As all of my fellow hockey fans know, EA’s NHL 13 officially dropped yesterday and, in typical fashion, I rushed out of work to pickup a copy for myself. Keep in mind, I haven’t gotten too in depth into the game yet, so my early impression(s) may change once I get some serious game time under my belt.
Nonetheless, here’s what I think of NHL 13 so far.
* Realism- For some reason, this version of the game really looks like it accentuates the strengths and weaknesses a particular player has. if a player’s game is speed, he’s a fast mo fo in the game. If he’s more of a sniper than a dangler, his goals are primarily coming on shots
I noticed this in particular with Marian Gaborik. In shootouts, an area I have a hard time scoring on pure shots, if I come in with Gaborik fast and aim for over the blocker, there’s a more than decent chance it goes in if timed correctly (and the goalie bites). On past versions, doing this was near impossible for me. In general, more shots seems to be have a better chance of rattling the post/crossbar and going in.
- Not to brag, but my first full game that I played, on my first two shots nonetheless, I scored with Rick Nash. This was on Superstar, too. He’s an absolute beast in the game. His wheels rival those of Carl Hagelin, his shot is quick and hard. There’s no stopping him.
* NHL Moments- This game mode was long overdue. Madden has it. NBA 2K’s series has it. Finally, NHL 13 has it and there’s a plethora to choose from. Good for us Rangers fans because there’s quite a few Rangers moments to play, ranging from beating the Coyotes in OT from the 1/10/12 game this past season to earning King Henrik’s shutout during the 2012 playoffs against the Senators.
I’m intrigued with the legends moments they included. Gretzky’s two goals against Philadelphia to reach 50 in 39 games, Lemeiux’s eight-point night and Gilmour’s OT winner are the moments to chose from. I just have one problem: that’s it for legends! It left me wanting more moments. I felt EA dropped the ball here. Good news is, whenever the season actually starts, there will be moments that can be downloaded and played.
* Winter Classic- One word: phenomenal. The lighting, the presentation, the shadows along the boards from the sun, seeing breath all make it a realistic experience. Great job. You can also play the WSH/PIT Classic too. More chances to smack Sidney Crosby around.
* Player Ratings- I’m not exactly sure what EA was smoking here in particular with the Rangers. I laud them for at least having a greater seperation in talent from top-line players to bottom-line ones (Asham as a 75 sounds fairly accurate to me). I don’t even have a problem with Kreider’s 68 rating: he’s a rookie with potential, not a proven talent.
However, go and sort through the ratings by skill and you’ll find some interesting tidbits. Did you know, after Gaborik’s 94 rated speed, Derek Stepan and Michael Del Zotto are the fastest Rangers? Not Carl Hagelin, not even Kreider…Derek Stepan. He’s no slow poke, but he’s not exactly blowing past defenders out on the ice either. Stepan has the 2nd largest acceleration number behind Gaborik.
Overall, I liked what I saw from the game and that was in just 60 minutes of game play. I’ve yet to tackle a Hockey Ultimate Team, which, along with the companion app to help you out, I hear is great. I’ve yet to establish an online presence. I’m sure I’ll find more positives and negatives, but on a scale of 1-10, NHL 13 gets a solid 7.5 from the get go.