EA announced the early access dates for NHL 22. Just like with FIFA 22, players with an EA Play account can play the hockey sim on October 7, 8 days before its official release. If you do not have an EA Play account but want to play the game early, you can sign up here. NHL 22 will release on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch on October 15, 2021.
Here is a recap of what you can expect during NHL 22’s early access period.
Switch to Frostbite Game Engine
NHL 22 is switching to the Frostbite Game Engine. The jump to Frostbite results in breakthrough visual detail in every hit, deke, and shot. NHL 22 boasts enhanced player likeness, down to eye movement and expressions. Player models and environments also receive a visual upgrade in this game.
Introduction of X-Factors
Now a mainstay in the Madden franchise, X-Factor abilities make their debut in hockey for NHL 22. X-Factors are game-changing abilities that superstars possess, giving them the edge in competition. You can find a list of X-Factor abilities here.
Enhanced Stick Physics
EA hopes that the New stick physics accurately captures puck battles on offense and defense. For instance, in NHL 22, players can now defend against opposing sticks as they drive towards the net to get a shot on goal.
The new UI system in NHL 22 animates on top of the action. When a player performs a special ability, an icon becomes visible over the player’s head. Performing a highlight play will trigger 3D graphics to rub it in the face of your opponent. Additionally, the UI gives users information about the game without having to back out to look at stats, penalties/minutes, etc.
World of Chel and Be a Pro
Both World of Chel and Be a Pro have received overhauls in NHL 22. The introduction of X-Factors gives these popular game modes a new look. Customizability and skill trees give fans the chance to tailor their NHL 22 experience.
50 X-Factor players will get special upgradeable versions called Power-up Player items in Hockey Ultimate Team. These items start with a lower rating than the player’s base item but can be upgraded at launch to be +1 OVR from their base. Unlock and choose all-new synergies to plan your team building and maximize how your HUT squad performs on the ice.
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