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NHL 21 Trial Available For EA Play Subscribers - Post Your Impressions Here

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NHL 21

NHL 21 Trial Available For EA Play Subscribers - Post Your Impressions Here

The NHL 21 trial is available for EA Play (originally EA Access) subscribers on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Members will have 10 hours of trial time.

If you’re not seeing NHL 21 available to download in the EA Play app, just go to the Microsoft or PlayStation Store from your console and download it from there.

After playing a few games, make sure to post your impressions here.

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.

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  1. I just put in the slider settings for offline play from Al_Tito13 and played two offline games with the NY Islanders and Bridgeport Soundtigers.
    The gameplay with these settings felt more natural from skating, board plays and especially from behind the net.
    The AI in positioning in NHL 21 in Offline-Games is definitely improved on defense with teammates on breakouts and special teams. All feels smoother and animations and gameplay more natural than in NHL 20.
    Goalies also got an upgrade in behavior and animations.
    I like the gameplay so far...
    Player creation tools and possibilities have remained all the same and you can not edit the mugs that EA delivers on prospects and players, which I can not understand why they do not let them edit for the better in likeliness...
    Rengi
    I just put in the slider settings for offline play from Al_Tito13 and played two offline games with the NY Islanders and Bridgeport Soundtigers.
    The gameplay with these settings felt more natural from skating, board plays and especially from behind the net.
    The AI in positioning in NHL 21 in Offline-Games is definitely improved on defense with teammates on breakouts and special teams. All feels smoother and animations and gameplay more natural than in NHL 20.
    Goalies also got an upgrade in behavior and animations.
    I like the gameplay so far...
    Player creation tools and possibilities have remained all the same and you can not edit the mugs that EA delivers on prospects and players, which I can not understand why they do not let them edit for the better in likeliness...

    As far as I found out you have made the preorder for the game. You only can play the Stanley Cup final with the trial without a preorder. Main menu is locked. Maybe you have time to check the new scanned faces and post some pics in my Player face scan Thread ? Would be interested how many and which Player got. Thx !
    @Travolterjohn
    When you have the preorder you can download whole game and play all modes on EA Play for 10 hours. It could be that when you have downloaded and started on PS4 that the rest of the game is actually downloaded until complete you only can play the Stanley Cup Finals.
    As for scanned faces I will check tomorrow for us and can then post as you suggested.
    Rengi
    @Travolterjohn
    When you have the preorder you can download whole game and play all modes on EA Play for 10 hours. It could be that when you have downloaded and started on PS4 that the rest of the game is actually downloaded until complete you only can play the Stanley Cup Finals.
    As for scanned faces I will check tomorrow for us and can then post as you suggested.

    I don’t have and I will not do a preorder for the game. I have only bought 1 month EA play to try.
    Travolterjohn
    As far as I found out you have made the preorder for the game. You only can play the Stanley Cup final with the trial without a preorder. Main menu is locked. Maybe you have time to check the new scanned faces and post some pics in my Player face scan Thread ? Would be interested how many and which Player got. Thx !
    I've had EA Access for over 5 years.You could always play the full game even without the pre order.Never heard of this.Whats up with EA Play lately, doesn't even show NHL 21 in its trial section,had to download it from store.
    Travolterjohn
    As far as I found out you have made the preorder for the game. You only can play the Stanley Cup final with the trial without a preorder. Main menu is locked. Maybe you have time to check the new scanned faces and post some pics in my Player face scan Thread ? Would be interested how many and which Player got. Thx !

    You might just have the game not completely downloaded?
    Just confirmed via YouTube roster reveal that there is no Kirill Kaprizov in game and 2020 draft picks are not on their real teams. The NHL is talking about starting the season in January so we won’t even get a roster update for 3 months.
    What’s the point in even buying this game and not sticking with ‘20 of the rosters are going to be the sane????
    The weird one is Kaprizov not being in. The have Mikhail Grigorenko in and he has been playing in the KHL for a few years. Him and Kaprizov both signed their contract on the same day this year July 13th
    Therebelyell626
    Just confirmed via YouTube roster reveal that there is no Kirill Kaprizov in game and 2020 draft picks are not on their real teams. The NHL is talking about starting the season in January so we won’t even get a roster update for 3 months.
    What’s the point in even buying this game and not sticking with ‘20 of the rosters are going to be the sane????
    The weird one is Kaprizov not being in. The have Mikhail Grigorenko in and he has been playing in the KHL for a few years. Him and Kaprizov both signed their contract on the same day this year July 13th

    Grigorenko played his first NHL game in the 2012-13 season. They already have full rights to use him as he's part of the Player's Association
    Kaprizov hasn't played one game, you won't see him in the game until he has. Has been that way forever. Just because they've signed for the club, doesn't mean they're in the NHLPA and the NHL can use their likeness however they want.
    Really, this is out of EA's hands. This falls under a way larger legal umbrella. It's 100% COVID's fault, but there's truly nothing EA could do in this case unless they were to go and negotiate with every rookie to get the rights to use them in their game, which would be an asinine business decision when they could just wait a few months and get them for free
    Freakywwe
    Grigorenko played his first NHL game in the 2012-13 season. They already have full rights to use him as he's part of the Player's Association
    Kaprizov hasn't played one game, you won't see him in the game until he has. Has been that way forever. Just because they've signed for the club, doesn't mean they're in the NHLPA and the NHL can use their likeness however they want.
    Really, this is out of EA's hands. This falls under a way larger legal umbrella. It's 100% COVID's fault, but there's truly nothing EA could do in this case unless they were to go and negotiate with every rookie to get the rights to use them in their game, which would be an asinine business decision when they could just wait a few months and get them for free

    Yeah but Grigorenko has played in the KHL for the last two seasons. Does the PA always hold your rights even if you leave to play in another league? Also, EA had jack Hughes in last years game and he was considered an amateur playing for the USNDT, and had never played an NHL game. So EA has ways to get around it.
    I would argue that Kirill Kaprizov is one of the best international players to come to NHL in years, and is regarded by most experts as a sure fire superstar. He should be made a priority considering we won’t even be having a season until 2021.
    If they don’t get some kind of roster update going in the meantime I am just going to stick with ‘20 until January, and buy the game when it’s $20 bucks
    Back to impressions for the people that have played the game.
    Can you comment on how the CPU is on Superstar? The gameplay in 20 was absolutely horrible on Superstar because you'd have ping pong passing by the CPU in your zone where all you could really do is watch 70 OVR players do no look, behind the back, bullet passes.
    just playing the loading stanley cup game and the thing that leaps out instantly is how different the skating is. players dont have that traditional on ice glidey feel, if that makes sense. you can stop and start with a lot more control. it feels kinda weird to be honest but in a great way.
    My plan was to hold off on this till later in the year and 8 definitelyneed more than just 1 game but so far so good. I'm really enjoying the extra control.
    Money99
    Has this series fallen that far?
    The game has been out for a nearly 10 hours and the most info we've got is one impression and a bunch for squabbling over rosters.
    Sent from my MAR-LX3A using Operation Sports mobile app

    I have it preordered, don't have EA Access anymore. I did watch a video and game play looks much better, the D actually pressures entry into their zone, game seems much more sloppy and organic.
    Definitely excited to get my hands on it next Friday. I'll mess with BAP for a bit until post FA rosters come out.
    leafsfan67
    Saw a weird glitch,Sitter has a real face this year but when playing the game it not his real face during gameplay,you can tell by the hair.

    speaking of hair. something weird is going on with it. Scored a goal and they zoomed in on Bouwmeester and his hair was a texture from N64 days lol it was real bad looking.
    played some more.
    This keeps EA consistent. The game looks identical to 20. A real samesy feeling like I had with Fifa and Madden this year. Just like those games it's all about the refined gameplay.
    Controls just generally feel tighter.
    Goalies were pretty bad in my 2 games. I had 3 goals in 2 games that were the vintage EA bounce around and trickle in. I was on Pro though.
    Not enough penalties for my liking but sliders I'm sure will rectify that like every year.
    the AI didnt do anything weird but I'll be honest I'm not an expert at the ins and outs of this game.
    It sucks that I'm the guy giving you impressions cause honestly I havent put much time into this series in quite a while until just a few months ago when I played 20 quite a bit. I'm not the right guy for this job but those are my early uneducated impressions.
    Therebelyell626
    Just confirmed via YouTube roster reveal that there is no Kirill Kaprizov in game and 2020 draft picks are not on their real teams. The NHL is talking about starting the season in January so we won’t even get a roster update for 3 months.
    What’s the point in even buying this game and not sticking with ‘20 of the rosters are going to be the sane????
    The weird one is Kaprizov not being in. The have Mikhail Grigorenko in and he has been playing in the KHL for a few years. Him and Kaprizov both signed their contract on the same day this year July 13th

    For the non NCAA/USHL and KHL guys that should be updated for the Oct 16 launch but yeah with the NCAA and KHL will have to wait like every year until they have actually made NHL/AHL and played reg season games.
    I only really play Franchise mode , so far its the same as last years game in my opinion if you're like me I would wait until the season starts or the week after to get this because  the draft classes are messed right and free agent class are as well 
    Money99
    Has this series fallen that far?
    The game has been out for a nearly 10 hours and the most info we've got is one impression and a bunch for squabbling over rosters.
    Sent from my MAR-LX3A using Operation Sports mobile app

    No one is “squabbling” over rosters. I posed a very simple question. If we are not getting a roster update until January then what’s the point in not sticking with ‘20? If you want gameplay impressions go and play ‘20. Like cujo said it’s basically ‘20 with tighter controls and chips along the boards now
    I’ve played this game every year since the first one in the Sega Genesis. I’ve pretty much always enjoyed it. I downloaded the trial and jumped into the Stanley Cup Final playing as St. Louis. I started on default All-Star, full-sim with 10 minute periods. I scored quickly to go up 1-0 but then Bruins took over and I couldn’t even get the puck from them. Next thing I knew, I’m down 3-1. I switch to Pro (obviously I know the sample size is ridiculously small, I’m just messing around with it) and score on my next 3 shots to go up 4-3 and I get one, 4-4 after 1.
    I lower the passing and puck control sliders to make the game a little more sloppy, it didn’t seem to have much impact, more of the same in the second, I believe it was 8-8 after 2. Seeing the same silly things, my teams d-zone coverage is on par with the defense I get with my beer league team (which is horrific), guys just running around not playing their position. Sticks clipping through legs, bodies and other sticks. The CPU opponent skating directly at the boards and then cutting back towards their goal when you are playing in front if them, my d-men not covering anyone. Defensive zone play felt like a total cluster....I stopped and watched quite a few replays and had no idea what some of the players are doing.
    I wound up winning 12-9, and yes it is only one game but it didn’t seem so full sim to me.
    I’ll give it another shot and probably mess with the sliders some.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Therebelyell626
    Yeah but Grigorenko has played in the KHL for the last two seasons. Does the PA always hold your rights even if you leave to play in another league? Also, EA had jack Hughes in last years game and he was considered an amateur playing for the USNDT, and had never played an NHL game. So EA has ways to get around it.
    I would argue that Kirill Kaprizov is one of the best international players to come to NHL in years, and is regarded by most experts as a sure fire superstar. He should be made a priority considering we won’t even be having a season until 2021.
    If they don’t get some kind of roster update going in the meantime I am just going to stick with ‘20 until January, and buy the game when it’s $20 bucks

    I think so. If I am not mistaken, Colorado has his rights, when he comes back, just like with Kovalchuk. Still sucks. Players should be part of the licensing as soon as they sign a contract IMO.
    Anyone else have issues with auto scouting in franchise mode?
    Simmed through a season last night and zero prospects were scouted despite having auto scout on and all 20 scouts in the amateur leagues.
    I must say I am enjoying the game out of the box with no slider adjustments, except I reduce  Game Speed to 0. 
    As always I play on True Broadcast camera and even at speed at 0 - this is a tad too fast, but I can live with it.
    I can definitely see an improved positioning by skaters - on both offence and defence. It just feels and looks better, and more importantly, it leads to a more authentic and intuitive experience, with momentum now playing a more prominent role. 
    That said, it is very, very similar to 20 and frankly feeling quite stale. The presentation looks exactly the same. I didn't really expect anything else for current gen, but it would have been nice to improve some animations. Which brings me to the "new" chip, bank, etc. Let's face it - this is just EA recycling the same animations, but giving them another name and putting them in a different context. They don't look particularly good and they don't really add up much to your arsenal. 
    My biggest grip remains the inability to pull back the True Broadcast camera angle. It has always been too zoomed in.  For arenas like Boston, it is OK as the view angle there is further out, but for other arenas like The United Centre i Chicago it is just too close to the ice making it impossible to see large portions of the ice. 
    I just don't understand why EA does not make the True Broadcast camera customizeable with a zoom option. You can clearly see from some cut scenes that they can pull back the zoom - but why not give us that same view for gameplay?
    This really is NHL 20 with a couple new moves. It's subtle, but the AI is a bit better. I'm a diehard hockey freak so I will buy this game for sure. Trade deadline mini game is fun. One thing I didn't like is that I was in the process of negotiating a trade when a trade offer came in from another team, after declining that offer I was hoping it would take me back to the trade I was working on but no such luck. Had to start that trade all over again.
    The career stats are cool too...you can look at them from a historical view or just from the start of your franchise.
    If you're just a casual fan of hockey and you have 20, then save your money...if you haven't bought it in a few years then I would recommend.
    I'm a franchise player but might give be a pro a try later...long weekend here in Canada...whooohoo
    Therebelyell626
    Just confirmed via YouTube roster reveal that there is no Kirill Kaprizov in game and 2020 draft picks are not on their real teams. The NHL is talking about starting the season in January so we won’t even get a roster update for 3 months.
    What’s the point in even buying this game and not sticking with ‘20 of the rosters are going to be the sane????
    The weird one is Kaprizov not being in. The have Mikhail Grigorenko in and he has been playing in the KHL for a few years. Him and Kaprizov both signed their contract on the same day this year July 13th

    That was clear before. No good Roster update before this time. They will made one after the FA are signed and than they will have a rest till the NHL starts. The new signed Rookies will not be in the Game before they play minimum 1 NHL game or till they pass the AHL waiver. So not await a good Roster before end of January. Guys like Zegras, Turcotte, Kaprizov, Romanov and many other signed Prospects from the KHL and College League you will not see into a Roster till that time and than only with a Black Silhouettes without a photo like usual.
    Freakywwe
    Grigorenko played his first NHL game in the 2012-13 season. They already have full rights to use him as he's part of the Player's Association
    Kaprizov hasn't played one game, you won't see him in the game until he has. Has been that way forever. Just because they've signed for the club, doesn't mean they're in the NHLPA and the NHL can use their likeness however they want.
    Really, this is out of EA's hands. This falls under a way larger legal umbrella. It's 100% COVID's fault, but there's truly nothing EA could do in this case unless they were to go and negotiate with every rookie to get the rights to use them in their game, which would be an asinine business decision when they could just wait a few months and get them for free

    It would make sense to pay College Players. It has something to do with what will I present my customer to make this game more attraktive. I wouldn’t say that it will cost much, cause nearly every young drafted Player wants to be in the Game. By the way, they will get only some few which signed a contract for free. There is a new law and a possibility to buy for rights of College Players without an entry level contract.
    For example Caufield and many other unsigned ... also the new top drafted College Players like Sanderson, Brisson .....
    Some things I noticed after poking around with the trial:
    -Secondary positions: defensemen are now seperated into LD and RD. You can only pick one secondary position. You cannot have a forward with a secondary position of defense or vice versa.
    -In franchise, there is a shot frequency option with low, medium and high options. This should work well with the sim engine scoring option.
    Played one game last night on AS/10/Fullsim, Rangers @ Penguins (me). I tried to stick with default settings as long as could but only made it a few minutes before I had to drop game speed (always my preference for offline so no surprise). Played the rest of the period with it at zero. Still seemed very frantic to me. I know the argument is hockey is a fast sport, but it's not played out of control, and that's how I feel about this series at anything close to default settings.
    First period ended with me up 2-0, shots like 15-12 in favor of NYR and the CPU pass % was 97%. Can't say I ever saw that before and while things didn't feel good, it didn't seem THAT ridiculous while playing. I scored on a cross crease setup off the cycle and a pretty cool PP goal with the second unit. Kapanen took an awkward shot under pressure from the slot/left circle and it turned into a perfect pass to Zucker crashing backdoor for a tap in past an outstretched pad.
    Started making other sliders adjustments from the second period on. I haven't played much over the past few years, but when I do I can tell there's a decent game to be found with heavy slider adjustments. Unfortunately I don't have the interest or patience to get to that point anymore. I saw some encouraging AI behavior like better puck support, including during board play (I like to pin) and more pressure in general - although I think the game is too "scrambly" considering how structured play is these days.
    Or maybe I'm just getting too old... They do like to say hockey is a young man's game.
    Edit: Oh right, I won 5-2 after jumping out 4-0. Kind of sat back in 3rd and CPU cranked up strategies to aggressive before I added an ENG to close it out. Shots were way up, maybe 47-35, although I felt like I couldn't hit the net to save my life with any slappers or even wristers from farther out. All my goals were in tight, 3 passing and one shot for rebound on the rush.
    Think the new moves create some opportunities for fresh gameplay online, which is nice. I still don't have much interest in checking out offline (sans the new BAP stuff and trade deadline ish) but I think online could be more interesting this year.
    Your experience was pretty similar to mine. Only had time to play 1/2 a game so far, played default full-sim just so I could get a base of what needs fixing this year and if I'm up to the challenge of fixing said issues. I think this game is a much refined version of 20, but if I were a software developer, 20 -> 21 feels more like a beta -> full release than say a full v1.0 -> v2.0 like we're being charged. If you're a big simhead/slider guy like me, the game definitely has a lot more to work with than 20, but I think I'll wait till a sale on this one.
    Pros:
    1. CPU pressure - NZ doesn't feel like WWI no man's land. Not to say it's great, but even a moderate improvement in this area feels like a HUGE improvement. To this point, CPU uses their stick a bit more which makes zone entries somewhat dynamic rather than painfully repetitive and easy.
    2. CPU Offense On the Rush - making moves, felt a little more dangerous than last year. Your AI support the puck more (could really only go up from the last few years lol) and they read lanes a bit better on the rush.
    3. Skating - Just seems more refined. Not a drastic difference, but you can definitely feel it in a good way imo.
    4. I actually like that you lose a fraction of speed on pivots when going to your 180. Makes jump and chase more viable, but you'll see that pain-point on this later in the thread.
    5. Goalie animation - As a IRL goalie, always like seeing improvements to these. Might not be huge, but it is much more immersive if you even remotely pay attention to the position.
    6. Shooting - Again, a little more fluid. Not worth an upgrade if you're a casual, but just looks and feels smoother. Basically patch-work which is rather annoying as a player, but I'll take it.
    Meh:
    -New dekes - The CPU rarely plays anything dangerously/realistically enough for dekes to ever be a huge factor offline. Online, I see these helping mitigate the 0-5 trap in 6s so the sweatyboiis will probably make more use of them than me, but they're not required and more detrimental than anything offline.
    Cons:
    1. CPU Offense (CPU and User) When Setup - In-zone offense is still atrocious. CPU opponents ping-pong pass, CPU AI teammates still don't understand cycling nor dynamically creating passing lanes/space. Powerplay is still laughably bad and I literally have zero enjoyment seeing special teams in this game.
    2. CPU Cheating - The CPU opponents still don't adhere to most things the user has to. They don't lose speed on pivots, they can cancel animations mid-animation to "one-touch dump" on the PK. Another year, same garbage.
    3. AI Teammate Defense - They still can't even remotely be relied upon making the most fundamental off-puck reads for you which allows the CPU opponent much more time, space, and options than it should. They aren't as quick to sprint away from their positions to "cover" for the user which is nice, but they're still equally as bad at reading plays/scenarios that humans would, so it's a marginal improvement at best.
    4. Default sliders in general - Another year, another awful meta of sped-up super-sonic hockey. Good luck to those brave enough to go online lol. Brutal.
    Final Thoughts:
    Will hold my attention for the 10 hour trial. I will attempt to make sliders again that I like. It is a much more refined NHL 20 which is very noticeable in many subtle ways if you played 20 as much as I did, but won't move the needle if you're a casual fan. The foundation is much better if you're willing to put in the work with sliders and strategy adjustments from what I can tell. That being said, this is an underwhelming experience (which is pretty high up on the scale for this generation) to top-off what has been an absolutely abysmal generation of hockey games. I've been playing video games since the N64 days and there's never been a console generation that has lacked a truly fun, addicting hockey game that you just want to keep playing and playing...until now. This game requires hours of work and a huge imagination (I'm weird, I know) from only the most passionate of hockey fans to get it to a state where it's salvageable, and even then it wouldn't be after awhile because NHL 20 would just completely ignore your sliders whenever it felts like! I'm interested to see if 21 is the same in my testing, and if it is, I can guarantee I'll stay far away.
    If you weren't willing to put in that work on 19 or 20, or if you're a more casual hockey fan who would only play this game a bit to get a hockey fix now and again, stay far away from a $60 purchase. Wait till the inevitable sale if you really want 21, or just play 20 and punt till next-gen. This game is just straight-up arcade even on "Full-sim" OOTB and there's not enough here to warrant slider tinkering if 20 and 19 couldn't convince you to start down the slider rabbit hole.
    Here's hoping they ironed out some of the issues regarding player scheme fits.
    I found, playing NHL 20, that fictional draftees tend to make certain scheme traits obsolete after a few years --- for instance, after all the real-world prospects were drafted, I couldn't find any defencemen with "hold line" or forwards with the "efficient" trait.
    (I also think some of that may have to deal with the strength of my scouts, because in my Kraken expansion franchise in 20, I drafted an offensive defenceman whom I thought was my long-term solution but ended up having very different traits than I drafted him for --- and my scout was apparently 100% accurate! Ended up firing them after that season and traded the prospect away.)
    After another few games, I can definitely see and feel the improvements. It just looks and plays more fluid. Controls are tighter, there is more respect for real life physics, and the player positioning is definitely better - both on offence and defence.
    Granted, this is what NHL 20 should have been, I think it's definitely an improved and polished product.
    My only 2 gripes are:
    - Game speed is way too fast even at 0 (I play exclusively on True Broadcast)
    - True Broadcast is still way too closely zoomed in
    If EA gave us the option to zoom out the angle on True Broadcast - this would be a day 1 purchase for me.
    Would say In generell better to wait till January till the NHL, AHL Season starts. Played about 1000 games with 20 in Franchise mode and tried some games in 21 at the test version. There is so less improvement in the Gameplay and the past told us that there is a big difference from the Trial to the final release version but not in a better way. So if you are not a person which easily going to be hyped than wait. NHL, AHL Season starts in December, January. You will get this Game than cheap as used from private.
    Played 2 games last night. One NHL, one OHL.
    Really hard to tell the difference even with the new additions IMO. Feels alot like the same old NHL to me. I'll play a bit more over the weekend but I'm thinking this is a trial only game for me this year. Just felt very underwhelming.
    No roster share also means no real updated rosters until the season starts, whenever that might be so I'm pretty sure this is a pass for me until a sale.
    Just not enough for me to warrant buying.
    Elite Virtual Hockey
    Cons:
    1. CPU Offense (CPU and User) When Setup - In-zone offense is still atrocious. CPU opponents ping-pong pass, CPU AI teammates still don't understand cycling nor dynamically creating passing lanes/space. Powerplay is still laughably bad and I literally have zero enjoyment seeing special teams in this game.

    PING PONG PASSING still in the game!?!?
    No player differentiation, 75 OVR 4th liners (who should really be way lower, use a 40-99 range EA, have some guts), doing bullet behind the back no look passes.
    Just absolute atrocity, this isn't hockey. There's a reason I play 2K even with the ****ty graphics, the core gameplay is so solid with the sliders.
    Jatt96

    No player differentiation, 75 OVR 4th liners (who should really be way lower, use a 40-99 range EA, have some guts), doing bullet behind the back no look passes.

    Good to know. I can pass on this game for another year.
    Unfortunately, the series will never get this right. There will always be little to no player separation with the CPU making Mario Lemieux plays with anyone and everyone on the ice.
    With FIFA looking unplayable this year I was thinking of picking up NHL instead. I haven’t played this series in depth for a long while, wondering how good the franchise mode/presentation/overall experience is for a casual hockey fan?
    Does this game do anything in regards to tracking NHL records? In NHL 20 I broke Gretzky's playoff points record and Leach's goal record and I didn't get any recognition for it, which ticks me off.
    Really liking how the AI seems more aware of where the player is, and it makes it easier to coordinate with them. I've seen this scenario many, many times already - with the opposing team on the rush and my controlled player (usually the center) chasing the puck carrier a step or two behind, my team's AI defenseman on that side will step up to challenge the puck carrier, often forcing him into the boards and causing a turnover. Even if he gets by the defenseman, the play is slowed up enough that I've overtaken both of them by that time, allowing me to cover for the defense. The thing is, it won't do this if there's nobody that is or will be in position to cover. So it's not giving up stupid breakaway chances because of this pinch. It almost never did this in 20 - the D-man would nearly always concede the zone even when you were flying in behind the play and could easily disrupt it if he did, well.... anything to slow down the rush. That's why it felt so end-to-end in '20 and previous titles.
    I see this behavior to some extent on the forecheck and in the neutral zone too, and the result is a tighter-checking game overall and a more lively puck (due to it getting knocked off of sticks more often).
    Note that none of what I said applies to online versus as the CPU is still as passive as ever on defense, and it's entirely by design - the devs want the players to switch and be active on the puck.
    I haven't seen anything in the gameplay that's demonstrably worse than '20, although I will say that penalty kills still look like a fire drill, with it not being really clear what the AI is trying to cover, and where the player should be positioned. Also statistically the number of penalties still seems fine, but tripping is still by far the most common, with hooking right behind it. I think I've seen one slash and no body-to-body contact penalties yet.
    It doesn't really feel like an entirely new game from strictly a gameplay standpoint, more like an ambitious title update. But gameplay isn't the only thing there is to this, and with the facelift that BaP got, I have a feeling it will be REALLY fun to play with the seemingly improved AI. I have about 5 hours left on my trial to play around in there.
    After some major adjustments to sliders, using something close to last years settings I'm happy with how it plays.
    Like mentioned by others the subtle adjustments to the ai behavior has made it more challenging to get into the offensive zone and my ai team mates seem to get into better positions to keep the puck in. Last year I found they would stand and have their back to the play allowing the opp to instantly counter attack.
    I've gotten thwarted on my rush up the ice, regrouped back in my zone and made another attempt with my ai decently aware of moving as a unit.
    I've seen decent passing by cpu, not ping pong, but I have reduced the max pass speed and other cpu pass sliders so I think that helps. Yes, sometimes it's just too perfect and doesn't get mishandled like it should.
    Seen much more board play slowing the pace down a bit.
    Tried the trade deadline day and thought it was awesome, one of the best additions to a sports game in a while. Seeing a couple guys I was targeting get traded to someone else made it feel alive.
    Any other year this may be good enough to buy. With next gen games, roster problems due to covid , you are only going to play 1 or 2 franchise years,or you feel it's not a big enough improvement to pay full price you could justify not getting it this year or at this time.
    I wasn't going to get it. After having a chance to try it though I feel the game play changes and trade deadline are enough of an improvement to make the game fun to play for me.
    I tried '20 a couple times while checking out '21 and definitely wouldn't want to play 3 or 4 more seasons of franchise mode in '20 anymore now that I've played '21.
    scitychamps87
    Has there been any improvements to the commentary?? It was INCREDIBLY bare bones in '20. I was not happy about Doc and Eddy being removed last year. It was getting old but it was at least authentic.
    Sent from my XT1650 using Operation Sports mobile app

    There doesn't seem to be much change in the few games I've played and I haven't seen anything about changes. This year understandably because of covid I highly doubt they did.
    Jay Cee
    With FIFA looking unplayable this year I was thinking of picking up NHL instead. I haven’t played this series in depth for a long while, wondering how good the franchise mode/presentation/overall experience is for a casual hockey fan?

    FIFA 21 for me is a copy/paste of FIFA20. But I am not surprised. EA is concentrating their efforts on next gen. Same goes with NHL21 .
    All the EA 21 games are on ps4/xbox one are copy/paste.
    My impressions.
    The Pros: T,he neutral zone play feels a lot better. More pressure from the defense, no skating back and forth by the CPU if they cant break in. The problem to me is they dont give you a lot of tools to break in the zone yourself and/or sustain zone pressure/forecheck.
    the Cons: I am not trying to be overly negative but this game is a mess IMO. It has been a mess this entire console generation and it's mind blowing how little it has improved.
    There are multiple things that make this game unplayable for me; Skating, passing, AI, and animations. The skating is just so slip slidy (I know thats weird way to say but thats what comes to mind). There is no such thing as momentum in this game, you are almost instantly at full speed when you skate from a full stop. WHen trying to establish play in the offensive zone or play defense, its just absolute chaos. Not the good chaos that is organized and beautiful like real hockey, the kind where its just guys constantly running into each other and even with sliders, its a mess. No type of systems or organizations even being attempted, i dont really know what to say other than it feels like a jumbled mess.
    Passing is and always have been insane. The passes the CPU makes in certain situations that is tape to tape (even with sliders) makes this one of the most frustrating aspects of the game. The amount of times i see a cpu player whip a pass with a wonky animation from the corner to a guy cutting down the middle is just so maddening. The passes are unrealistic and the animations for the passing looks so bad.
    AI I wont go to deep into because its just the same as always to me. The neutral zone feels better but there are so many other problems that I cant really enjoy the improved neutral zone.
    Presentation: Is the worst in any sports game. The amount of guys that look nothing like their counter part is astounding. The jerseys look terrible, the logos and numbers are elongated and look flat. The celebrations are clunky and odd and the crowd falls silent moments after a goal. Same celebrations as every year and really it doesnt feel any different to play as Sidney Crosby or Andrew Shaw. During the Stanley Cup celebration, the crowd is dead silent minus a few yells, How is this in the game? The presentation in this game is absolutely abysmal.
    What about be a pro? has it finally been improved or is it just about playing one game after another with not much else to do? I saw the promo video about the improvements but... are they as good as they sounded ?
    It is better. I am surprised that the new HUT modes are fun. EA I owe you a half apology. GM / Be a pro is still stale so are the arena and lack of shared rosters and no way to add custom music. 2K10 did this why does EA not listen to us. Odd. Here's hoping "tuners" fix the rest of the minor issues. Solid C, EA. Here's to NHL22.
    Sent from my LM-V600 using Operation Sports mobile app
    So, the rosters are crap, but you can, if you wanna take the time, move the draft picks from this year to your AHL team, once you choose their affiliation, they're with your squad at the start of franchise.
    SocialAssassin
    So, the rosters are crap, but you can, if you wanna take the time, move the draft picks from this year to your AHL team, once you choose their affiliation, they're with your squad at the start of franchise.

    I noticed that, but it lists them as undrafted free agents which is kind of annoying. I don't see anyway to edit their draft info in rosters before starting the franchise.
    Rocketfballman
    I noticed that, but it lists them as undrafted free agents which is kind of annoying. I don't see anyway to edit their draft info in rosters before starting the franchise.

    You can't, I tried. It is what it is until there's a roster patch.
    SocialAssassin
    You can't, I tried. It is what it is until there's a roster patch.

    And it looks like there is something wrong with the import of these players into franchise. I have tried loading a new franchise 3 times and Quinton Byfield has come in with Top 6 potential twice and Top 9 potential once. Lafreniere came in as high elite twice and top 6 once. So it is not importing their potentials correctly. And of course this is no way to change their potential once a franchise has started.
    Looks like I will just do BAP until a roster is patched with the drafted players from this year.
    Rocketfballman
    And it looks like there is something wrong with the import of these players into franchise. I have tried loading a new franchise 3 times and Quinton Byfield has come in with Top 6 potential twice and Top 9 potential once. Lafreniere came in as high elite twice and top 6 once. So it is not importing their potentials correctly. And of course this is no way to change their potential once a franchise has started.
    Looks like I will just do BAP until a roster is patched with the drafted players from this year.

    This is happening with other players to. Not just the 2020 draft class. For some reason potentials are loading up funny
    hyacinth1
    FIFA 21 for me is a copy/paste of FIFA20. But I am not surprised. EA is concentrating their efforts on next gen. Same goes with NHL21 .
    All the EA 21 games are on ps4/xbox one are copy/paste.

    Ea has been doing this with nhl since 2009, lol
    iaxy
    I must say I am enjoying the game out of the box with no slider adjustments, except I reduce* Game Speed to 0.*
    As always I play on True Broadcast camera and even at speed at 0 - this is a tad too fast, but I can live with it.
    I can definitely see an improved positioning by skaters - on both offence and defence. It just feels and looks better, and more importantly, it leads to a more authentic and intuitive experience, with momentum now playing a more prominent role.*
    That said, it is very, very similar to 20 and frankly feeling quite stale.*The presentation looks exactly the same. I didn't really expect anything else for current gen, but it would have been nice to improve some animations. Which brings me to the "new" chip, bank, etc. Let's face it - this is just EA recycling the same animations, but giving them another name and putting them in a different context. They don't look particularly good and they don't really add up much to your arsenal.*
    My biggest grip remains the inability to pull back the True Broadcast camera angle. It has always been too zoomed in.* For arenas like Boston, it is OK as the view angle there is further out, but for other arenas like The United Centre i Chicago it is just too close to the ice making it impossible to see large portions of the ice.*
    I just don't understand why EA does not make the True Broadcast camera customizeable with a zoom option. You can clearly see from some cut scenes that they can pull back the zoom - but why not give us that same view for gameplay?

    you can slow game down more if you reduce player acceleration and skating speed.
    giantsharks
    My impressions.
    The Pros: T,he neutral zone play feels a lot better. More pressure from the defense, no skating back and forth by the CPU if they cant break in. The problem to me is they dont give you a lot of tools to break in the zone yourself and/or sustain zone pressure/forecheck.
    the Cons: I am not trying to be overly negative but this game is a mess IMO. It has been a mess this entire console generation and it's mind blowing how little it has improved.
    There are multiple things that make this game unplayable for me; Skating, passing, AI, and animations. The skating is just so slip slidy (I know thats weird way to say but thats what comes to mind). There is no such thing as momentum in this game, you are almost instantly at full speed when you skate from a full stop. WHen trying to establish play in the offensive zone or play defense, its just absolute chaos. Not the good chaos that is organized and beautiful like real hockey, the kind where its just guys constantly running into each other and even with sliders, its a mess. No type of systems or organizations even being attempted, i dont really know what to say other than it feels like a jumbled mess.
    Passing is and always have been insane. The passes the CPU makes in certain situations that is tape to tape (even with sliders) makes this one of the most frustrating aspects of the game. The amount of times i see a cpu player whip a pass with a wonky animation from the corner to a guy cutting down the middle is just so maddening. The passes are unrealistic and the animations for the passing looks so bad.
    AI I wont go to deep into because its just the same as always to me. The neutral zone feels better but there are so many other problems that I cant really enjoy the improved neutral zone.
    Presentation: Is the worst in any sports game. The amount of guys that look nothing like their counter part is astounding. The jerseys look terrible, the logos and numbers are elongated and look flat. The celebrations are clunky and odd and the crowd falls silent moments after a goal. Same celebrations as every year and really it doesnt feel any different to play as Sidney Crosby or Andrew Shaw. During the Stanley Cup celebration, the crowd is dead silent minus a few yells, How is this in the game? The presentation in this game is absolutely abysmal.

    I had similar issues playing the game OOB. Have a look at post 108 and see if sliders help. I am having much more enjoyable and more of an NHL experience than with the default sliders and doing this with 15 min periods.
    I went from no buy with default sliders to a buy.
    https://forums.operationsports.com/forums/ea-sports-nhl-rosters/959571-truesim-roster-project-nhl-20-a-3.html#post2050236057
    I get a big "Madden" vibe from this game. What I mean is, it looks like they made the default game an even faster product to make it easier to pickup and play. Seems like a very arcade-driven direction on default sliders.
    Checking:
    Second, what the heck did they do to the hitting? While it looks great and smooth when it works, the consistency is extremely lacking even with sliders in my experience so far (about 6 hours of messing with sliders and playing in play now). I just feel like I'm seeing a ton of hits, especially along the boards, where hits are either not registering or they're so tiny that they do absolutely nothing.
    They need to allow for checks along the wall to literally stop an attacker still. You see it all the time in the NHL where someone checks a carrier into the boards (and not a huge hit I should add) and pretty much pins him there, forcing the carrier out of the play and ensure that the carrier has to retreat to escape the contact. That's a perfectly executed body check and there are so many times in this game where that should be the result, but something with the physics breaks/gets confused and the carrier ends up just skating though the checkers and the boards.
    Isn't that why the new slip deke was made? I figured that would actually force a skill gap but it looks like literally skating forward will also allow you to avoid checks at times due to a inconsistent physics engine.
    Sliders:
    For my slider-making friends out there, looks like the sliders are still broken too. Games just play fundamentally different without touching a slider which has been an issue for years.
    Skating:
    The pivots on-puck seem worse than 20 as far as going in the direction you wish to go. I notice it the most when passing across the blueline and am attempting to open up with the receiver to take a shot on net. It's not terrible, but it seems slightly worse than 20.
    The AI simply can't transition to keep up with wingers hustling on the outside. Major slider adjustments were made to the "back skating" slider to avoid constant defensive breakdowns on literally nothing.
    The agility and acceleration are at simply ridiculous levels OOTB. It's comical and very familiar to Madden's speed which you unfortunately can't change so plus to NHL there.
    Offensive AI:
    The neutral zone is better. Pretty impressed with how noticeably better it is. I played 20 immediately after playing 21 for a few hours and it's a night and day difference. Props to Ben and his team there.
    In-zone AI play is still atrocious. The overload results in your players NOT wanting to drive the net in any capacity. I mean, usually there is a "slot player, but he's more of a screen/tip guy with his positioning which makes him not a great threat for a pass off the side boards. The guy on the side boards, even if you start moving him to the net followed by passing it low, (you know, how an Overload works) will immediately stop and retreat back to the boards effectively killing any offensive progress. Also, love watching the eventual side boards guy literally skate backwards into the boards rather than keep his attacking position in the middle/slightly-off middle slot when I'm retrieving the puck in the corner. This way, he can intercept the pass that I want to reach my defenseman and also be in a position to do absolutely nothing even if he doesn't intercept the pass! Been like this for 7-8 years, so not surprising.
    Behind the net allows for a good cycle game, but makes passing to the defensemen useless as neither play in-front will actually move to a screening/tip position so the offense is very one-dimensional. Also, their default shooting position is usually covered and they refuse to get lower/higher to force defensive decisions when you do have the puck established behind the net, so again, very one-dimensional.
    Crash the net seems to really make the rush play fun. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually provide any tips or screens as players "crowd" the net but make sure to "crowd" it about 3-5 feet off-center which never takes away the vision of the goalie and with the way shooting is in this game, isn't really in a good position for a tip either. They are constantly in a tieup battle off to the side which is somewhat comical to see but also disheartening as this has been the same for 4+ years now.
    Can we either ditch these strategies in-favor of a more customizable set of "custom tactics" like FIFA, or can we simply add some fundamental hockey knowledge to the AI who are 100% static and can't recognize an offensive opportunity to save their lives? is it that hard to shift your "behind the net" positioning to a tip position when the puck rotates high? Is it too hard to program your overload side boards guy to continue driving the net after passing? Is it too hard to program your crash the net forwards to attempt to disengage a tieup and fight to screen the goalie? Bonus: is it too much to ask that attacking forward drive the net with their chest facing the net rather than their butt lol? I mean, come on....7-10 years straight of watching that...
    I'll add more alter I'm sure, but those are some more early impressions.
    knich1
    I had similar issues playing the game OOB. Have a look at post 108 and see if sliders help. I am having much more enjoyable and more of an NHL experience than with the default sliders and doing this with 15 min periods.
    I went from no buy with default sliders to a buy.
    https://forums.operationsports.com/forums/ea-sports-nhl-rosters/959571-truesim-roster-project-nhl-20-a-3.html#post2050236057

    i appreciate the tip and I have tried those sliders before my original post. I have tried multiple sliders and I still stand by what I said. You are right, it is much more playable with those sliders but for me its still a mess. Thank you for the suggestion and to each their own.
    Played a couple games.
    There are some improvements. You can definitely slow the game down easily by reducing gamespeed, player acceleration, and skating speed. You can make the game play like they're skating in molasses if you’d like.
    Aside from the couple of noticeable AI improvements, its just boring to play at this point.
    Playing one game is freaking exhausting by comparison to playing PGA 2k21 where I can play for hours on end.
    I really miss loving NHL games and wonder if the day will ever come where the game is enough to elicit the same emotions or immersion it offered in the past.
    I spent some time watching people play their BAP on YouTube and I must say that its a pretty impressive upgrade. Really impressive honestly.
    Also...it sucks that we have to wait so long to get updated rosters based on the fact that we have no clue about the details of next season.
    Ugh...
    onlybygrace
    Played a couple games.
    There are some improvements. You can definitely slow the game down easily by reducing gamespeed, player acceleration, and skating speed. You can make the game play like they're skating in molasses if you’d like.
    Aside from the couple of noticeable AI improvements, its just boring to play at this point.
    Playing one game is freaking exhausting by comparison to playing PGA 2k21 where I can play for hours on end.
    I really miss loving NHL games and wonder if the day will ever come where the game is enough to elicit the same emotions or immersion it offered in the past.
    I spent some time watching people play their BAP on YouTube and I must say that its a pretty impressive upgrade. Really impressive honestly.
    Also...it sucks that we have to wait so long to get updated rosters based on the fact that we have no clue about the details of next season.
    Ugh...

    The neutral zone improvements are encouraging, but the game itself is just so catered to rushes (exactly like FIFA which is why FIFA is also boring) which makes it a really boring experience if you genuinely follow pro hockey. Pro hockey does not simply revolve around rushes. More than ever, teams are taking away the goalie's vision and scoring ridiculous tip/screen goals. The real NHL has "snipes" through screens that are so fun to watch. Usually a great screen, paired with a nice toedrag to change the angle from the vision side to the screen side, finished by a great placement in the upper corner and you have yourself a highlight reel goal.
    Unfortunately for us, EA believes that an unscreened wrister from beyond the tops of the circles short-side is a "sick snipe" and will continue to cater to people who think hockey is simply played on the rush, or that "in-zone" offense consists of the puck carrier doing continuous loops in the corner until an AI defender inexplicably leaves his weakside assignment to open up a one-timer goal.
    Hockey is a beautiful, dynamic game if you let it be. EA won't let it be, therefore the experiences are rather mundane. Can you imagine PES-like physics with the puck in this game? That would be insane!
    HipNotiiC_x
    The neutral zone improvements are encouraging, but the game itself is just so catered to rushes (exactly like FIFA which is why FIFA is also boring) which makes it a really boring experience if you genuinely follow pro hockey. Pro hockey does not simply revolve around rushes. More than ever, teams are taking away the goalie's vision and scoring ridiculous tip/screen goals. The real NHL has "snipes" through screens that are so fun to watch. Usually a great screen, paired with a nice toedrag to change the angle from the vision side to the screen side, finished by a great placement in the upper corner and you have yourself a highlight reel goal.
    Unfortunately for us, EA believes that an unscreened wrister from beyond the tops of the circles short-side is a "sick snipe" and will continue to cater to people who think hockey is simply played on the rush, or that "in-zone" offense consists of the puck carrier doing continuous loops in the corner until an AI defender inexplicably leaves his weakside assignment to open up a one-timer goal.
    Hockey is a beautiful, dynamic game if you let it be. EA won't let it be, therefore the experiences are rather mundane. Can you imagine PES-like physics with the puck in this game? That would be insane!

    This is probably the first year that Ill actually pass on this game since i started playing back in 94.
    Its just completely exhausting to play just one freakin’ game. Cant get into it, even though both games went to OT.
    centauris
    Do not buy this. This is the most 'copy and paste' EA has done on NHL in a long time.

    It always goes this way every year with the most Customer. First they say that they don’t buy, short time before the release they pay for the preorder or buy it at the release date. After some weeks they find out that it is the same mess with maybe more bugs as the previous Game and than they say that never will buy it again. As long as the sales and micro transactions are not falling down in a massive way EA doesn’t have to work for a better game. So at the end it’s not EA’s fault, its the Customers, EA is doing only a minimum what is necessary to do. It’s a pity !
    Got about 10 games in so far. Overall pretty much ‘20 with some add on’s as most have said.
    My only real complaint with the game is the same as it is every year. The CPU has to basically cheat to win games and their AI are capable of doing things the human and humans AI teammates just can’t do.
    - It takes me almost a full 3 seconds to get back up to full speed from a stop. The CPU can stop on a dime and burst up to full speed as if they never stopped moving
    - hits are way way way over done this year. The littlest piece of incidental contact sends bodies flying through the air
    - speaking of hits. I can have the CPU defender beat and dead to rights. They check me from behind barely making contact and my offensive player goes flying. Good bye breakaway. While I could literally be committing a charging penalty and my defender will just bounce off of the CPU skater while he continues to skate un-impeded to the net.
    - overall I think the “neutral zone” and AI improvements you guys are seeing are a placebo. I think the developers just really juiced the CPU abilities this year to make it seem that they are situationally aware, when really they can just do things you cannot do. There hasn’t been one play yet where I am like “you know the AI really played that right”. What I am seeing is instances of the CPU clearly cheating when beat to make it seem like they are playing defense. Even with all of the cheating I am still beating the CPU 5-2, 6-2, and 7-2
    - on a positive note the CPU goalies do seem to be much tougher and playing way smarter. They just can’t sufficiently make up for the boneheadedness of all AI defenders, user and CPU
    I'll say the neutral zone improvements have stood out the most for me. CPU defenders actually stepping up and pressuring me as opposed to waiting for me to cross the blue line before initiating. It's still way too easy to get past them with speedsters like McDavid and such but I've definetly been feeling it when my lower skill guys try to rush up the side boards. I've actually had to play some dump & chase when those guys are on the ice.
    It leaves me a little hopeful with player and slider adjustments you could actually make a pretty good game of hockey. Just wish we had roster share to make that process easier. Oh well
    I saw a video on YouTube, Rangers vs caps. What is the name of the camera view from side view that looked like a real game. Nhl 21 gameplay
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    stooge 1010
    I saw a video on YouTube, Rangers vs caps. What is the name of the camera view from side view that looked like a real game. Nhl 21 gameplay
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    True broadcast
    That game I watched on YouTube looked so real, I’ll have to try true broadcast when I play. I have played up and down view for a long time, broadcast view will probably take some getting used to
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    stooge 1010
    That game I watched on YouTube looked so real, I’ll have to try true broadcast when I play. I have played up and down view for a long time, broadcast view will probably take some getting used to
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    True Broadcast is nice, just takes some time getting used to. I can't really play with it, I get disoriented. But it's great for CPU vs CPU
    stooge 1010
    That game I watched on YouTube looked so real, I’ll have to try true broadcast when I play. I have played up and down view for a long time, broadcast view will probably take some getting used to
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Link the video that made this game look like it was watching a real life hockey game. I'd love to see it.
    Jatt96
    Link the video that made this game look like it was watching a real life hockey game. I'd love to see it.

    I typed in nhl 21 gameplay on YouTube and it is video of capitals vs Rangers It’s from sports gaming universe
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    stooge 1010
    That game I watched on YouTube looked so real, I’ll have to try true broadcast when I play. I have played up and down view for a long time, broadcast view will probably take some getting used to
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    In 20 looks the same at this Broadcast mode.
    They should have done what PES 21 did and offer a update and charge $39.At least they were honest and said it basically was the same game.This NHL 21 is the same game as last year and even fewer scanned faces than usual.They should put out a full game every 2 years and an update in-between.
    leafsfan67
    They should have done what PES 21 did and offer a update and charge $39.At least they were honest and said it basically was the same game.This NHL 21 is the same game as last year and even fewer scanned faces than usual.They should put out a full game every 2 years and an update in-between.

    Why should they? The earnings they get from sales is what they pay the developers with. In that scenario the game would cost twice as much every other year in order to pay the devs for the same amount of work.
    I have no problem buying a good game each year for roster updates and small improvements as long as they are improvements and they don't remove features. Problem is often features are removed and they put in new stuff just so they can say they have new features.
    Another problem with this game is micro transaction focus to earn dollars.
    Got my pre-ordered game yesterday. I bought the game mainly for NHL 94 Rewind so I could finally play that game comfortably. Such a shame that there is apparently no Online multiplayer. Dunno if 21's gameplay is that much different compared to 20. Yes opponent is more active during the zone entries, which is nice, but the game is constant rushing with a dash of CPU's tie ups near the boards. With cpu buddies the powerplay is especially ridiculous. Breakouts are always the same, setting up the PP system is frustrating beacuse the ai is losing the puck all the time and opponent cpu has no trouble to lift the puck back to my zone, rinse and repeat. Is there a way to check up your teams strategies in Be a pro? As a member of a team I would like to know what kind system we are using and play accordingly.
    Coach challenges are also baffling to me. That is not actual coaching to pick up one player and ask him to keep up the momentum. Instead coach should give a detailed explanation to the whole line how to keep up the pressure. Now this is something like "Mighty Ducks" level of "coaching".
    Welcome back NHL!
    Just installed, downloaded patch, rosters and tuner.
    Played my Blues and newcomer Torey Krug vs Vegas and Pietrangelo.
    Won 2-1 and I can definitely see the gameplay improvements. The ping pong passing is finally gone and my D actually do a good job of stepping up on the blue line to stop the CPU from just going right in.
    I think the speed of play is perfect on AS defaults and it finally feels like hockey. Really excited to play more tonight.
    Does anyone know why I can't play my trial anymore? I still have 4 hours left. I can still play FIFA and UFC which have been released for some time, but for some reason it won't let me boot up NHL. I start the game and it says my remaining time, then it says I can't play and takes me to the buy the game screen.
    MizzouRah
    Welcome back NHL!
    Just installed, downloaded patch, rosters and tuner.
    Played my Blues and newcomer Torey Krug vs Vegas and Pietrangelo.
    Won 2-1 and I can definitely see the gameplay improvements. The ping pong passing is finally gone and my D actually do a good job of stepping up on the blue line to stop the CPU from just going right in.
    I think the speed of play is perfect on AS defaults and it finally feels like hockey. Really excited to play more tonight.

    Good to hear ! I purchased last night...I played 20 more than any NHL in quite sometime so I’m looking forward to 21. Also looking forward to NHL 94 rewind
    tjung0831
    Good to hear ! I purchased last night...I played 20 more than any NHL in quite sometime so I’m looking forward to 21. Also looking forward to NHL 94 rewind

    20 didn't grab me at all, probably the least played in the series for me.. lol
    Can't wait to play more but I can now definitely tell who is on the ice with the Blues. My checking line pinned Vegas in their end several times with good checks. Gone are the cream anyone checking system. Tarasenko scored both of my goals and Parayko held the blue line quite well.
    I need many more games obviously but I'm super excited the ping pong passing is hopefully gone for good. I'm going to sneak away from work so I can get back to it. :)
    Wanted to try BAP but I just might start a franchise.
    I'm having fun, actually setting up in the zone for a PP feels more realistic this year. I'm not seeing any ping pong passing whatsoever. The CPU does a good job in most areas and I don't have to babysit my D like I did with previous versions.
    I can do things with my speedy, skilled players that I can't do with my 3rd and 4th liners. Same with the CPU team, if I go for a hit against the boards and miss, it's an odd rush and scoring chance.
    There is always room for improvement, but the fun factor for me is finally back after a lackluster NHL 20.
    I'm going to try BAP soon, but it's going to be hard to tear me away from franchise mode, at least right now while the game is fresh and much improved on the ice.
    MizzouRah
    I'm having fun, actually setting up in the zone for a PP feels more realistic this year. I'm not seeing any ping pong passing whatsoever. The CPU does a good job in most areas and I don't have to babysit my D like I did with previous versions.
    I can do things with my speedy, skilled players that I can't do with my 3rd and 4th liners. Same with the CPU team, if I go for a hit against the boards and miss, it's an odd rush and scoring chance.
    There is always room for improvement, but the fun factor for me is finally back after a lackluster NHL 20.
    I'm going to try BAP soon, but it's going to be hard to tear me away from franchise mode, at least right now while the game is fresh and much improved on the ice.

    I am seeing some of the same things you are But I have to get back to it for more analysis however NHL 20 was lackluster.
    Aesthetics as far as menu are better more color and flash and of course gameplay is all that matters and it seems as if they did more work and it shows
    MizzouRah
    I'm having fun, actually setting up in the zone for a PP feels more realistic this year. I'm not seeing any ping pong passing whatsoever. The CPU does a good job in most areas and I don't have to babysit my D like I did with previous versions.
    I can do things with my speedy, skilled players that I can't do with my 3rd and 4th liners. Same with the CPU team, if I go for a hit against the boards and miss, it's an odd rush and scoring chance.
    There is always room for improvement, but the fun factor for me is finally back after a lackluster NHL 20.
    I'm going to try BAP soon, but it's going to be hard to tear me away from franchise mode, at least right now while the game is fresh and much improved on the ice.

    You're saying you don't see any ping pong passing on Superstar, where 75 OVR players are doing behind the back, no look bullet passes?
    I played a couple of games before going out for a bit and I was pleasantly surprised. Games were fun and had a much different feel then 20. I’m happy with my purchase.
    Jatt96
    You're saying you don't see any ping pong passing on Superstar, where 75 OVR players are doing behind the back, no look bullet passes?

    I play on AS default with penalties on 4/4.
    ChaseB
    If you want a person who reps OS to give you a deep dive into the game from more y'alls perspective, my 2,500+ words are live at IGN: https://www.ign.com/articles/nhl-21-review

    review says the ping pong passing and AI issues are there but in this thread I see otherwise, is it an IGN issue mayeb with settings/sliders?
    Last NHL I bought was 17, it wasnt terrible tbh but I wasnt going to get another ps4 NHL as it didnt exactly blew me away. I dont mind out dated rosters and if the gameplay is solid it might be worth getting 21.
    One thing that bothers me is that although EA removed the ability to edit player types in franchise, every coach still wants Playmaker-power forward-sniper on every line. Which means 2-way forwards will just kill whatever line they are on.
    Shadak
    review says the ping pong passing and AI issues are there but in this thread I see otherwise, is it an IGN issue mayeb with settings/sliders?
    Last NHL I bought was 17, it wasnt terrible tbh but I wasnt going to get another ps4 NHL as it didnt exactly blew me away. I dont mind out dated rosters and if the gameplay is solid it might be worth getting 21.

    I'll get more games in later today and tomorrow but on AS simulation default everything except for penalties on 4/4, 7 minute periods, play now, I'm not seeing any ping pong passing. The games have been fun and much different from 20.
    Sigh..... I want to LOVE it----but they just dont understand the NHL fans.
    Things like being able to EDIT players appearance's (which you could do many years ago, since the makers cant get even hair colours--and skin colours right)
    and the ability to EDIT players attributes once actually IN a Season!
    (so for instance, an unknown player or rookie whose attributes created by EA, may actually play a prominent role in real life, but if you have started you season, you cant bloody UP --or decrease--his attributes.)
    Bonkers
    MizzouRah
    I'll get more games in later today and tomorrow but on AS simulation default everything except for penalties on 4/4, 7 minute periods, play now, I'm not seeing any ping pong passing. The games have been fun and much different from 20.

    So I'm not going to disagree with what someone is seeing because everyone can have a diff experience.
    I wrote the IGN review so my thing with ping-pong passing is two-fold. The AI doesn't tic-tac-toe as much, but passing accuracy is still off the charts, and the general concept of ping-pong passing (a bunch of rapid, accurate passes for a scoring chance) are still readily available at any time for both the user and AI.
    I still can do it with ease, and the AI still completes 90+ percent of its passes. In addition to still just being an up-and-down game nonstop it's just somewhat exhausting playing a "normal" NHL game because games/teams mostly just feel same-y.
    Now, that being said, I do think with some heavy slider edits there's a good hockey game here for the sim crowd, but I just wasn't going to do that for a review for a mass audience. The best way to score -- and it's even stronger this year -- is cross-crease passes off the rush, or just wristers off the sideboards with no screens etc. The base ways of attacking just don't feel varied enough by default.
    All that being said, I do really think the NHL devs really did try to deliver this year and I like the general path they're on again, but I just think there's some longstanding legacy issues that still need to be hammered out (ratings scale to make players feel different -- especially in regards to strengths/weaknesses so it doesn't feel like most players are elite passers etc. -- rush-heavy play, board play, "grind" play in and around the net and the angles defenders take to the puck).
    HipNotiiC_x
    The neutral zone improvements are encouraging, but the game itself is just so catered to rushes (exactly like FIFA which is why FIFA is also boring) which makes it a really boring experience if you genuinely follow pro hockey. Pro hockey does not simply revolve around rushes. More than ever, teams are taking away the goalie's vision and scoring ridiculous tip/screen goals. The real NHL has "snipes" through screens that are so fun to watch. Usually a great screen, paired with a nice toedrag to change the angle from the vision side to the screen side, finished by a great placement in the upper corner and you have yourself a highlight reel goal.
    Unfortunately for us, EA believes that an unscreened wrister from beyond the tops of the circles short-side is a "sick snipe" and will continue to cater to people who think hockey is simply played on the rush, or that "in-zone" offense consists of the puck carrier doing continuous loops in the corner until an AI defender inexplicably leaves his weakside assignment to open up a one-timer goal.
    Hockey is a beautiful, dynamic game if you let it be. EA won't let it be, therefore the experiences are rather mundane. Can you imagine PES-like physics with the puck in this game? That would be insane!

    Spot on. This is well said.
    Also yes pes style physics would be amazing especially with the puck. it could also benefit the momentum of the players. I would love if NHL added some animations for when guys are close to each other, much like the way shielding works in PES.
    giantsharks
    Spot on. This is well said.
    Also yes pes style physics would be amazing especially with the puck. it could also benefit the momentum of the players. I would love if NHL added some animations for when guys are close to each other, much like the way shielding works in PES.

    You arent wrong but having grown up with hockey here in middle Canada my biggest problem is real hockey is pretty boring.
    I was a diehard hockey fan and EA hockey fan for a lot of my life but got away from it during the New Jersey trap days which was the era that killed hockey IMO.
    I will admit that it is better now with rule changes and obstruction penalties but I still just cant get into real hockey.
    That's probably why I like this game. It isnt that much like real hockey but it's fun to me.
    I wish the settings worked better because unfortunately the sim setting isnt really close to "sim" enough so I feel for the hardcore guys.
    edit...... meant to quote the guy you quoted lol
    giantsharks
    Spot on. This is well said.
    Also yes pes style physics would be amazing especially with the puck. it could also benefit the momentum of the players. I would love if NHL added some animations for when guys are close to each other, much like the way shielding works in PES.

    Yeah the general collisions for smaller-impact stuff -- and board play -- needs something new and refined. When you get into situations where like 6 players just sort of run into each other in front of the net, it's when the game looks about at its worst.
    The game is fun to me and that’s really all that matters to me. I don’t want to spend my limited gaming time on a game that doesn’t have fun factor.
    tjung0831
    The game is fun to me and that’s really all that matters to me. I don’t want to spend my limited gaming time on a game that doesn’t have fun factor.

    Get that 100%
    ChaseB
    So I'm not going to disagree with what someone is seeing because everyone can have a diff experience.
    I wrote the IGN review so my thing with ping-pong passing is two-fold. The AI doesn't tic-tac-toe as much, but passing accuracy is still off the charts, and the general concept of ping-pong passing (a bunch of rapid, accurate passes for a scoring chance) are still readily available at any time for both the user and AI.
    I still can do it with ease, and the AI still completes 90+ percent of its passes. In addition to still just being an up-and-down game nonstop it's just somewhat exhausting playing a "normal" NHL game because games/teams mostly just feel same-y.
    Now, that being said, I do think with some heavy slider edits there's a good hockey game here for the sim crowd, but I just wasn't going to do that for a review for a mass audience. The best way to score -- and it's even stronger this year -- is cross-crease passes off the rush, or just wristers off the sideboards with no screens etc. The base ways of attacking just don't feel varied enough by default.
    All that being said, I do really think the NHL devs really did try to deliver this year and I like the general path they're on again, but I just think there's some longstanding legacy issues that still need to be hammered out (ratings scale to make players feel different -- especially in regards to strengths/weaknesses so it doesn't feel like most players are elite passers etc. -- rush-heavy play, board play, "grind" play in and around the net and the angles defenders take to the puck).

    I respect your opinion, your article was a great read. I liked 19 but 20 was terrible.. the CPU AI was so bad I just simmed every game. 21 is so much better than any other current gen NHL game. They focused on gameplay issues and it shows. Even the speed of the game on default really represents NHL hockey to me. YMMV.
    MizzouRah
    I respect your opinion, your article was a great read. I liked 19 but 20 was terrible.. the CPU AI was so bad I just simmed every game. 21 is so much better than any other current gen NHL game. They focused on gameplay issues and it shows. Even the speed of the game on default really represents NHL hockey to me. YMMV.

    Yeah, that's interesting. I didn't think '20 was terrible, or at least not so bad that '21 would be this wholesale change that would make someone turn around from 20 to 21 and think it's this major difference maker. So I think your viewpoint is good to know about.
    And I do think this is one of the bigger one-year differences if we include BAP upgrades and other off-ice stuff. And I think the puck is looser so you don't just load up on big guys for HUT now etc. But I think NHL was starting from a lower point than some other series in terms of how "good" it was to begin with since I do think this generation has been rough for the series in totality.
    CujoMatty
    You arent wrong but having grown up with hockey here in middle Canada my biggest problem is real hockey is pretty boring.
    I was a diehard hockey fan and EA hockey fan for a lot of my life but got away from it during the New Jersey trap days which was the era that killed hockey IMO.
    I will admit that it is better now with rule changes and obstruction penalties but I still just cant get into real hockey.
    That's probably why I like this game. It isnt that much like real hockey but it's fun to me.
    I wish the settings worked better because unfortunately the sim setting isnt really close to "sim" enough so I feel for the hardcore guys.
    edit...... meant to quote the guy you quoted lol

    This is something that I have never understood. The bashing of NJ Devils. Maybe it's because I am from Europe where the slower breakouts and more careful pressing is quite usual. Lately I have been rewatching the 94-95 Stanley Cup finals and I just don't see the Devils solely sitting in the NZ and waiting for Detroit to do something stupid. Instead they are actually quite willing to press with two guys. Only when Detroit clearly has the puck for ex. behind their net then they'll retreat in the 1-2-2 formation in the neutral and try to intercept the buck near the boards. This is a pretty similar system that the Flyers used in the last season. The only sin what I can see is the constant obstruction and slowing opponents down with the sticks, but NJ wasn't the only team doing that.
    I would love the game have some sort of intelligent forecheck/trap system implemented in the game. I mean that the AI would understand that there is no point to forecheck if the attack is undermanned or the forechecks starts late (when the opponent clearly has possession and has enough guys back). I have found that adjusting the slider to "sit back" position is close, but it is still quite unpredictable for the user.
    First I love the fact that they finally added female pronouns to the game after adding female players many years ago. Being able to create an actually playable version of my daughter is very cool. I know there are those who don't like that EA put the option for female players but whatever.
    I am a casual player who, admittedly, is far from an elite player. But it seems like adjusting the difficulty settings only seems to effect my team. If I set it to rookie/arcade my teammates will score 6 goals in a period and my goalie blocks the rare shots my defense allows to happen. But if I have the puck I still get swarmed by the defense and miss 90% of my shots even with aim assist on. Not saying I want it back to where the lane opened up and every one timer was a guaranteed goal but it makes BAP especially frustrating because winning the game is not as important as your individual performance.
    Please no comments about me sucking at the game because that isn't my point. My point is that changing difficulty settings should make the game easier or more challenging for the player, not just tweak how your teammates play.
    My only real complaint with the game is the same as it is every year. The CPU has to basically cheat to win games and their AI are capable of doing things the human and humans AI teammates just can’t do.

    This has been going on for far too long and is the #1 reason I stopped buying or supporting this series.
    And it's because EA does not hire developers capable of programming realistic AI.
    Maybe one day 2K will get back into making hockey games.
    Until then, I'll get my fill with FHM.
    Sent from my MAR-LX3A using Operation Sports mobile app
    Zkibu
    This is something that I have never understood. The bashing of NJ Devils. Maybe it's because I am from Europe where the slower breakouts and more careful pressing is quite usual. Lately I have been rewatching the 94-95 Stanley Cup finals and I just don't see the Devils solely sitting in the NZ and waiting for Detroit to do something stupid. Instead they are actually quite willing to press with two guys. Only when Detroit clearly has the puck for ex. behind their net then they'll retreat in the 1-2-2 formation in the neutral and try to intercept the buck near the boards. This is a pretty similar system that the Flyers used in the last season. The only sin what I can see is the constant obstruction and slowing opponents down with the sticks, but NJ wasn't the only team doing that.
    I would love the game have some sort of intelligent forecheck/trap system implemented in the game. I mean that the AI would understand that there is no point to forecheck if the attack is undermanned or the forechecks starts late (when the opponent clearly has possession and has enough guys back). I have found that adjusting the slider to "sit back" position is close, but it is still quite unpredictable for the user.

    I can see maybe I'm coming off that way but I'm actually not bashing the Devils. They didnt do anything against any rules and in fact it was super intelligent coaching as well as execution. They forced dump ins and Brodeur was an amazing goalie handling the puck.
    I can see how that could be appreciated but I cant see how anyone could say it wasnt boring AF. I cant remember which year it was but they played Toronto in the playoffs and held Toronto to something ridiculous like 8 shots all game.
    That's incredible on the level of respecting NJ for accomplishing that but horrible for being entertained as a hockey fan.
    Money99
    This has been going on for far too long and is the #1 reason I stopped buying or supporting this series.
    And it's because EA does not hire developers capable of programming realistic AI.
    Maybe one day 2K will get back into making hockey games.
    Until then, I'll get my fill with FHM.
    Sent from my MAR-LX3A using Operation Sports mobile app

    I'm not trying to make excuses for EA believe me...... lol but....
    Every sports game does this right now.
    MLB the show has a 50 page thread every year about comeback code or scripting.
    It's a common complaint about Fifa.
    NBA 2k is well known to boost the AI and nerf user on higher difficulties.
    Madden has robo QB on all madden difficulty.
    PES is the worst. Derby games completely nuke the users ability to do anything.
    I'm not a developer but it seems to me that it's a by-product of the limitations in current gen hardware. I've read quite a few times that one of the most exciting aspects of next gen hardware is the ability for smarter AI. Is it true? I dunno but I sure hope so.
    I'm with you guys, it sucks but its definitely not a unique problem to the NHL series.
    Right now...i feel like this game plays a lot better on Pro. I'm going to have to adjust some sliders to increase cpu difficulty but i'm seeing a better game on Pro.
    The Sabres return to the royal blue makes me very happy and their uni's and center ice logo looks beautiful. They might just be my team for season play.
    tjung0831
    Right now...i feel like this game plays a lot better on Pro. I'm going to have to adjust some sliders to increase cpu difficulty but i'm seeing a better game on Pro.
    The Sabres return to the royal blue makes me very happy and their uni's and center ice logo looks beautiful. They might just be my team for season play.

    The CPU goalies can actually be beat on well-placed 1st shots on Pro. I really like the way Pro feels, but it's just sooooo easy for me. Been trying to dumb goalies on Superstar down to chase the feeling of the Pro goalies but haven't had any luck. Will need to keep tinkering for sure.
    JaFFiTh
    Not exactly an impression but the Sabres new Jersey’s are a thing of beauty in game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Have they fixed the white one yet? The stripes on the arms/waist were matching when they shouldn't.
    CujoMatty
    You arent wrong but having grown up with hockey here in middle Canada my biggest problem is real hockey is pretty boring.
    I was a diehard hockey fan and EA hockey fan for a lot of my life but got away from it during the New Jersey trap days which was the era that killed hockey IMO.
    I will admit that it is better now with rule changes and obstruction penalties but I still just cant get into real hockey.
    That's probably why I like this game. It isnt that much like real hockey but it's fun to me.
    I wish the settings worked better because unfortunately the sim setting isnt really close to "sim" enough so I feel for the hardcore guys.
    edit...... meant to quote the guy you quoted lol

    There's a reason there's arcade settings and sliders. If you want to score snipes, you simply up shot accuracy/power or dumb goalie reactions down. Boom, your problem solved pretty easily if you find real hockey boring.
    For people who want more accurate hockey plays to be rewarded, there's no simple fix via sliders. I'm not asking for your experience to not be on that can be achieved, I'm wanting to see goalies play screens and tips more realistically so that I'm rewarded for changing angles and placing shots well. As of now, if you go too high on the two settings than determine how well screens work, you end up seeing a lot of bad looking goals because the goalie ends up not even reacting
    It's a really hard balance I know, but I'd just like to see in-zone offense matter more than it currently does. Rushes are fun, but they also should be hard to generate. That's why I want to see good cycling and shooting for tips or through screens to be a little more feasible. Doesn't need to be a seemingly random mess either, there's a definite "skill gap" to be made out of knowing how to use a screen effectively.
    HipNotiiC_x
    The CPU goalies can actually be beat on well-placed 1st shots on Pro. I really like the way Pro feels, but it's just sooooo easy for me. Been trying to dumb goalies on Superstar down to chase the feeling of the Pro goalies but haven't had any luck. Will need to keep tinkering for sure.

    I upped some of the CPU goalie options...and dropped the sliders for human option. Also gave them and edge In shooting percentage and then lost 3 games in a row on pro but never felt cheated. Shot totals in all three games were even...no more than 3 more for one team either way and time of possession was equal as well.
    I’ll play some more tonight for more testing.
    All 3 games felt very good ...I’m sure I’ll tweak more stuff but right now I’m extremely happy with NHL 21.
    I should also point out I’m playing Pro on version 1.0. I played a couple of games on 1.01 and didn’t care for it. I may try it again tonight with my current slider setting and see what I get but for now I’m sticking with Ver 1.0.
    tjung0831
    I should also point out I’m playing Pro on version 1.0. I played a couple of games on 1.01 and didn’t care for it. I may try it again tonight with my current slider setting and see what I get but for now I’m sticking with Ver 1.0.

    That's funny because I found the v1.01 tuner better! Glad they offer the ability to choose as everyone has their own flavor haha.
    Would upping the AI difficulty slider on Pro improve the goalies? On default it's at 0 but may up it to see if that improves them. If not the I'll mess with the goalie sliders a bit. I do enjoy Pro it's just the goalies are a bit too soft at the moment. I'll never go above Pro as the higher difficulties are just to haywire for me & beyond frustrating.
    Stormyhog
    Would upping the AI difficulty slider on Pro improve the goalies? On default it's at 0 but may up it to see if that improves them. If not the I'll mess with the goalie sliders a bit. I do enjoy Pro it's just the goalies are a bit too soft at the moment. I'll never go above Pro as the higher difficulties are just to haywire for me & beyond frustrating.

    All goalie sliders other than cover/pass frequency should be at 50 by default. To play on "default" Pro, goalies should be at 50 reaction and 50 cross crease reaction. I personally haven't been able to play on anything less than 70-75 cross crease reaction time.
    Stormyhog
    Would upping the AI difficulty slider on Pro improve the goalies? On default it's at 0 but may up it to see if that improves them. If not the I'll mess with the goalie sliders a bit. I do enjoy Pro it's just the goalies are a bit too soft at the moment. I'll never go above Pro as the higher difficulties are just to haywire for me & beyond frustrating.

    Yes..I also upped that to like 4(which I might take down to 3)but I think upping two of the goalie slider settings helped the most. I upped reaction time and I forget the other one. I believe I also lowered human setting on that as well. It definitely makes the goalies stronger but I don’t feel cheated even though they are at an advantage. It just makes me work harder on my own game.
    HipNotiiC_x
    All goalie sliders other than cover/pass frequency should be at 50 by default. To play on "default" Pro, goalies should be at 50 reaction and 50 cross crease reaction. I personally haven't been able to play on anything less than 70-75 cross crease reaction time.

    Actually i think I have mine current at
    62 for CPU
    50 for Human - so maybe I didn’t lower them yet. It I need to check.
    Stormyhog
    Would upping the AI difficulty slider on Pro improve the goalies? On default it's at 0 but may up it to see if that improves them. If not the I'll mess with the goalie sliders a bit. I do enjoy Pro it's just the goalies are a bit too soft at the moment. I'll never go above Pro as the higher difficulties are just to haywire for me & beyond frustrating.

    Yes I've played on pro since 17. I imagine this year will be the same.
    I'm with you guys. Pro plays the best by far but is too easy OOTB. I have cpu cross crease reaction at 75 and user at 0 and I'm having real fun competitive games with average total of goals around 4-8 combined.
    HipNotiiC_x
    ... if you go too high on the two settings than determine how well screens work, you end up seeing a lot of bad looking goals because the goalie ends up not even reacting

    This is just you chasing animations though, be mindful of that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the goalie “not even reacting.” X, Y & Z happened in front of him, causing him to not even react to the puck. That’s sim. That’s any number of his attributes losing a dice roll. Who cares what animation happens to play? So you’re upset you didn’t get a sick flail animation on the goal? I mean yeah we all are but it’s not really about that. There was some other breakdown (or excellent offensive play) in front of him that caused the goal. The lack of a save animation is irrelevant. That’s how I’d look at it, anyway.
    What’s up with RFA’s when starting franchise? With all the leafs contracts I’m unable to keep Dermott and Mikaev...
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    CujoMatty
    I'm not trying to make excuses for EA believe me...... lol but....
    Every sports game does this right now.
    MLB the show has a 50 page thread every year about comeback code or scripting.
    It's a common complaint about Fifa.
    NBA 2k is well known to boost the AI and nerf user on higher difficulties.
    Madden has robo QB on all madden difficulty.
    PES is the worst. Derby games completely nuke the users ability to do anything.
    I'm not a developer but it seems to me that it's a by-product of the limitations in current gen hardware. I've read quite a few times that one of the most exciting aspects of next gen hardware is the ability for smarter AI. Is it true? I dunno but I sure hope so.
    I'm with you guys, it sucks but its definitely not a unique problem to the NHL series.
    I hear you.
    But saying that, the AI in some of the NHL2K games was fantastic.
    Player types and seperation was done very well.
    Same can be said for their basketball game.
    And MVP as well as MLB2K did this well too.
    I think it's possible but the white suits need to make it a priority.
    I don't think the traditional 12-month cycle helps either. Half of that is spent on patching/fixing the current game and the other half is developing or adding to the microtransaction modes.
    Sent from my MAR-LX3A using Operation Sports mobile app
    Probably a stupid question, but I cannot seem to find the League Leaders area in Franchise mode (goals, assists, etc). Can somebody point me to the right spot?
    TIA!
    Rob V
    Probably a stupid question, but I cannot seem to find the League Leaders area in Franchise mode (goals, assists, etc). Can somebody point me to the right spot?
    TIA!

    I can't remember exactly, but it's called something like "STats Central" on the franchise home screen, right under calander. You just open the one for player stats, change team to "ALL" and sort for whatever stat you'd like
    MDgolf
    What’s up with RFA’s when starting franchise? With all the leafs contracts I’m unable to keep Dermott and Mikaev...
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I think this is a problem for the Leafs IRL.
    Still have salary to move. I could see them moving on from Dermott.
    They have 3 players making 8 figures
    capnlarge
    I think this is a problem for the Leafs IRL.
    Still have salary to move. I could see them moving on from Dermott

    No way!!!! He’s a potential stud... ya I guess it’s just like real life thanks
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Detroit Tigers
    This is just you chasing animations though, be mindful of that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the goalie “not even reacting.” X, Y & Z happened in front of him, causing him to not even react to the puck. That’s sim. That’s any number of his attributes losing a dice roll. Who cares what animation happens to play? So you’re upset you didn’t get a sick flail animation on the goal? I mean yeah we all are but it’s not really about that. There was some other breakdown (or excellent offensive play) in front of him that caused the goal. The lack of a save animation is irrelevant. That’s how I’d look at it, anyway.

    I care, because I'm a goalie IRL, and I'm trying to produce the most immersive experience possible for me lol. I don't like seeing a shot on the ice through one screen go in five-hole while the goalie is standing up. If I'm going to have to choose between erroring on the side of "screens are slightly underpowered but goalies don't look like mites" or "goalies literally stand-up and don't even butterfly when a point shot is taken through multiple bodies" I'm going to error on the side of the former all day. It's also not rewarding and feels way too easy when I score an unskilled shot because of "dice rolls" you know? To me, that's not "chasing animations" when I score 15 goals a game through screens, many of them not being placed in a spot that would beat a real life goalie. It's a different story if the odd one goes through like that, but I'm talking about literally having those values so high that the goalie simply doesn't react. If you can't see the puck but you hear a shot, you drop into the butterfly. That's modern goalie 101, so I'm not going to accept a slider set where goalies are so affected by screens to a point where they don't even react. That's not "sim" that's "bad hockey" imo. I'll go play FHM if I want a text sim where zero skill is involved in the goals I score.
    Freakywwe
    I can't remember exactly, but it's called something like "STats Central" on the franchise home screen, right under calander. You just open the one for player stats, change team to "ALL" and sort for whatever stat you'd like

    Thank you... I found it about 2 minutes after I posted. Odd that you have to select "NHL" to see the stats.
    I've played every NHL game - and I have to be honest:
    I'm really liking this game. More than I thought I would. It's nowhere near perfect - no game is. But this is their best effort in some time. I have only played Play Now games - I'm not concerned about Franchise yet as I want to get my sliders worked on. But this is a fun game...
    mkharsh33
    I've played every NHL game - and I have to be honest:
    I'm really liking this game. More than I thought I would. It's nowhere near perfect - no game is. But this is their best effort in some time. I have only played Play Now games - I'm not concerned about Franchise yet as I want to get my sliders worked on. But this is a fun game...

    The last 7 games i've played have been fantastic. Best EA hockey game in long long time for sure.
    Yesterday I exhausted my 10 hour trial and for the first time in a long long time I bought the game full price. I was incredibly happy when they announced they were fixing the neutral zone to actually make it exist. I was skeptical on whether it was just talk, but it absolutely did finally get the attention it needed 10+ years ago. It's baffling why it took this damn long but it finally happened.
    When playing I noticed immediately that the CPU was more aggressive and didn't just let you enter the zone. It forced me to actually have to dump the puck in and think about how I wanted to attack. I have yet to be able to go into the zone and fire a shot from the slot. It's the first time I've ever had that feeling in any EA NHL game. It is so damn refreshing that it has absolutely changed the game for me. It did exactly what I was hoping it would.
    On top of this the pressure the defense applies when you do enter the zone is another huge change. In the times I've been able to enter the zone with just my controlled player, the D has pressured me and not just sat back which allowed me to wait for my players to enter the zone. It is about damn time this was done and it's yet another thing that has completely changed the game for me.
    As for the goalies, they are so much better than when I used to play this game. Are they still warping and looking unnatural at times, absolutely. However, it's nice that they finally deflect pucks out of play and to the corners as well as suck pucks in. There are so many less instances with pucks going off of them only to flutter in the air behind them and go in. They still need tons of work IMO, but they are at least better than before.
    Are there still issues with the AI at times, absolutely. However, you have to have AI mistakes in order for goals to be scored. No doubt it sucks when something so stupid happens, but there's nothing I've seen where it happens all of the time where it's game breaking. Maybe that will change for me as I continue playing.
    All I can say is that I'm just blown away by how much the changes to the neutral zone and offensive zone pressure have made. It's completely changed the game for me. Maybe my long layoff from the series has something to do with it and yes, this all could change as I keep playing the game, but right now I'm having a lot of fun.
    The CPU feels a lot more dangerous on pro level which is nice. If I get too aggressive they make me pay. If I give up an odd man rush they score more times than not which I like. I've also noticed they will use skill moves more effectively this year. I've had the CPU do some dirty dangles on me for some nice highlight reel goals.
    Would someone be able to sim (cpu vs cpu) a game between an NHL team and a CHL team and post stats here? I would like to know if the player attributes make any difference in the game.
    bwiggy33
    Yesterday I exhausted my 10 hour trial and for the first time in a long long time I bought the game full price. I was incredibly happy when they announced they were fixing the neutral zone to actually make it exist. I was skeptical on whether it was just talk, but it absolutely did finally get the attention it needed 10+ years ago. It's baffling why it took this damn long but it finally happened.
    When playing I noticed immediately that the CPU was more aggressive and didn't just let you enter the zone. It forced me to actually have to dump the puck in and think about how I wanted to attack. I have yet to be able to go into the zone and fire a shot from the slot. It's the first time I've ever had that feeling in any EA NHL game. It is so damn refreshing that it has absolutely changed the game for me. It did exactly what I was hoping it would.
    On top of this the pressure the defense applies when you do enter the zone is another huge change. In the times I've been able to enter the zone with just my controlled player, the D has pressured me and not just sat back which allowed me to wait for my players to enter the zone. It is about damn time this was done and it's yet another thing that has completely changed the game for me.
    As for the goalies, they are so much better than when I used to play this game. Are they still warping and looking unnatural at times, absolutely. However, it's nice that they finally deflect pucks out of play and to the corners as well as suck pucks in. There are so many less instances with pucks going off of them only to flutter in the air behind them and go in. They still need tons of work IMO, but they are at least better than before.
    Are there still issues with the AI at times, absolutely. However, you have to have AI mistakes in order for goals to be scored. No doubt it sucks when something so stupid happens, but there's nothing I've seen where it happens all of the time where it's game breaking. Maybe that will change for me as I continue playing.
    All I can say is that I'm just blown away by how much the changes to the neutral zone and offensive zone pressure have made. It's completely changed the game for me. Maybe my long layoff from the series has something to do with it and yes, this all could change as I keep playing the game, but right now I'm having a lot of fun.

    Great post and I totally agree. It actually feels like hockey more than any other version of the series. When my D makes a mistake I know my 3rd liners are out there.
    I've gotta say that despite numerous glitches in franchise, there are some real nice changes:
    -The Trade Deadline is really slick. If I had to nitpick, it would be nice to be able to speed up the clock. TBH the GUI during the trade deadline is much slicker than the rest of the menus in franchise. Wouldn't mind having that ticker in all franchise menus.
    -a small but great change, during real time sim, they added the team logo (or increased the contrast?) behind player portraits, so when two teams with similar colour schemes are playing (such as Red Wings vs Hurricanes) you can immediately identify what team scored.
    -by locking editing player types, they have made the draft interview useful because you can 100% get the player types of 3 players every draft. My only tweak to this would be for 2-way forwards and defensemen to have some combination that can get a +5 chemistry boost
    For example, Patrice Bergeron is the most decorated 2-way forward in the NHL and Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak is arguably the best line in the NHL
    MizzouRah
    Great post and I totally agree. It actually feels like hockey more than any other version of the series. When my D makes a mistake I know my 3rd liners are out there.

    That's the other thing I meant to say. The player differentiation still needs work but for the first time I'm actually noticing a difference between skill and I think it's because of the neutral and D zone pressure the AI has. I just played against the Avs in the first game of my Wild GM mode and The MacKinnon line is deadly. They were buzzing. If I played my first line of Rossi centering Fiala and Kaprizov (created him) against them, I couldn't get anything going because the Mack line was so dominating. Therefore I actually had to try and line match. It's great seeing that. In previous games I could enter the zone so easily with my 3rd line and then just cycle the puck. It's pretty rare that a 3rd line cycles the puck on a line like Mack's. Right now if you play your 3rd line against a line like that, you are either playing in the neutral zone or hemmed in your own zone. I'm interested to see what happens when I play a team without a really good first line.
    bwiggy33
    That's the other thing I meant to say. The player differentiation still needs work but for the first time I'm actually noticing a difference between skill and I think it's because of the neutral and D zone pressure the AI has. I just played against the Avs in the first game of my Wild GM mode and The MacKinnon line is deadly. They were buzzing. If I played my first line of Rossi centering Fiala and Kaprizov (created him) against them, I couldn't get anything going because the Mack line was so dominating. Therefore I actually had to try and line match. It's great seeing that. In previous games I could enter the zone so easily with my 3rd line and then just cycle the puck. It's pretty rare that a 3rd line cycles the puck on a line like Mack's. Right now if you play your 3rd line against a line like that, you are either playing in the neutral zone or hemmed in your own zone. I'm interested to see what happens when I play a team without a really good first line.

    Exactly.. it's not perfect but much better. My Blues 4th line can hem the other team into their end as they tend to forecheck more than my top lines. My 3rd line D seems to get beat along the boards by speedy players but my top line with Parayko seems to be much better at stealing the puck and holding position much better.
    I agree with a lot of the positive things people are saying, especially some long timers here, so I don’t feel the need to second any of it but I’m cautiously optimistic because we have all seen tuners and patches destroy what felt like a good game to us before. I pray the whiners, glitchers, and fanboys don’t kill the neutral zone play and somewhat improved CPU AI........that is all....
    Ok, I bought an EA Play account for a month to test the game and I don't know... Yes, the gameplay itself is much more fluid and there is some boardplay elements and all, but I'm not convinced yet.
    There is still a HUGE issue with the gameplay, and that is the player attributes and their effect on the gameplay itself. I watched a couple of cpu vs cpu games where WHL/OHL team played agains an NHL team and while you can see some differences in skating speed for example, these differences don't translate in the overall gameplay and results. I mean, Avalanche should beat the hell out of a Acadie-Brathurst, but yet the final scores were all like 3-1, 3-2 etc. I don't know what there would be to achieve if EA would implement roster sharing in the game, since we just can't make a difference in the game no matter how much we tweak the rosters. And if somebody is saying that it does make a difference, you are deceiving yourself.
    How do you dump the puck in on PS4? Never had to do so before but the cpu now clogs the neutral zone..
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    MDgolf
    How do you dump the puck in on PS4? Never had to do so before but the cpu now clogs the neutral zone..
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    you can either do a wrist shot or slap shot outside the blue line and the game knows what you are doing so will shoot it along the boards(most of the time)
    Or you can do a soft flip in by holding R1 and up on the right stick.
    mikey87
    Ok, I bought an EA Play account for a month to test the game and I don't know... Yes, the gameplay itself is much more fluid and there is some boardplay elements and all, but I'm not convinced yet.
    There is still a HUGE issue with the gameplay, and that is the player attributes and their effect on the gameplay itself. I watched a couple of cpu vs cpu games where WHL/OHL team played agains an NHL team and while you can see some differences in skating speed for example, these differences don't translate in the overall gameplay and results. I mean, Avalanche should beat the hell out of a Acadie-Brathurst, but yet the final scores were all like 3-1, 3-2 etc. I don't know what there would be to achieve if EA would implement roster sharing in the game, since we just can't make a difference in the game no matter how much we tweak the rosters. And if somebody is saying that it does make a difference, you are deceiving yourself.

    All of my slider sets use Attribute Effects 10/10. When you sim these games, are you doing that? I've never been one to watch a CPU v CPU game, but I do know that attribute effect sliders plays a huge role in player separation when actually playing the game, might help your sims out. Just a suggestion!
    Doesn't that attribute effect slider work like when set to 10, more of the attributes that are like 90 play like 99? So it doesn't really make the player attributes stand out more, but stack them more to min and max?
    tcnumba10
    Do new roster updates make players more distinctive? The way they skate, shoot etc?

    Unfortunately no, they all play and move alike. You really can't tell if it is Milan Lucic or Connor McDavid with the puck.
    mikey87
    Unfortunately no, they all play and move alike. You really can't tell if it is Milan Lucic or Connor McDavid with the puck.

    Has it always been like this or do you think EA will eventually update the players?
    tcnumba10
    Has it always been like this or do you think EA will eventually update the players?

    I believe that there's no such mechanism in the game. There are some shooting and skating styles to choose for the players, but that's just a lipstick on a pig. The animations are bit different, but the movement is still the same for all of the players.
    Back to the "does the player attributes matter" topic...
    I upped the puck control sliders a bit as I thought that players like McDavid keep losing the puck too much, while more sloppier play would be much more realistic. What happened was that after 2 periods of cpu vs cpu game between Quebec Remparts and Edmonton Oilers, edmonton was up by 3 (1-4). However, while I expected that this setting would make it easier for fe. McDavid to carry the puck and create plays... No. On the scoreboard we have now Kassian (2), Khaira, Archibald and of the better players, only Draisaitl has 1 assist.
    And about the gameplay, unfortunately you can't tell which one of the teams is playing in QMJHL junior league and which one in the best league in the world. Now I don't remember if I had the 1.01 tuner selected on my test yesterday, but now it seemed like the neutral zone pressure was almost non-existent.
    This is all very disappointing, since I see some really good elements in the gameplay, but then everything falls apart because of this player attributes thing. I totally understand why EA needs to make sure that a casual player can do pretty much all there is to do with any of the players in the game, but what I don't get is why they can't make the ratings really matter when setting the game to full sim?
    mikey87
    Back to the "does the player attributes matter" topic...
    I upped the puck control sliders a bit as I thought that players like McDavid keep losing the puck too much, while more sloppier play would be much more realistic. What happened was that after 2 periods of cpu vs cpu game between Quebec Remparts and Edmonton Oilers, edmonton was up by 3 (1-4). However, while I expected that this setting would make it easier for fe. McDavid to carry the puck and create plays... No. On the scoreboard we have now Kassian (2), Khaira, Archibald and of the better players, only Draisaitl has 1 assist.
    And about the gameplay, unfortunately you can't tell which one of the teams is playing in QMJHL junior league and which one in the best league in the world. Now I don't remember if I had the 1.01 tuner selected on my test yesterday, but now it seemed like the neutral zone pressure was almost non-existent.
    This is all very disappointing, since I see some really good elements in the gameplay, but then everything falls apart because of this player attributes thing. I totally understand why EA needs to make sure that a casual player can do pretty much all there is to do with any of the players in the game, but what I don't get is why they can't make the ratings really matter when setting the game to full sim?

    This is one of the sadder posts I’ve read in awhile. Was really looking forward to buying this game but now that there’s no neutral zone play AGAIN and the player differentiators not being there, I’ll probably skip it for like the 6th year in a row
    TopSide83
    This is one of the sadder posts I’ve read in awhile. Was really looking forward to buying this game but now that there’s no neutral zone play AGAIN and the player differentiators not being there, I’ll probably skip it for like the 6th year in a row

    I'm quite surprised that I'm the first one to bring this issue up. I don't know if other players want to see and believe that they are seeing some differences or other things in the game that aren't really there.
    I'm more of a simulation/database/statistics junkie but hockey is my favorite sports. I've been trying, and would be willing to spend countless hours, to create player separation and somehow realistic statistics for an NHL game. I've been running NHL 2004 on PC using my own database and front-end, but the same problem seems to be in all of these EA games, no matter how much you tweak the attributes, it just doesn't show in the gameplay.
    I just don't get it how people on this forum are wishing for a roster share and such things, while there really is nothing to achieve with it. All the players will play alike, no matter how much one would edit the rosters and tweak the sliders. EA really needs to fix the gameplay itself. And editing rosters would only work for a single season play anyway as on the Franchise mode new rookies would be these "allattributesbetween80and90" types again.
    One (or two) attribute(s) that we would need to make some difference is shoot/pass and/or pass/carry tendency like we had in the older games. Now I'm not saying that it did anything on these older versions, but that would be a mandatory attribute anyway.
    Your entitled to your opinion and I would agree player separation needs a ton of work, but Tarasenko has all but two of my goals in the 4 games I've played so far. What that tells me is that ratings do matter and his shot tends to find the holes more so than say, Steen.
    I can tell when my 4th liners are out there as well as when my top D is on the ice. Does it need improvement, definitely but I can tell speed, puck handling and other differences between my players.
    Playing BAP in the WHL is a HUGE difference too.
    Ratings scale needs a revamp and I would love to see something like Madden with player traits, I think that would really make players like McDavid, Ovechkin, O'Reilly, etc.. stand out much more than they do now.
    With the BAP additions, franchise stuff like trade deadline and better CPU teammate AI and other stuff, at this moment, NHL 21 is the best of the series on current gen. Just my opinion though but at least I'll get my $$$ worth this year unlike the past couple of years.
    MizzouRah
    Your entitled to your opinion and I would agree player separation needs a ton of work, but Tarasenko has all but two of my goals in the 4 games I've played so far. What that tells me is that ratings do matter and his shot tends to find the holes more so than say, Steen.
    I can tell when my 4th liners are out there as well as when my top D is on the ice. Does it need improvement, definitely but I can tell speed, puck handling and other differences between my players.
    Playing BAP in the WHL is a HUGE difference too.
    Ratings scale needs a revamp and I would love to see something like Madden with player traits, I think that would really make players like McDavid, Ovechkin, O'Reilly, etc.. stand out much more than they do now.
    With the BAP additions, franchise stuff like trade deadline and better CPU teammate AI and other stuff, at this moment, NHL 21 is the best of the series on current gen. Just my opinion though but at least I'll get my $$$ worth this year unlike the past couple of years.

    Does Tarasenko get more icetime and scoring opportunities than your bottom 6 guys? I wrote about my observations, not my opinion. On cpu vs cpu games you really can't see any difference between the players. How would you explain that a game between an NHL team and a WHL team ends up as a tie? That shouldn't be about gameplay settings, NHL team should win EVERY game with a 10 goal margin. So like I wrote, player attribues doesn't have a meaningful effect on the gameplay. Sadly, that's not an opinion.
    mikey87
    Back to the "does the player attributes matter" topic...
    I upped the puck control sliders a bit as I thought that players like McDavid keep losing the puck too much, while more sloppier play would be much more realistic. What happened was that after 2 periods of cpu vs cpu game between Quebec Remparts and Edmonton Oilers, edmonton was up by 3 (1-4). However, while I expected that this setting would make it easier for fe. McDavid to carry the puck and create plays... No. On the scoreboard we have now Kassian (2), Khaira, Archibald and of the better players, only Draisaitl has 1 assist.
    And about the gameplay, unfortunately you can't tell which one of the teams is playing in QMJHL junior league and which one in the best league in the world. Now I don't remember if I had the 1.01 tuner selected on my test yesterday, but now it seemed like the neutral zone pressure was almost non-existent.
    This is all very disappointing, since I see some really good elements in the gameplay, but then everything falls apart because of this player attributes thing. I totally understand why EA needs to make sure that a casual player can do pretty much all there is to do with any of the players in the game, but what I don't get is why they can't make the ratings really matter when setting the game to full sim?

    My sliders were perfect pre-patch, post-patch neutral zone pressure is non-existent. What the heck did they do? Typical EA.
    mikey87
    Does Tarasenko get more icetime and scoring opportunities than your bottom 6 guys? I wrote about my observations, not my opinion. On cpu vs cpu games you really can't see any difference between the players. How would you explain that a game between an NHL team and a WHL team ends up as a tie? That shouldn't be about gameplay settings, NHL team should win EVERY game with a 10 goal margin. So like I wrote, player attribues doesn't have a meaningful effect on the gameplay. Sadly, that's not an opinion.

    Yes he does but I can't snipe a goal with Steen or Barbashev like I can with Tarasenko. All my stats are in line with what they generally should be. It's a game after all, so I don't mind fluctuations.
    I was just replying mainly to this from you:
    I don't know if other players want to see and believe that they are seeing some differences or other things in the game that aren't really there.

    That's you telling me I'm seeing things that are a mirage?
    I haven't played an NHL team vs WHL team but when I play on my WHL team the players are terrible, losing pucks all the time, bad decisions, shots missing the goal by a wide margin, I could go on.
    No big deal though, we all want certain things from a video game and what I'm seeing is much better than 19 or 20 was for me. (I probably look past certain things too as like you, hockey is my favorite sport next to college football, plus in my old age I just want to have fun and NHL 21 has been fun so far in my experience, even with warts)
    MizzouRah

    No big deal though, we all want certain things from a video game and what I'm seeing is much better than 19 or 20 was for me. (I probably look past certain things too as like you, hockey is my favorite sport next to college football, plus in my old age I just want to have fun and NHL 21 has been fun so far in my experience, even with warts)

    Yes, 21 seems to be MUCH better than 20 or 19. I'm mostly amazed about the fact that EA has included kind of a arcade and simulation (full sim) "modes" to the game, so why not make the attributes really matter on full sim mode? There might be some 3rd party calls in play regarding this matter...
    And to clarify things, it's not my loss if someone is enjoying the game, quite the contrary. I just find it ridiculous, that there's no real difference in cpu vs cpu gameplay between two clubs that should be on a totally different level.
    Is the neutral zone pressure really gone post patch?
    I was gonna get this game only because of that added gameplay feature. If its out, then so am I.
    Is it possible to play on a previous tuner?
    onlybygrace
    Is the neutral zone pressure really gone post patch?

    Can't say for sure. I tested just one game today and there it was gone. It really caught my eye as in earlier games the pressure was intensive. Now the attackers just skated to off zone while dmen was backing up.
    Yes, you can select the tuner set to use. Or at least there was something like latest and then another choice.
    MDgolf
    What patch?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Im going based off what Im reading from those who have purchased the game.
    What do you mean ‘what patch?’ (?)
    There was clearly a patch released recently. There is even a thread here on this forum about it. Although, NZP changes arent listed in the changes.
    Many players are swearing the NZP is utterly gone—which is completely unacceptable.
    MDgolf
    I played yesterday I found that it was impossible to gain the zone in pro
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    You haven’t downloaded or accepted any patches? Is your console always online?
    This is confusing. I dont know what to think, but Im not throwing 60 bucks at this game till I get some definitive clarity.
    MDgolf
    There was a patch two days ago that I downloaded
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    And does the game play differently in the neutral zone?
    Obviously you know I was going to ask you that. Couldnt you have just given me your thoughts without me having to question you?
    mikey87
    Can't say for sure. I tested just one game today and there it was gone. It really caught my eye as in earlier games the pressure was intensive. Now the attackers just skated to off zone while dmen was backing up.
    Yes, you can select the tuner set to use. Or at least there was something like latest and then another choice.

    I played like 4-5 games last night wondering why my sliders seemed so boring compared to my games early in the week. I was tinkering with this and that but then it dawned on me, the neutral zone pressure wasn't even close to the pre-patch version of the game. Patched right back to NHL 20 neutral zone in my experience.
    onlybygrace
    And does the game play differently in the neutral zone?
    Obviously you know I was going to ask you that. Couldnt you have just given me your thoughts without me having to question you?

    The neutral zone was clogged that’s why I asked the group how you dump the puck in...I still don’t know
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    MDgolf
    The neutral zone was clogged that’s why I asked the group how you dump the puck in...I still don’t know
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    To dump the puck in simply tap the RB (Xbox) R1 (PS4) while aiming in the direction you want the puck to go. Just don't hold the button down too long before releasing or you'll probably send the puck flying over the boards/glass and usually for a penalty if it's in your zone.
    MDgolf
    The neutral zone was clogged that’s why I asked the group how you dump the puck in...I still don’t know
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I replied to you like 4 pages back.
    Calgary uni's are wrong, you can still use them, Ottawa's are wrong, not in game, hopefully they concentrate on "the little things" (like the MLB the show series)while they wait for play to begin, every year i say im gonna sit out a year but always end up purchasing it hoping something cool has happened, more of the same...
    From my perspective, I play offline only. I use fantasy draft and mostly buy the next EA season mainly for the player changes or updates to AI, Game play and so on.
    However, it usually takes me till about June to figure out a proper tune level so that I feel the games are what I want.
    I do not sim any games and play one team through the season. Given that whatever scehdule they put in is not the NHL schedule this year. I am on the fence if I want to buy it this year. I am in a good place with the my EA2019 tune.
    Is there much tuning needed to get the games in a decent level. I don't want to spend the next 5 months of tweeking the sliders to get it in a good place.
    I see people are talking about no neutral zone pressure. I don't see that at all. I don't feel any changes. I'm using AlTitos sliders which are version 1.01.
    I was just coming back to say how much I'm enjoying this game. Like I said in my initial impressions, there are still flaws but nothing game breaking for me. I've had low scoring and high scoring games. I've beaten good teams (Tampa I beat 3-2 and Vegas 5-4) and gotten the crap kicked out of me (lost to the Hurricanes 6-1). I lost Kaprizov in the 2nd period of game 1 which he had already scored. Right now I'm 2-4-1 in my Wild franchise and I'm loving it. I'm honestly hoping I keep sucking to trade my myriad of 1 year contract guys closer to the deadline for picks and prospects. I'm really excited to rebuild.
    bwiggy33
    I see people are talking about no neutral zone pressure. I don't see that at all. I don't feel any changes. I'm using AlTitos sliders which are version 1.01.
    I was just coming back to say how much I'm enjoying this game. Like I said in my initial impressions, there are still flaws but nothing game breaking for me. I've had low scoring and high scoring games. I've beaten good teams (Tampa I beat 3-2 and Vegas 5-4) and gotten the crap kicked out of me (lost to the Hurricanes 6-1). I lost Kaprizov in the 2nd period of game 1 which he had already scored. Right now I'm 2-4-1 in my Wild franchise and I'm loving it. I'm honestly hoping I keep sucking to trade my myriad of 1 year contract guys closer to the deadline for picks and prospects. I'm really excited to rebuild.

    That's strange. I had to burn another half an hour of my trial time to recheck this. In cpu vs cpu game there was literally no nz pressure at all, players were able to skate down the ice without being checked or even gently approached by opposition. I had default full sim settings. And why I'm so disappointed to see this is because the first game I watched was great. The gameplay was great I mean, let's not forget the fact that a WHL team competed very evenly with an NHL team, which should never happen.
    This is not my video, but a first one that came up on youtube when searching for NHL 21 cpu vs cpu videos. Now all of the board members that keep saying that there is still nz pressure, please tell me where you can see it? I keep repeating myself, but something happened after the first game I watched and the nz pressure is gone. Period.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1H5bPwj0WQ
    mikey87
    This is not my video, but a first one that came up on youtube when searching for NHL 21 cpu vs cpu videos. Now all of the board members that keep saying that there is still nz pressure, please tell me where you can see it? I keep repeating myself, but something happened after the first game I watched and the nz pressure is gone. Period.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1H5bPwj0WQ

    Last night I watched a YouTube live stream from some guy name average gamer and saw plenty of NZ pressure in his game. That was the only reason I went on YouTube was to so heck out the gameplay so I was pleasantly surprised
    If he video is cpu vs cpu, then the NZ pressure is somewhat fake.
    If you notice when the player comes up the ice from his zone, he is along the boards. The player then takes almost a parallel turn from just before the centre red line to the centre of the face off dot.
    This gives the other teams players time to come back and reset themselves on there blue line to apply pressure.
    If the player just continued down along the boards, (like most of us would) he had a free skate deep into the opposing zone.
    comickazie
    If he video is cpu vs cpu, then the NZ pressure is somewhat fake.
    If you notice when the player comes up the ice from his zone, he is along the boards. The player then takes almost a parallel turn from just before the centre red line to the centre of the face off dot.
    This gives the other teams players time to come back and reset themselves on there blue line to apply pressure.
    If the player just continued down along the boards, (like most of us would) he had a free skate deep into the opposing zone.

    That’s exactly what I notice now, you can skate down the sides and barely be touched.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    marino13
    Where do you see that option. Once you change sliders that changes
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I'm at work, but it's one of the very first settings when you start the game it asks you those few questions and the last one I believe is arcade, etc.. the last one is simulation.
    You can also change it in settings before a game. It might go to custom once you mess with the actual sliders.
    From further testing, it appears that this is a symptom of the dreaded "speed glitch" or "bezerk mode" whatever you want to call it that EA claims doesn't exist when using sliders offline.
    If I reboot the game from a hard restart (Xbox) which usually alleviates the "speed glitch" then the NZ pressure returns. I played some great games post patch, but also experienced some awful ones that I could tell a minute in and just shut it off.
    If you use default sliders, you probably won't notice this nearly as much as other who drastically change sliders as our gameplay is so fundamentally different from the default sliders.
    TL;DR: NZ pressure isn't broke when the game is playing properly.

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