EA Sports has provided an update on the status of NHL 21 today. Instead of the usual September release date, it will arrive sometime in October. This is due to “extraordinary circumstances” mainly transitioning from the workplace to home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team will use this time to continue polishing and fine tuning the game, as well as squashing those pesky bugs.
As for next-gen consoles, there won’t be a true PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X version, only forward compatibility.
As many of you recall, NHL 14 had a similar situation, as it skipped out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, only to miss a megaton of features, when NHL 15 finally arrived on the new consoles the following year.
How many features were missing on NHL 15’s Xbox One, PlayStation 4 debut you ask? Here’s a list.
- No GM Connected
- No Online Team Play (when this is patched into the game later this year, it will use real NHL players and teams)
- No EA Sports Hockey League
- No EA Sports Arena
- No Online Shootouts
- No Live the Life
- No Be A Legend
- No Winter Classic
- No tournaments or Battle for the Cup
- No season mode (you can only play seasons in Be A GM, which is limited to NHL teams)
- No NHL 94 Anniversary mode
- No custom music support
- No create-a-play designer
- Cannot customize each team’s AI
- No create-a-team
- No way to edit individual players
- Practice mode is now limited to one skater vs. an AI goalie
- No custom camera option
- No Action Tracker replay highlights
- No Top 3 Stars at the end of games.
Be A GM
- Yearly draft is fully automated by the CPU
- Cannot play the AHL games for your chosen franchise
- Players sent down to the minors do not accumulate any season stats
- No fantasy draft option
- No preseason games
Be A Pro
- No option to sim ahead to the next shift
- You only play in the NHL; you cannot play for minor league teams
- The Memorial Cup tryout period is gone. You now begin by picking an NHL team, or by letting a random CPU team draft you.
- No All-Star game
- Cannot play against your friends
- No tournaments
- No mobile app
Some of the above items were patched in later in the season, but it left a very sour taste in the mouth of many fans. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen with NHL 22.
With that said, if you’re an NHL 20 HUT fan, the Chel team has placed some complementary HUT packs in the store and WOC bags in your inventory.