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NHL 13 Preview

When it comes to getting their game down pat, the EA teams up in Vancouver, Canada, are masters. Especially the NHL folks; because once you get your own hands on NHL 13, you won’t want to put down the controller.

By introducing momentum, and by being the first team-sports game to implement real-time physics in skating, NHL 13 is already an early favorite for sports Game of the Year – yes, even above Madden NFL 13 and all of its improvements.

Momentum allows you to grab total skate control over your player. The momentum is different for each player in the game and is based on his ratings, height and weight. A perfect example shown at E3 compared NHL 12 with NHL 13. When you’re on a full-speed breakaway towards the goal, in 12, turning was easy; you could stop and change direction at the drop of a dime. But in 13, you can’t do that anymore. Your momentum will cause you to sort of glide through the turn, causing you to go further than you want which could ultimately lead to nothing but a sloppy possession.

Also, when on offense, last year in NHL 12, the defender could easily keep up with you and your exact speed while skating backwards. It gave the defense an unfair advantage and was one of the few gripes gamers had last year. Now with momentum, the puck holder can use his speed and agility to get around the defender. In turn, this affects defense as well. You can’t skate backwards and dominate the competition anymore. You need to be able to know when to skate forwards and when to skate backwards. For those who aren’t used to hockey’s strategy, there is an option in the settings to have backwards skating on or off.Goalies are also less stagnant, as it seems they can move each of their limbs when attempting to block a shot. In general, goalie play is said to be much better thanks to the new skating physics.

When tying together the new momentum and skating implementations you would think something else has to improve. That something else is the AI. The NHL 13 team spent more time on AI this year than they have in the past three years combined. Each improvement I mentioned earlier that is at your disposal will be the way the AI plays against you.

Also, the AI is constantly learning how you play. NHL 13 wanted to get away from last year when some users figured out how to exploit the AI. Now the AI constantly pay attention to how you play. If you like running up the right wing to go in for the kill, they’ll figure it out. If you play an aggressive, offensive based 1-3-1, the AI will figure it out and changes may need to be made.

Also new are the way strategies work. Each coach has his own strategy, which he takes with him wherever he goes. Potentially you could see the Kings playing like Pittsburgh depending on who their coach could be.

As you can tell, Be A GM mode is getting a make over. Though the majority of the details are said to be coming out in the next couple of weeks, some information was available. The biggest bit of information given, though, was how the mode will be making its way online. You’ll be able to play with your friends and manage your team from an iDevice if needed. You can also watch the new and improve AI battle each other while watching your team, but still having control. You’re able to choose when to shoot the puck, to substitute, to switch lines, etc. You’re also able to draw up your own plays outside of the gameplay and then watch the AI perform that play.

There are less than six weeks left in NHL 13’s development cycle, so the team still has plenty of plans and finishing touches to put on what could possibly be the Sports Game of the Year.


NHL 13 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 GuyinPA75 @ 06/12/12 12:43 PM
All of this does sound great. But I keep telling myself: This is an EA Sports title.

EA often promises and hypes and it never follows thru. Look at Madden the last 5 years.

Being a huge hockey fan I would love to see this game be great and sports game of the year. But until the game is in my 360 tray and wowing me night to night, all of the "talk" and "hype" is just that.

Still . . . could this be the year?
 
# 2 druez @ 06/12/12 12:48 PM
Well, I think NHL has been great for the last 3 years now. Every year it has gotten better. Some years a bit more then others, but overall NHL on the 360 has been a great hockey game. I look forward to this version as well.
 
# 3 fsufan4423 @ 06/12/12 12:49 PM
I haven't purchased a hockey game in years, but with all the things I'm reading on NHL 13.....might have to give this a try.
 
# 4 Super Glock @ 06/12/12 12:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by druez
Well, I think NHL has been great for the last 3 years now. Every year it has gotten better. Some years a bit more then others, but overall NHL on the 360 has been a great hockey game. I look forward to this version as well.
Yes sir and EA has lived up to the hype overall when it comes to their hockey games. It's a great series.
 
# 5 Retropyro @ 06/12/12 01:42 PM
"Also new are the way strategies work. Each coach has his own strategy, which he takes with him wherever he goes. Potentially you could see the Kings playing like Pittsburgh depending on who their coach could be."
Oooooooooooooooooooh!!!

I think they have improved the game each year, small steps for the most part, but this year seems like a rather large step forward.
 
# 6 Cletus @ 06/12/12 01:46 PM
Good article, but I just had to laugh at the defense having an unfair advantage. Does anyone at EA Canada play defense on their game? The defense had an unfair advantage yet the puck could fly through 4 people on a cross crease, a forward could get stick lifted and poked multiple times and still hold on to the puck. The team needs to work on puck physics some more to make it livelier. Hopefully that's next year since they revamped (and needed to) the skating.
 
# 7 Paulinho @ 06/12/12 01:47 PM
The NHL series is far from great. Game has been practically the same since 2009, with minor (mostly bad) changes every year. Game peaked in 2010 and has been stale ever since.
 
# 8 skrody @ 06/12/12 02:23 PM
*yawn* more info we already know - i think we get it.
 
# 9 Dazraz @ 06/12/12 02:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulinho
The NHL series is far from great. Game has been practically the same since 2009, with minor (mostly bad) changes every year. Game peaked in 2010 and has been stale ever since.
100% agree Paulinho.

Each year we get told about all these great new features. This game has been the same rehashed effort for the past few years albeit with a few tweaks. Graphics, Menus, Commentary, same tired look every year. EA can't even provide anything close to a realistic Broadcast Camera.

Potential Sports game of the year!?! Not a chance. Not with such complete sport games such as MLB The Show & NBA 2K out there. I doubt NHL 13 will even make my top 5 sports games this year & this coming from someone who loves his Hockey.

NHL 13 or NHL 10.3. We will see.
 
# 10 dmarz45 @ 06/12/12 02:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazraz
100% agree Paulinho.

Each year we get told about all these great new features. This game has been the same rehashed effort for the past few years albeit with a few tweaks. Graphics, Menus, Commentary, same tired look every year. EA can't even provide anything close to a realistic Broadcast Camera.

Potential Sports game of the year!?! Not a chance. Not with such complete sport games such as MLB The Show & NBA 2K out there. I doubt NHL 13 will even make my top 5 sports games this year & this coming from someone who loves his Hockey.

NHL 13 or NHL 10.3. We will see.
While I agree that NHL 12 didnt make many great improvements. I think the brand new skating engine will make this a really great game. Definitely not NHL 10.3.. The new skating engine will be a game changer.
 
# 11 Roggie @ 06/12/12 02:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus
Good article, but I just had to laugh at the defense having an unfair advantage. Does anyone at EA Canada play defense on their game? The defense had an unfair advantage yet the puck could fly through 4 people on a cross crease, a forward could get stick lifted and poked multiple times and still hold on to the puck. The team needs to work on puck physics some more to make it livelier. Hopefully that's next year since they revamped (and needed to) the skating.
This is the most true thing I've seen. Pucks and sticks go through defensemen like they aren't even there. Perfect positioning on a play isn't rewarded nearly enough. Forwards can put their stick through a D-man's skates to get a puck then shoot it all in one motion while the D-man sits there swearing at the screen as he should be.

Saying defense has an unfair advantage whatsoever is just an ignorant statement.
 
# 12 Flamesfan102 @ 06/12/12 03:14 PM
Quote:
Also new are the way strategies work. Each coach has his own strategy, which he takes with him wherever he goes. Potentially you could see the Kings playing like Pittsburgh depending on who their coach could be.
hmm, does this mean we have the ability to hire/fire coaches now in NHL 13??
 
# 13 DIRRTY30 @ 06/12/12 04:03 PM
I was already sold on NHL 13 after the announcement of the new skating features. But now there is also RTP? Does this apply to checks as well as the skating? I usually get NHL every other year. But this will be my 3rd straight year getting it. I really hope Be a GM gets it's due in the improvement area. I've heard some positive stuff so far, but I can always do with some more.
 
# 14 Retropyro @ 06/12/12 04:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazraz

Potential Sports game of the year!?! Not a chance. Not with such complete sport games such as MLB The Show & NBA 2K out there. I doubt NHL 13 will even make my top 5 sports games this year & this coming from someone who loves his Hockey.

NHL 13 or NHL 10.3. We will see.
Not a chance? Have you played the game? Seems kind of silly to dismiss it without even trying the game. MLB The Show 12 is pretty much only a tweaked version of the last few years. NBA 2K12 could even be considered a step back from 11.

Not saying people should buy into the hype around NHL 13, dismissing it is no better.
 
# 15 Splitter77 @ 06/12/12 06:20 PM
they better have boxscores this year
and the ability to edit player names for ease of use in create team mode.
 
# 16 Semipro91 @ 06/12/12 06:31 PM
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the DEMO at E3. (I also was able to get my hands on a regular build for about 15 minutes before E3 opened). I have bought every NHL since i can remember and I know this is just my opinion but the changes made to skating will CHANGE the way NHL13 is played. I Loved NHL 11 and even though I liked 12 I understand there wasnt much of a change from 11 to 12, but i promise you 13 will change that.
 
# 17 ChaseB @ 06/12/12 07:54 PM
I'm obviously biased but it was my favorite sports game to play at E3. Really feels like a new experience.
 
# 18 Semipro91 @ 06/12/12 08:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealmK
Glad to hear it. Hope that you noticed the AI improvements during your short time with that particular build.
It's funny that you mention the AI. So when I got my hands on it the first thing I wanted to do was test skating with the puck. So I picked the puck up with Parise and circled behind my net in an attempt to " bobby Orr" it. Kopitar was first on the forecheck at about the right circle, I blew by him but immediately what noticed was how the AI responded to that. Brown was on th boards at about the blue line, as soon as I went around Kopitar to the outside brown instead of skating directly at me shifted a little to the center in an attempt to " bait" me into going between him and the boards. As soon as I did scuderi stepped up and destroyed me. It was AWESOME to see the AI react like that. I also wanted to mention how much better the goalies seemed. The stupid shortside deke didn't work on quick and I tried it 3 times.
 
# 19 bwiggy33 @ 06/12/12 08:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Semipro91
It's funny that you mention the AI. So when I got my hands on it the first thing I wanted to do was test skating with the puck. So I picked the puck up with Parise and circled behind my net in an attempt to " bobby Orr" it. Kopitar was first on the forecheck at about the right circle, I blew by him but immediately what noticed was how the AI responded to that. Brown was on th boards at about the blue line, as soon as I went around Kopitar to the outside brown instead of skating directly at me shifted a little to the center in an attempt to " bait" me into going between him and the boards. As soon as I did scuderi stepped up and destroyed me. It was AWESOME to see the AI react like that. I also wanted to mention how much better the goalies seemed. The stupid shortside deke didn't work on quick and I tried it 3 times.
This is getting me excited for the game now! I am extremely ready for some gameplay vids, the demo, and for the people who went to community day to spill the beans with impressions and the features (without the "You Have to say this and this" from EA). I just don't want to keep hearing the same stuff we have already heard 1,000 times (I know that happens every year). I just really want to see the new stuff in action. Cannot wait and it really sounds so far like the game has been taken to a new level.
 
# 20 13whitebread @ 06/12/12 08:31 PM
I wish I would have taken a break last year on NHL 12. But the improvments on NHL 13 sound exciting but this is probally the 1st time since 2007 that I will not pre-order and wait till I see and try the finsih project. Still bummed about them not changing the play by play team since I play mostly offline. Hears hoping for next year.
 

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