Announcements for NHL 21 have been all over the place this year. But after an initial delay due to the ongoing pandemic, the NHL 21 team laid out a content road map that they’ve been able to mostly stick to. Just yesterday we got our first look at the official trailer for NHL 21’s Be A Pro mode.
This morning, we got a look at something completely different. EA Sports NHL Community Manager The Clapperton tweeted a short video of NHL 94 Rewind. NHL 94 Rewind is a new game mode that loads today’s NHL rosters into yesterday’s game.
— Clappy (@TheClapperton) October 2, 2020
Y’all, people loved NHL 94. For good reason, too. NHL 94 became a cult classic and is a staple on all-time sport games lists. Some of that love is from the game’s realism (1994 realism). We take this for granted now, but early entries into the NHL series did not have the league and players’ licensing rights. Even though it was the third game in EA’s NHL series, EA didn’t have the licenses for both the National Hockey League and the NHLPA until NHL 94. This meant the game could have things like team-specific organ songs after goals.
The gameplay of NHL 94 is remembered fondly as well. NHL 94 added the “one-timer,” a hockey technique where a player shoots the puck immediately off of a pass from a teammate. I really can’t imagine playing a hockey game where this kind of shot isn’t an option, so I can’t imagine how big it must have been at the time.
This isn’t the first time EA has tried to recapture the magic of NHL 94. EA developed the NHL 94 Anniversary Mode as part of NHL 14 to celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary. NHL 94 Anniversary Mode was built inside of NHL 14’s game engine. Unlike its anniversary mode, NHL 94 Rewind aims to simulate the look and feel of the original NHL 94, with current teams and rosters. This is huge news for fans of the Golden Knights, but bad news for lingering Hartford Whalers fans.
NHL 94 Rewind joins a plethora of other pre-order bonuses for NHL 21. As long as you pre-order NHL 21 before its release date on October 16, you are eligible to receive NHL 94 Rewind. The throwback game mode won’t be available until October 30.