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NHL 22 Official Gameplay, Superstar X-Factors, Frostbite, and More

On Thursday, gamers got their long-awaited first look at NHL 22 on the Frostbite Engine. EA Sports NHL VP/GM Sean Ramjagsingh, Gameplay Producer Tyler Sawatzski, Senior Presentation Designer David Pritchett went over new additions to the NHL franchise. Frostbite, Superstar X-Factors, enhanced stick physics, and UI were the topics at hand. Check out the dev’s breakdown of the gameplay trailer below.

NHL 22 Gameplay Trailer

Frostbite Game Engine

NHL 22 joins the rest of EA Sports’ titles on the infamous Frostbite engine. Pritchett says that the jump to Frostbite results in “breakthrough visual detail in every hit, deke, and shot.” NHL 22 boasts enhanced player likeness, down to an athlete’s eye movement and expressions. Player models and environments also receive a visual upgrade in this year’s game. This includes higher resolution ice and 3D ice spray (that can even spray on replay cameras in-game). According to Pritchett, the Frostbite engine allows materials like cloth, visors, and helmets to react realistically to light.

Superstar X-Factors

Following in the footsteps of Madden, Superstar X-Factors have made their way to EA’s NHL product. Signature player abilities can now be activated in an attempt to differentiate star players from the rest of the pack. In NHL 22, X-Factors are divided into six categories: shooting, skating, passing, hockey IQ, defense, and goaltending. The game features 29 different Superstar X-Factor abilities assigned to players in a two-tier system: Premiere Zone Abilities and secondary Superstar Abilities. NHL 22 aims to allow players to recreate some of the league’s most iconic abilities to gain an edge over their opponent.

Enhanced Stick Physics

Sawatzski’s says that new stick physics result in “more accurately represented 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. EA’s latest hockey game wants to put more of an emphasis on more outcomes being dictated by proper body positioning. This aids in what’s considered a penalty and what is not.

Augmented Reality UI

NHL 22’s new UI system animates on top of the action in real-time. When a player performs a special ability, the game let’s you know with a small icon over the player’s head. After a highlight play occurs, 3D graphics will appear over your player to rub it in your opponent’s face just a little more. Additionally, the UI serves to give user’s information about the game without having to back out too look at stats, penalties/minutes, etc.

How’s EA’s latest NHL title looking to you? Are you excited to see NHL 22 on the Frostbite engine? Will this be the best hockey game from Electronic Arts since NHL 14? Comment and let us know. For everything sports game related, stick with us at Sports Gamers Online.

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