After only playing NHL 17 for short time it is not hard to see all of the new features
that head developer Sean Ramjagsingh and his crew put into the game, and we will
start with some new gameplay mechanics that you will be able to perform
throughout every game mode…
New Gameplay Mechanics
In NHL 16, the development team tried to revamp the goaltending system and took
it a step further this year by adding in a total of 41 different goaltending styles
inspired by goalies in the NHL today. Each style sees each goalie standing differently
and holding the post in their own unique way. To truly understand each way, you will
really need to test out each styles and find one you like. So far as a goalie I am
enjoying style 13 so give that one a try if you are looking for a style.
The other main new gameplay mechanic is net battles, which will see defenders
and attackers tie up in front of goal battling for position. As a defender, it is your job
to ride the attacker away from net and subside the threat. As an attacker, you will try
to position yourself in front of goal to try and screen the goalie or perhaps put that
redirect in to light the lamp. So far this has seemed like a great feature as defenders
have much more say in the play than they did ever before.
There are plenty more new features to the game like brand new goal celebrations
starring Jose Bautista’s bat flip from what I am sure Blue Jays fans remember from
Game 5 in last year’s American League Division Series; but my favorite? EA has
brought back a menu soundtrack so we gamers no longer have to listen to the same
instrumental all the time!
Former head developer Dave Littman was the brain behind EASHL, which in my
opinion is the greatest game mode ever introduced to the series back in NHL 09 and
after a multi-year hiatus, made its return in NHL 16 and quite honestly was very basic…
This year, EASHL might be ready to be bigger and better than ever before with
the return of customizable jerseys and new to the series… customizable arenas! As
you progress as a club, you will be able to grow your team from playing in a small
community rink to a full on NHL arena with customizable goal horns, team
entrances, and more! So far my club (Hide Yo Momma) has had an amazing time
playing and if you match up with us, prepare for an L!
Hockey Ultimate Team
The most played game mode in the series has also received some new
characteristics. In NHL 17, you no longer have to get position change cards or player boosts as the only thing that matters is synergy.
Synergy is a new feature that each player card has. Once you get enough player cards with the same synergy, those players will get a boost so you can build a team perfectly suited for you! I have already built my team to utilize the speedster and relentless fore check to get some quick counters and maintain that offensive pressure on the cycle.
Only time will tell where this game goes down in the history of the NHL series but so
far this looks like it will be one heck of a game and we will all enjoy it!
Have you had a chance to check out the beta? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned for more NHL 17 news.