NHL 22 Review – NHL 22 Review – Superstar Letdown

NHL 22 Review – NHL 22 Review – Superstar Letdown

Each team relies on its star players to make a difference. They are the ones fans look to when the pressure is high to make the game and take the win. The problem is that star players don’t always deliver on their promise, and if there isn’t enough additional talent around them, a team can quickly crash to the bottom of the standings. NHL 22 makes the grave mistake of investing everything in the league’s elite talent to improve the game in all modes, creating an entire skill system around them to showcase their more dangerous assets on the ice. The problem? These top players don’t have a huge impact on the game, and without any other meaningful additions, fans don’t have much to cheer about.

Inspired by EA’s Madden, EA Vancouver this year introduced Superstar X-Factors, which offer special abilities to the best of the best. For example, Alexander Ovechkin has the “One Tee” ability, which not only gives him exceptional strength and accuracy to make the puck once, but also increases his ability to make one-time less-than-ideal passes. X-Factors are a welcome attempt to shake up the metagame, which hasn’t changed in a while, and I like the thought process behind it: raising players’ awareness as these elite talents step on the ice and make them feel different . However, I’ve never felt the defensive tension or offensive power that X-Factors is supposed to provide. All players – star or fourth line – still feel quite similar on the ice, and that’s a big deal. X-Factors, like star players, should make a difference, but instead they’re just kind of there, and I rarely felt like they contributed to an impressive game destined for the highlight role. Where’s the fun in that?

Unfortunately, EA Vancouver went all in with X-Factors and added them to most of the major modes as the big, new change and not much else to get into. Again, they’re not a big change to the experience, so that made me feel like I was playing more of the same. Sure, in franchise mode you’ll want to target players with X-Factors in the draft, but the mode still has the boring trade deadline mini-game, the mind-boggling player demands, and no way to really give the coach any direction for the team. to communicate.

Be A Pro, where you create your own rookie and get called up to an NHL team, got a fresh coat of paint last year and it felt like a promising start. Imagine my disappointment when the bland dialogue, half-baked salary benefits and lackluster events returned. You can earn X-Factor skills by playing games and completing certain milestones, but even after unlocking a few I didn’t feel they made a huge difference to my game. I was also frustrated to see that the conversation system still lets you choose between being a “star” or “team” player, and your reactions to being a star are something any real coach would tell a player. In addition, the mode still lacks meaningful events to keep the NHL season exciting for the long haul.

The only place I found X-Factors improving the game was in World of CHEL’s EASHL, as they allowed me to build a player more suited to my style. I play power forward and I have the “Unstoppable Force” X-Factor, which makes it hard to knock me off the puck, even when I’m off balance. I also like that when you pick a position you can redistribute some of your stat points. I hate how slow the power is forward, so I was happy to sacrifice some of my slapshot accuracy for some extra speed. EA has balanced this out, so some valuable skills, like speed, cost more points than others, but I like that it encourages you to experiment with a build that works best for you. The only possible negative is that it feels much easier to score in EASHL this year. Most of the games I played scored high and my stats felt plumped up compared to previous years. I don’t mind feeling the excitement to score more, but I saw a lot of questionable goals, such as weak wrists, come in.

The overall gameplay feels a little different from last year, with a more realistic, slower pace. Body controls seem well balanced; there were only a few times when I felt like I was being knocked off the puck too easily. However, the poke check remains overwhelming, especially since it’s easy to spam without getting fined, even when playing online. Hockey players poke for sure, but it’s not used anywhere near this degree in the real NHL. In addition, the puck can be difficult to follow, especially in the corners, which was a problem in the past but is somehow worse this year.

I also experienced some technical shortcomings, such as the disappearance of my player indicator, NHL star players appearing on my minor league roster, and glitchy animations. PS5 users are treated to haptic feedback, as well as goals, coaching commands and puck sounds that pass through the controller. It’s a nice little feature at first, but it quickly wears out its welcome. Worse, it can’t be turned off unless you go outside of the game and go into the PS5 settings, which is a huge overview.

Sports teams build around their core players, rarely making sweeping changes until the inevitable rebuilding is due. Sports games are no different; every year presents an opportunity to improve on a mode or feature, but at some point more meaningful changes to the basics need to happen before things get old. The Superstar X-Factors were an attempt at that, but in the end EA Vancouver failed to let them influence the game in exciting and valuable ways. The lack of a critical look at different modes does not help either. Honestly, playing NHL 22 is like watching a predictable team. On the one hand, it’s nice to know what to expect. On the other hand, seeing the same plays over and over is no fun.

Burak Bilginer
Burak Bilginer bir bilgisayar dahisidir. Seyahat etmeyi sever ve birçok farklı ülkeye gitti. Burak, seyahat etmediği veya programlama yapmadığı zamanlarda Oyun ve Teknoloji Ürünlerinin yeni parçalarını incelemeyi sever. Oyunla ilgili herhangi bir sorunuz varsa, Burak cevaplamaktan mutluluk duyacaktır!