The EA Sports NHL franchise is a tired, boring, rinse and repeat sports game that becomes more and more of a parody of itself every year. The entire franchise needs a massive makeover, but most fans would just settle for slight progress and new perks every year. So what can EA improve upon for future releases?
Number 5: Utilize the Women’s Rosters
It’s a big step forward to have the women’s national teams in the video game. It’s a new feature that was added last year, but they didn’t really expand on it for NHL 23. Apparently, they can be used in CHEL now, but when it comes to the base game, they’re still stuck to just tournaments and no way to juggle rosters. It’s a good start, but adding more women’s hockey to the game is a huge untapped market the franchise can venture down.
Number 4: What’s With The Bugs?
In the modern era of video games, bugs are going to happen, but they should also be swiftly corrected when pointed out, and that doesn’t appear to be the case with the NHL series. There’s a new blackout glitch where only the scoreboard and player indicators are visible, and the famous screen freezing on the EA logo after scoring a goal is also back this year, not to mention various issues with the controls, in-game strategies and messed up commentary. It’s maddeningly frustrating that there’s a semi-decent chance you can’t make it through a single matchup without something going wrong.
Number 3: Better Face Scans
For baseball fans out there, MLB The Show made the jump to Xbox a few years ago and it looks absolutely glorious. The graphics in general are far superior and the face scans actually look like the players, which is a very hit or miss thing in the NHL series. All the promotional pics look fine, but when the game starts, they’re creepy little mutants that look nothing like their respective human counterparts. They may as well just go back to eight-bit if they can’t properly convey the likeness correctly.
Number 2: Updating Different Game Modes
One part of the game that seems to generate the most fan backlash is the lack of upgrades in existing modes of the game. The “Be a pro” mode was essentially the exact same as last year’s with just minor tweaks. There’s been nothing new when it comes to different game modes for at least three years now. It’s a main problem that the franchise has been completely when it comes to the main game for years now, and that brings us to…
Number 1: Focus on Something Besides CHEL
I know it’s 2022 and folks want to play video games online with their friends, but… Spoiler alert: There are still people that just wish to sit down and play a game or two of virtual hockey by themselves without whacky online modes, which is basically the only area of the game that sees any kind of improvement from year-to-year these days. Give the base game a serious facelift and your casual audience will more than likely have a much better experience and positive takeaway from the end product.
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By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: gamepur.com