EA has posted their official NHL 21 gameplay trailer today, featuring innovative moves and massive improvements on both sides of the puck. Players will have more options than ever before to take control of the game and impose their playstyle on opponents.
Gameplay adjustments affect all three areas of the ice, with more offensive zone creativity, smarter transitions through the neutral zone and active defense when protecting the net. From between-the-legs one timers, to desperation saves, NHL 21 adds a new array of innovations to create the most realistic gameplay to date.
- Offensive Gameplay – Inspired by the creativity of Alex Ovechkin, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid and others, the team has added four groundbreaking new moves to the offensive arsenal – “no move” deke, behind the net bank, between-the-legs one timer and “The Michigan.” In addition to the highlight reel material, a multitude of slips, banks and chips help maintain speed and aggression when moving into the offensive zone.
- Neutral Zone – The most dominant teams in the NHL use fluidity through the neutral zone to generate dangerous scoring opportunities. In NHL 21, AI has been improved to ensure that lines move as a unit in all three zones, filling the proper lands and gaps to make for smooth breakouts, crisp transitions and dangerous scoring chances.
- Defensive Zone – In NHL 21 breakouts have become significantly more important, as AI updates see teams forecheck aggressively as a unit. Defensive strategy has been geared towards neutralizing speed and forcing offenses to move east and west instead of north and south. Goalies have improved control in responsiveness in all situations, allowing for never-say-die moments.
- Superstar-Inspired Innovation – Find yourself behind the net and catch the defense sleeping? Scoop up the puck and tuck it under the bar for a jaw-dropping Michigan. Break the goalie’s brain with Kucherov’s no-deke deke. Score from an impossible angle with an insane between-the-legs one-timer just like Matthew Tkachuk. Shake off a pesky defender by banking the puck off the back of the net to create space, just like Sid. Each of these iconic moves created an unforgettable hockey moment; create your own in NHL 21.
- Slips, Banks, and Chips – NHL 21 revolutionizes neutral zone play with the addition of slips, banks and chips. Get small and slippery along the boards as you squeak by a defender’s check. Bank the puck off the boards and around your opponent, or use the back of the net to do the same. Or just chip the puck past a flatfooted defenseman and burn him on your way to the goal.
- Improved AI Hockey IQ – AI has been optimized to make sure that your teammates can break out on their own and hit you with a pass in stride so you can keep driving to the net. In addition, they’ll be better positioned and more open to the net for passes in the O-zone. On the other side of the puck, defensive AI will work harder to slow down the opposing team in the middle of the ice and block passing lanes when defending.
Gamesaving Goalie Desperation
Great goaltending is born out of calculated athleticism – being in the best position to make the stop, while having the athletic ability to quickly shut the door on an unexpected opportunity. New desperation saves and animations mean that you’re never out of it — there’s always a chance to make a jaw-dropping, acrobatic stop — even against your momentum.
Improved Goalie Control and Positioning
Goaltending controls have been reworked to use the right stick for more of your movements, making user controlled goalies more fluid and tactile. AI goalies are smarter when it comes to positioning — they’ll adjust and square up to the shooter’s approach angle to give themselves the best chance of making the stop.
NHL 21 launches worldwide October 16th, pre-order NHL 21 Great Eight Edition and get it 3 days earlier, on October 13. It includes the following:
- Up to 10 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs (2 per month for 5 months)
- HUT Synergy Veteran Choice Pack (Choice 1 of 10; +1 OVR per month until August 2021)
- HUT Cover Athlete Choice Pack (Choice of: Ovechkin, Matthews, McDavid, Pettersson, Laine, Subban)
- 3 Days Early Access
- Be A Pro XP Boost and Bonus Trait and Specialization Points
- 5 Unlocked World of Chel Hockey Bags
As for next-gen consoles, there won’t be a true PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X version, only forward compatibility.