NHL 17 Review

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NHL 17 Review

Jacob Wasserman

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On September 13th, EA Sports released their latest addition to their NHL video game series, NHL 17. One of the main new additions to the game is increased customization in EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL). In EASHL, you create a team or user-created players that you can play on with your friends. This year, you and your team can customize the jerseys that your players wear and the arena that your team plays in. Also, when creating your players, new player classes are available, which affects the skills that your player excels at. NHL games are not typically known for a lot of customization, but this year, EASHL changes that.

A brand new game mode included in NHL 17 is Draft Champions. In that game mode, you go through a fantasy draft of players that you can use in games. That gives most players the ability to play with combinations of the league’s best players that they previously were unable to use together. Due to the World Cup of Hockey going currently going on in Canada, this year’s game has a World Cup of Hockey mode. You can play in a tournament with the teams from the real-life competition with up-to-date rosters for all competing teams such as the United States and Canada. In terms of gameplay, EA Sports has made a few additions. Also, new to NHL 17 is the ability to engage in a net battle. Net battles take place when two players grapple in front of one of the goals. It makes it harder for goalies to keep track of the puck, among other things. Another improvement to the game is how on higher difficulties, computer-controlled players do a much better job pressuring the player with the puck than they did in past years. Additionally, it is a lot harder to skate through defenders with the puck.

In my opinion, EA Sports has a very hard time making each hockey game feel very different than the past one. On the other hand, EA Sports does a decent job of doing the opposite with their FIFA soccer games, so we know they are capable of making a game feel different from its predecessor from just a year before. Also, NHL 17 takes a long time to load each of its game modes. If you click on one wrong thing on the menu, it can put you put of your way for at 2 minutes, as it takes so long to load.

In the end, I would give NHL 17 a grade of 7/10. EA Sports has definitely added a bunch of cool features to this year’s installment of their hockey franchise, but it feels a lot like last year’s game. NHL 17 is definitely a positive successor to NHL 16, but EA Sports has a lot of room for improvement.

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