EA SPORTS announced the release date of NHL 23 last week. With the new week arriving we find ourselves presented with a deep dive gameplay and features trailer. It looks like this year’s iteration is going to be the most inclusive yet, and not just with a woman, Sarah Nurse, dawning the cover for the first time in franchise history, sharing the scenery with Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras. Real pro female athletes will be in the game, plus Cross-Platform play is music to gamers’ ears, with the potential of faster matchmaking wait times for current-gen consoles!
All of this seems pretty exciting and there’s definitely a lot of potential. Even with the info we have, there’s more to learn before the release of NHL 23 on October 14th. The new trailer released today showcases new AI, strategies, gameplay innovations, and updates to last year’s new X-Factors feature. The graphics seem on par, but the physics and animations look great. They’re including last-chance puck movement too.
Let’s start with featuring the new AI upgrades. The goalies are benefitting from a big AI boost with over 300 new animations and will play more like a human-controlled player. Gamers will see more desperation, beauty saves, and lucky stops as well as more flukey goals allowed, with animations previously not possible by CPU players. Skater AI and awareness have been improved to bring players closer to the game.
New Strategies allow more control with different penalty kills and powerplay formations, also there will be a real-time pop-up to notify players there might be a better posture to set up on the fly. EA has implemented the ability to designate roles for certain players while on the powerplay such as shooter, net presence, and distributer. This will allow the AI to know who to get the puck to in each situation. A fun feature is CPU players will point and gesture to open players as well as physically display they need a line change which is a welcome feature.
The X-Factor abilities introduced in NHL 22 will return with added skills to allow your player to perform superstar moves such as Trevor Zegras’ behind-the-net flip pass and Sarah Nurse’s last effort puck movement after being checked off balance or diving for a loose puck. Abilities fitting of the talented forwards in the game today, allowing gamers to make highlight reel plays and create more scoring opportunities.
EA has been listening to their community and has a multitude of in-game changes such as increasing the speed of the puck carrier, updated poke checks, reworked pass assist, and increasing interruptions and disruption of passes. EA NHL has been good about listening to their fans; something that can be a double-edged sword sometimes. Either way, there are a lot of changes coming, hopefully for the better!
Check out the blog covering all of the latest in-depth gameplay details here.
NHL 23 will be available on October 14, 2022, for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Playstation 5, and Playstation 4. Fans that preorder the X-Factor edition will receive three days of early access. Pre-order here to experience all the improvements listed above and more yet to be revealed.