHL Threes mode, as well as other modes come late July. Additionally, the game comes in a Standard form, as well as a Young Guns edition, that includes a number of McDavid goodies and packs for Hockey Ultimate Team. While NHL 18 isn’t ready to make the full jump to frostbite, the game is looking promising, and hopefully the uptick in action will be enough to appease the die hard NHL Fans.
Source: NHL 18 Website