With NHL 18, EA Sports finally made some decent strides with the once-great NHL series on the current generation of consoles.
The new NHL Threes mode was fun and the addition of expansion to franchise mode made it a bit deeper than it has been since coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But that doesn’t mean the game is where it should nor where fans want it at this point.
NHL 19 marks the fifth installment for the game on the current consoles, and it’s hard to get anyone to say that it’s on par with where the series was at this point in time on the last generation. Still, with some feature additions and improvements, NHL 19 could become the game that brings everyone back to the series.
But what exactly do we want to see with this year’s game from a features perspective? It’s time for the NHL 19 Features wishlist.
Since coming to the current gen systems, the NHL series has used the relatively dry NBC broadcast presentation. While it’s an okay presentation set up, the commentary has become as repetitive and dull as ever, and there are too many frame drops and clippings to really appreciate the TV-like broadcast.
NHL 19 should feature excitement based on the scenarios of a specific game. Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Playoff series shouldn’t feel the same as a preseason game. NBA 2K does a great job with atmosphere and presentation, and the NHL series could use a few pointers.
More Player Likenesses
It seems like every year we are talking about the desire for more player scans in the game. More likenesses remains a priority for lead producer Sean Ramjagsingh, but it’s still not exactly where it needs to be.
While it’s still pretty impossible to get all the rookies scanned in time for the game’s release, mainstay NHL players, especially veterans, should all be scanned into the game by now.
FIFA’s done it and Madden’s done it, so it’s time for the NHL series to finally get on the Frostbite engine. While NHL still looks good, the Ignite engine is beyond the point of showing its age. We’re five years into the current generation, and NHL 19 needs to look like it belongs in the current generation.
Madden has it, MLB The Show has it, and NBA 2K has it. So, why in 2018, does NHL not yet have roster sharing? Waiting for official roster updates can be annoying. It makes no sense for the NHL series to not allow this yet, especially when rosters change on a near-daily basis.
Be-A-Pro is still the most generic and dull of all the sports career modes. There’s no sense of accomplishment; it’s just an unnecessary grind that feels like a waste of time. Give the mode a sense of personality like the “Live The Life” mode that debuted before generations changed over.
Now, it was teased in a survey sent out by EA Sports that things are changing, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Return of Attribute Allocation
The idea makes sense — everyone should be on a level playing field statistically in the EASHL. But with the mode growing in popularity, the time has come to bring back attribute allocation and equipment bonuses. Let players build the player they want, and let the equipment used actually matter again.
If EA Sports is that worried about pay-to-win in EASHL, then just don’t allow microtransactions in the mode. Problem solved.
We’re seeing them more and more in the NHL so the time has come to allow three-way trades in franchise mode. Once again, it’s a feature that other sports titles allow, so EA may want to jump into the present time.
EASHL Practice Mode
Teams get better with practice. That’s just how sports work. With EASHL, the only way to “practice” is by jumping into games that directly impact your rankings and standings. That just doesn’t make sense. There needs to be a practice system implemented that works just like the offline practice. Allow teams to work on their power play or penalty kill or whatever they want.
What tops your features wishlist for NHL 19? Let us know in the comment section below, and stick with Sports Gamers Online for more NHL content.
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