NHL 10: Demo impressions

Posted by Pesico
Aug 21 2009

With NHL 10 under a month away, the demo was released on Xbox Live yesterday, with the promise of next week on the PS3. I saw no other choice than to dust off my Xbox 360, and take the demo for a test. Watch the video full of gameplay and make sure you read my impressions below.

EA Sports NHL series have had some great iterations the last few years, including NHL 09 which came with the brand new Be a Pro mode that saw you start as yourself in the AHL and then shoot for Legend status in the NHL if you played well enough. You could even take your character online to battle it out in the EA Sports Hockey League by being part of a team of other likeminded players.

This year with NHL 10, EA Sports seems to take their hockeygame franchise to yet another level. Included in the demo is two modes. The first one is Battle for the Cup which is a single playoff series to be battled out against either the CPU or a friend. In the demo though, you’re limited to the last period of game 7 between Stanley Cup winner Pittsburgh and Detroit. The other mode to grace the demo is Be a Pro mode. In this mode you play as yourself in one period of a prospects game before the entry draft. How you play determines when in the draft you are selected. After playing this period, you get presented to the Entry Draft, where you have to wait anxiously before a team picks you up. This adds another realistic part to Be a Pro mode, contrary to NHL 09 where you picked your team by yourself. Still a possibility this year though.

One of the areas EA Sports have focused on this year is gameplay and it shows. In normal mode, you will notice a slightly slower speed of the game, the passing isn’t tape to tape all the time as you have to be more careful at where you aim your passes. NHL 10 also introduces boardplay, where you can pin opponents to the board or get pinned on the boards while battling for the puck, while at the same time spectators are punching on the glass. You can then kickpass the puck to a teammate or try to pokecheck the puck from the opposing player. This really adds another dimension to the gameplay. This is how it is in normal mode, which is one of three gameplay modes. You also have casual that is more like last years editions where the passing always is tape to tape. Then you have hardcore mode, where you have even less passing and check assists. Here you have to be really careful with where you aim your passes, and when to throw out the big hits. Hardcore mode is even slower than Normal mode.

Playoff atmosphere
You really get the playoff atmosphere in this game as well. Especially in the last period, the fans are cheering non stop. The icing on the cake is that the Stanley Cup logos are now featured on the ice during playoff games. I played as the Red Wings and took the Penguins to the second OT, and it was exiting to listen to the fans cheering. It has never felt as good to get an OT goal in an NHL game as when I did so in the second overtime period.

I can safely say that based on the demo, this game will be awesome, and every PS3 owner should download the demo on thursday the 28th to experience this. With the casual, normal and hardcore mode, this game has something for every hockeyfan.

Make sure to leave your comments, and I’ll hope to see you all in EASHL when the game launches on september the 17th.

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