Connect with us

NHL 20 Early Impressions

NHL 20

NHL 20 Early Impressions

June is arguably my favorite month of the year. The NBA and NHL playoffs have unfortunately come to an end, but the sports gaming world really starts to ramp up for the usual late summer to fall release window. New information about the year’s upcoming titles start to trickle out, and we get E3 and EA Play to give us news on some of our most beloved titles. Over the last few years, EA Sports’ NHL series has opted to wait until the night of the NHL Awards, which happened on June 19, to announce their cover athlete and release early game information. For NHL 20, we saw Auston Matthews revealed as the cover athlete with the first official trailer of the game. We then had a few words from Matthews, sweaty suit and all (which I found pretty funny to see). At roughly the same time, EA Sports released initial information for the game. To see the trailer and what the new features are, check out Steve’s post here. Here’s my quick breakdown for each of the (so far) announced features that we’ve seen.

Speed And Shooting Fueled By RPM Tech

RPM Tech was introduced in NHL 19 and it definitely led to a better feel when on the ice. I was impressed by the changes that this new tech gave us for movement all around in-game. For NHL 20, it appears the development team has taken RPM Tech and has used it to improve several areas on the ice that have been weaknesses for several years. Superstar Signature Shots have been added, which should help give players some much-demanded differentiation that has been missing. As the game and the players who play it have evolved, shooting and skating have changed with younger players adding in flair to their game. EA is touting “over 45 new contextual shot animations” so I’m expecting to see variance in the way players shoot on the ice in different situations.

Changes in animations will also impact speed in gameplay, with new animations that should allow shots, passing and puck pickups to be executed without a skater having to lose speed or go into a glide animation to do certain things. If these animations can be pulled off as expected, this could be huge for the way that NHL 20 plays on both ends of the ice, especially with puck pickups since they have been a pain for many years. New goaltender AI has also been mentioned. This ignites a little excitement for me as smarter goalies could make the game more challenging, which would lead to more variety and fun. I’m hoping that these RPM Tech changes and improvements give us a better feel on the ice, and lead to an overall better experience for NHL 20.

A New Generation Of Hockey Broadcasting

A new broadcasting team and a new visual presentation package has me eager to see what’s in store for NHL 20 on this front. As you may have read before in previous stories I’ve written for Operation Sports, I’m big on presentation and feel that it is just as important as gameplay. A good presentation package that’s packaged with good gameplay is the recipe for success. As mentioned by Matt Bertz in his Game Informer piece, a new broadcast team of James Cybulski and Ray Ferraro should create some livelier commentary that will be able to be updated more often than the last few iterations of the game. All new overlays and a move away from the NBC package is also going to be interesting to see. This is where the majority of my excitement for NHL 20 currently resides.

New Modes And Icons In Hockey Ultimate Team

I’m personally not big on card and Ultimate Team modes in games, but new modes are always something to be excited about. Taking a page from FIFA’s book, EA brought over Squad Battles to NHL 20 and hopes to see success with it here like it does in FIFA. I think the adoption of the mode will work out well, as rewards and earnings should be aplenty. More hockey Icons will be added as well so this should give collectors another reason to get to the grind.

New Ways To Play With Friends

The addition of the “Eliminator” game mode sounds interesting and can be played in both NHL Ones and NHL Threes. Ones and Threes made up a very enjoyable mode last year, so the addition of this Eliminator feature for Ones and Threes is definitely a smart move by the NHL team. The team has also made Ones available to play offline with friends.

An Ever-Expanding World Of CHEL

Building on the success of last year, the World of Chel is back and will now offer deeper customization, four new outdoor rinks and Chel Challenges, which is a new in-game event. I’d like to have seen more capabilities in terms of player customization for your created character and some inclusion of the GameFace technology that NBA Live 19 used, but that doesn’t seem to be on the radar for a game that is looking to preach individuality and flair this year as an underlying theme.

After seeing the initial pieces of information about NHL 20, we can only expect more news and feature breakdowns over the next upcoming weeks. One thing I’m personally waiting for is more information on franchise mode.

What takeaways so far have piqued your interest in NHL 20? Is there anything that you’re looking forward to? Drop a comment below and let us know.

16 Comments

Leave a Reply

Discussion
  1. geisterhome
    What about new cyberfaces added?

    I'm sure. Last year seemed like the most I've seen this gen. I read they upped the staff for this as well. I'm wanting the same. As many accurate likenesses as possible.
    Does OS get any money from EA (and others?)
    I've always wondered
    (I am not making an accusation by the way - just curious if they have any financial relationship at all)
    The title of the article, NHL 20 Early Impressions, led me to believe it was impressions of a hands on. Apparently it's just a re-hash of all the previously released info. Sounds promising, but disappointed it wasnt impressions from an actual hands on with the game.
    scagwi
    Does OS get any money from EA (and others?)
    I've always wondered
    (I am not making an accusation by the way - just curious if they have any financial relationship at all)

    No. In fact, when I joined the EA Gamechangers staff I had to remove myself from the OS staff because they didnt want it to appear as if they had people affiliated with a game company on the staff.
    scagwi
    Does OS get any money from EA (and others?)
    I've always wondered
    (I am not making an accusation by the way - just curious if they have any financial relationship at all)

    No, but when I worked at OS I did get free and advanced copies of games for my reviews, at times. While that might seem like something that might persuade someone to write glowing reviews, I can tell you that it typically isn’t.
    What I can tell you is this, when I had to write certain things about the games prior to release it was essentially based off of a press packet or something released straight from EA themselves. So while you are reporting this early and exclusive information about an upcoming title, you are basically only able to say what you’ve been told from the company. So it’s quite hard to put a negative spin on anything like that because you haven’t played the game and anything you’re being told or shown is controlled from the producing company.
    I definitely wrote a few things in my day that made it seem like a game would be the next greatest thing, only to get my hands on it and realize it was a dud.
    TerryP
    The title of the article, NHL 20 Early Impressions, led me to believe it was impressions of a hands on. Apparently it's just a re-hash of all the previously released info. Sounds promising, but disappointed it wasnt impressions from an actual hands on with the game.

    Yes - the title of this article needs to be changed to "Thoughts on NHL 20 Information"
    Anything that makes the game look more like real hockey in terms of the flow of the game is super welcome.  The game is already leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a few years ago and I look forward to that progression continuing.   Also love that there will be more interesting options for offline play in HUT as I'm just not an online guy.  Also most of my play is Franchise so also looking to see if there is anything new there.
    fiddlerpaul
    Anything that makes the game look more like real hockey in terms of the flow of the game is super welcome.* The game is already leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a few years ago and I look forward to that progression continuing.* *Also love that there will be more interesting options for offline play in HUT as I'm just not an online guy.* Also most of my play is Franchise so also looking to see if there is anything new there.

    Franchise got a nice face-lift as far as off-ice features go. Unfortunately, 31-team control and the on-ice AI not being touched is a huge turnoff for me. The in-house presentation package has me genuinely excited. The few screens look so clean, and that will definitely add a nice, fresh touch to this series.
    I like the new presentation package.. they definitely have a lot more flexability moving forward as they step away from NBC. There is some stuff that bugs me but that's personal preference.
    Well reading the article makes me excited based on what they say....Hope the excitement doesn't turn to disappointment,,,,like when grandma says I'm getting a great present for Christmas and she sends pens and paper saying in her day, that was a great present.

A father, dedicated sports fan and gamer. FIFA, Madden, NHL, NBA 2K are what I play majority of the time. Manchester United runs in my blood. Chicago Bulls and Denver Broncos drape the walls of my man cave. Play hard, or don't play at all.

More in NHL 20

To Top