If you’re as disappointed as I am by the two teams in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals (that goes for the NBA Finals as well), you only have a few more months to wait before you can buy the new iteration of the NHL franchise and play your team into an engraving on Lord Stanley himself. This year’s edition will include several changes, many of which fans have called for and will applaud. One of which is the new “Contact Physics Engine.” Past NHL games may give off the impression that big hits occur every 10 seconds. As much as all of us hockey fans wish that were true, it’s pretty unrealistic and EA has been focused on making hits and collisions more accurate. Hits in NHL 12 will not only look and feel more appropriately realistic, you will not see guys doing flips and somersaults every time a big hit is laid.
EA has also decided to include the Winter Classic in NHL 12, so you and your favorite team will be able to go up against the Penguins at the event’s previous location of Heinz Field. The game’s goalie physics have also been heavily improved upon. No longer will goalies be immovable objects that are unaffected by player traffic in the crease. Not only will skaters be able to make life difficult for goaltenders by bumping and pressing them in the crease, but just as you would see in an actual game, goalies will show just as much aggression by bumping and shoving back. Oh, and goalies can now fight each other. Yeah, that will be an over-abused feature for sure.
Additionally, the ever-popular “Be a Pro” mode featured in all EA Sports titles will be getting an overhaul in NHL 12. This year, if you’re having difficulty finding the back of the net and aren’t a first or second liner, you’ll now be able to sim the game forward to the next time you get a shift rather than having to watch the game’s events as they occur. Your coach will also give you in-game tasks to complete so you can slowly but surely make your way up to the first line.
Though the cover athlete for the game has not yet been announced, NHL 12 will be hitting the ice on September 13th.