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Your First Look at NHL 21 Arrives on August 24

nhl 21 trailer

NHL 21

Your First Look at NHL 21 Arrives on August 24

As promised last month, EA is giving us our first look at NHL 21 on August 24. As most of you are aware, NHL 21 is launching on October 16 (3 days earlier by pre-ordering the Deluxe or Ultimate Edition) instead of the usual September release, due to “extraordinary circumstances”, mainly transitioning from the workplace to home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for next-gen consoles, there won’t be a true PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X version, only forward compatibility.

As many of you recall, NHL 14 had a similar situation, as it skipped out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, only to miss a megaton of features, when NHL 15 finally arrived on the new consoles the following year.

How many features were missing on NHL 15’s Xbox One, PlayStation 4 debut you ask? Here’s a list.

Modes/Features

  • No GM Connected
  • No Online Team Play (when this is patched into the game later this year, it will use real NHL players and teams)
  • No EA Sports Hockey League
  • No EA Sports Arena
  • No Online Shootouts
  • No Live the Life
  • No Be A Legend
  • No Winter Classic
  • No tournaments or Battle for the Cup
  • No season mode (you can only play seasons in Be A GM, which is limited to NHL teams)
  • No NHL 94 Anniversary mode
  • No custom music support
  • No create-a-play designer
  • Cannot customize each team’s AI
  • No create-a-team
  • No way to edit individual players
  • Practice mode is now limited to one skater vs. an AI goalie

Gameplay

  • No custom camera option
  • No Action Tracker replay highlights
  • No Top 3 Stars at the end of games.

Be A GM

  • Yearly draft is fully automated by the CPU
  • Cannot play the AHL games for your chosen franchise
  • Players sent down to the minors do not accumulate any season stats
  • No fantasy draft option
  • No preseason games

Be A Pro

  • No option to sim ahead to the next shift
  • You only play in the NHL; you cannot play for minor league teams
  • The Memorial Cup tryout period is gone. You now begin by picking an NHL team, or by letting a random CPU team draft you.
  • No All-Star game

Ultimate Team

  • Cannot play against your friends
  • No tournaments
  • No mobile app

Some of the above items were patched in later in the season, but it left a very sour taste in the mouth of many fans. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen with NHL 22.

For those of you looking for pre-order bonuses, here’s what’s included in each NHL 21 edition.

NHL 21 Standard Edition ($59.99)

  • Up to 2 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs (1 per month for 2 months)
  • 1 Unlocked Hockey Bag

NHL 21 Deluxe Edition ($79.99)

  • Up to 5 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs (1 per month for 5 months)
  • 1 HUT Synergy Veteran Choice Pack (Choice 1 of 10; +1 OVR per month until August 2021)
  • HUT Cover Athlete Choice Pack (Choice 1 of 6)
  • 3 Days Early Access
  • 2 Unlocked Hockey Bags

NHL 21 Ultimate Edition ($99.99)

  • Up to 10 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs (2 per month for 5 months)
  • 1 HUT Synergy Veteran Choice Pack (Choice 1 of 10; +1 OVR per month until August 2021)
  • HUT Cover Athlete Choice Pack (Choice 1 of 6)
  • 3 Days Early Access
  • 2 Unlocked Hockey Bags
31 Comments

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Discussion
  1. Crossing my fingers that I'm 100% wrong, but when you're less than 2 months out from release, and there hasn't been a single detail passed along, I end up assuming that there's a good chance that it's a carbon copy of 20.
    Honestly, my expectations over the years have been beat down so much, that I'd be perfectly content if the only new additions are 31 (32) team control, and roster sharing. But...we've been asking for that for ages, so it seems unlikely.
    Let's be optimistic.
    I want EA to shock us in a good way. Lobbies come back, player progression (without pay to win) - with little love given to HUT - other than making sure those transactions go through quicker lmao
    kinsmen7
    Crossing my fingers that I'm 100% wrong, but when you're less than 2 months out from release, and there hasn't been a single detail passed along, I end up assuming that there's a good chance that it's a carbon copy of 20.
    Honestly, my expectations over the years have been beat down so much, that I'd be perfectly content if the only new additions are 31 (32) team control, and roster sharing. But...we've been asking for that for ages, so it seems unlikely.

    I'm in the same boat. 32-team franchise control could maybe convince me to buy, but without it, I don't think there's anyway I buy. I've sunk too much time into NHL 20 getting it to play a good game of hockey along with building my 40-team league.
    kinsmen7
    Crossing my fingers that I'm 100% wrong, but when you're less than 2 months out from release, and there hasn't been a single detail passed along, I end up assuming that there's a good chance that it's a carbon copy of 20.
    Honestly, my expectations over the years have been beat down so much, that I'd be perfectly content if the only new additions are 31 (32) team control, and roster sharing. But...we've been asking for that for ages, so it seems unlikely.

    I'm alright with this if it means a **** ton of effort is being put into 22 on next gen.
    kinsmen7
    Crossing my fingers that I'm 100% wrong, but when you're less than 2 months out from release, and there hasn't been a single detail passed along, I end up assuming that there's a good chance that it's a carbon copy of 20.
    Honestly, my expectations over the years have been beat down so much, that I'd be perfectly content if the only new additions are 31 (32) team control, and roster sharing. But...we've been asking for that for ages, so it seems unlikely.

    Hey. It's named NHL 21, it will be 21 team control. Not 31.
    Online franchise or no buy again unless they stun me with a great offline franchise mode with complete league control similar to NBA 2K's My League.
    It might be absolute nonsense, but this morning a thought came to my head that it might be that "right" year for EA to spend the resources on some way how to incorporate a woman's into this game.
    Some kind of woman league, maybe?
    DJ NEO
    It might be absolute nonsense, but this morning a thought came to my head that it might be that "right" year for EA to spend the resources on some way how to incorporate a woman's into this game.
    Some kind of woman league, maybe?

    are you trying to give them more ideas how they can waste their time instead of fixing what we all want?
    babaracus88
    are you trying to give them more ideas how they can waste their time instead of fixing what we all want?

    Umm, that would be my 1st contact with the species, since I started modding the hockey games Lol
    capnlarge
    I'm alright with this if it means a **** ton of effort is being put into 22 on next gen.

    I nearly chocked on my drink I was laughing so hard.
    Still annoyed they have not released this game on PC like FIFA and Madden now are doing every year.  Especially with the EA Play Pro thing I wouldn't have to buy the game if I'm subscribed :)  NHL20 I think I either bought on some mega 70% off sale or waited until EA Access had it don't remember.  Normally I like to buy the game to support future releases and improvements but the last 5-6 years its the same damn game every year it seems.  If they allowed you to port your Be a Pro over from pervious version every year that would at least make it worth it to me but otherwise bleh.
    babaracus88
    are you trying to give them more ideas how they can waste their time instead of fixing what we all want?

    So you guys probably wanted the lacrosse goal, because that's what they added for NHL 21
    DJ NEO
    So you guys probably wanted the lacrosse goal, because that's what they added for NHL 21

    I would be content with roster sharing and more options for customization such as the option for no helmets, ability to choose no play by play name if its not in the game, access to ALL of the vintage goalie masks (bernie parent has the wrong mask in NHL20 even though its in the game) and better menus for editing (eg. i hate when you want to change things on a created player and you have to scroll through the whole list and then when you save the player you edited you start at the top of the list again, huge pain in the butt if you have alot of created players)
    What frosted my cookies, was that after skipping the PS4 launch, ostensibly to get 15 right, EA was doing its darndest to gaslight the fan base a few years later, by claiming they had never offered any such excuse for missing the new hardware generation.
    Fool me twice, etc.
    Memo to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman:  if the next-generation versions of NHL 22 are as badly underwhelming as NHL 15, you need to figure out a way to get another development studio for NHL interactives. 
    When EA focussed on perfecting the player model for Snoop Dogg, while too many real NHL players were still stuck with generic, uncanny valley models, that suggested to me that EA is not really serious about actual NHL hockey.  If even the ART DEPARTMENT is focusing on the wrong things, what's that say about the rest of the package?
    LoadStar81
    What frosted my cookies, was that after skipping the PS4 launch, ostensibly to get 15 right, EA was doing its darndest to gaslight the fan base a few years later, by claiming they had never offered any such excuse for missing the new hardware generation.
    Fool me twice, etc.
    Memo to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman:* if the next-generation versions of NHL 22 are as badly underwhelming as NHL 15, you need to figure out a way to get another development studio for NHL interactives.*
    When EA focussed on perfecting the player model for Snoop Dogg, while too many real NHL players were still stuck with generic, uncanny valley models, that suggested to me that EA is not really serious about actual NHL hockey.* If even the ART DEPARTMENT is focusing on the wrong things, what's that say about the rest of the package?

    Absolutely agree with your point of view. There is no way to stay with generic ugly Player faces. All active Players need to have their real likenesses in the game. To add every year thirty likenesses to the game is by far not enough.
    I wish someone could somehow morph me into NHL 21. Then I could magically play like Sidney Crosby on the fourth line, even at the age of 48. I mean, my starting rating would have to be around a 78, right?...
    It's disheartening to read some people emphasize EA NHL needing to put more cutscenes, hoodies and colorful sticks. I've been an EA NHL fan for a long while, I mean a long while - I loved the PS3 era the most (for both offline/online).
    EA NHL has been for a while, a hockey game made for "CHEL" fans. It's not a hockey game made for hockey fans.
    Look at a real hockey game, and look at an EA NHL hockey game. Tell me if it actually plays like real hockey. This game just needs an overhaul and I hope NHL 22 is that (let's face it, NHL 21 is lipstick on a pig). There needs to be more ways to score, variety - not the same old curl shot across the ice, short side snipe, left/right/left deke, one handed Forsberg dekes, and protect puck around the net until a one timer available through a d-man's stick.
    The AI is the other big thing. Play on Superstar and just look at the passing of the CPU. Ping pong passing, there's no way a 4th liner should be able to do a no-look, between the legs, bullet pass to the point to a d-man who slaps it top corner while skating backwards. The ping pong passing makes you think no matter how good you defend, you're giving up a goal here so just give up. 9 consecutive bullet passes later it's in your net.
    Also, have some balls and rate players in the 40's, 50's and 60's. How is there any player differentiation when all the teams have 80's.
    So many things like adding all/complete jerseys (stop making retro ones fat), presentation (Snoop Dogg...enough said), franchise mode (feels so hollow - look at NBA 2K's association mode, that's what it should be like), player faces/models.
    My little rant as I'm skipping this year's iteration. But let the bells and whistles distract the fan base for another year.
    At this point, I would be happy if they just put out an updated roster, uniforms, and graphics. And maybe a few patches along the way. Kind of like what Big Ant Studios does with AFL Evolution 2. For years, there have been problems that have never been addressed and that I have become accustomed to, so just a good coat of paint is all I really need anymore.
    That being said, I do wish there was a way to sort free agents. I don't understand why every other sports game has some way to sort/filter the free agents list, but in the NHL series, there is no way of doing that.
    Jatt96
    It's disheartening to read some people emphasize EA NHL needing to put more cutscenes, hoodies and colorful sticks. I've been an EA NHL fan for a long while, I mean a long while - I loved the PS3 era the most (for both offline/online).
    EA NHL has been for a while, a hockey game made for "CHEL" fans. It's not a hockey game made for hockey fans.
    Look at a real hockey game, and look at an EA NHL hockey game. Tell me if it actually plays like real hockey. This game just needs an overhaul and I hope NHL 22 is that (let's face it, NHL 21 is lipstick on a pig). There needs to be more ways to score, variety - not the same old curl shot across the ice, short side snipe, left/right/left deke, one handed Forsberg dekes, and protect puck around the net until a one timer available through a d-man's stick.
    The AI is the other big thing. Play on Superstar and just look at the passing of the CPU. Ping pong passing, there's no way a 4th liner should be able to do a no-look, between the legs, bullet pass to the point to a d-man who slaps it top corner while skating backwards. The ping pong passing makes you think no matter how good you defend, you're giving up a goal here so just give up. 9 consecutive bullet passes later it's in your net.
    Also, have some balls and rate players in the 40's, 50's and 60's. How is there any player differentiation when all the teams have 80's.
    So many things like adding all/complete jerseys (stop making retro ones fat), presentation (Snoop Dogg...enough said), franchise mode (feels so hollow - look at NBA 2K's association mode, that's what it should be like), player faces/models.
    My little rant as I'm skipping this year's iteration. But let the bells and whistles distract the fan base for another year.

    you said it brother. This game is completely missing the grittiness of a real hockey game. I feel so proud when I get a garbage goal, rebound or deflection in this game. I think the issue is that the dump and chase is too hard to execute compared to just taking the zone and holding the puck away until a cross crease opportunity comes up.
    In reality, deflections, rebounds, garbage goals probably equate to ~50-60% of real life goals. In NHL 21, I'd say it equals out to maybe 15% tops. ~70% of the goals are definitely cross crease variety, which just doesn't translate to reality. A true nicely executed cross crease goal should feel so rewarding, like hitting a homerun in baseball. Only seeing maybe 2 or 3 tops in a game. Instead it just feels "bleh".
    Chad0034
    you said it brother. This game is completely missing the grittiness of a real hockey game. I feel so proud when I get a garbage goal, rebound or deflection in this game. I think the issue is that the dump and chase is too hard to execute compared to just taking the zone and holding the puck away until a cross crease opportunity comes up.
    In reality, deflections, rebounds, garbage goals probably equate to ~50-60% of real life goals. In NHL 21, I'd say it equals out to maybe 15% tops. ~70% of the goals are definitely cross crease variety, which just doesn't translate to reality. A true nicely executed cross crease goal should feel so rewarding, like hitting a homerun in baseball. Only seeing maybe 2 or 3 tops in a game. Instead it just feels "bleh".

    Tons of realistic goals not sure we are playing the same game
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    MDgolf
    Tons of realistic goals not sure we are playing the same game
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I only play online versus basically these days. I can't stand the presentation in this game anymore(feels like an arcade'y' presentation to me), so franchise mode loses me.
    Online versus I think about 75% of the goals if not more, are of the cross crease variety. RIGHT in front of the goalie as well. No look passes thru defenders. Check this video out. These aren't standard hockey goals. https://twitter.com/TheNasher61/status/1314951403018899458?s=20
    Hockey is a gritty game. Lots of board play, fighting for the puck, dump and chase, shots at the point, etc. A lot of those features feel gone or under utilized because most people just hold the puck, wait for the cross crease opportunity, then let it rip. Including myself because its easy to score this way.
    MDgolf
    Tons of realistic goals not sure we are playing the same game
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    Totally realistic...
    And this is a goal that's scored a bajillion times per game. On top of the too easy one timer goal and the manual forehand, backhand, forehand deke. This game is far from realistic. You find the glitch or the "exploit" as you EA defenders like to say, and you run with it all game long.
    There's no skill anymore. No creativity. Play a 10 year old game like NHL 2K10 and see if you can glitch the game like this. You'll try a thousand times before maybe you get lucky and succeed once. That's the difference between REALISTIC (IE challenging) and whatever pile of garbage EA serves up each year that millions will lap up gladly.
    VeNOM3099

    Totally realistic...
    And this is a goal that's scored a bajillion times per game. On top of the too easy one timer goal and the manual forehand, backhand, forehand deke. This game is far from realistic. You find the glitch or the "exploit" as you EA defenders like to say, and you run with it all game long.
    There's no skill anymore. No creativity. Play a 10 year old game like NHL 2K10 and see if you can glitch the game like this. You'll try a thousand times before maybe you get lucky and succeed once. That's the difference between REALISTIC (IE challenging) and whatever pile of garbage EA serves up each year that millions will lap up gladly.

    Exactly. I just wish EA kept track like other companies do when exploits happen. A quick patch/update can easily fix this type of stuff.
    They just seem to let it ride until next year, at the minimum.
    Its a shame to see though. I LOVE hockey video games, hockey isn't even my favorite sport, but something about the fast pace of the game makes it so fun in a video game, when the gameplay is realistic.
    Haven't had that experience since maybe NHL 12-14 or so. I don't know what changed, I guess EA has transitioned to making the game for "CHEL" people, who want to see 8-7 finishes every game.
    I mean hell, most of their marketing goes towards these outdoor rinks and 3 vs 3 it seems.

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