Opening day for the NHL is just around the corner, and hot on its heels is the October 15 release date for NHL 22, which provides the best way to put yourself into the on-ice action. Today, EA Vancouver gave us an extensive look (27 minutes to be exact!) at what to expect from the gameplay in this year’s edition, which adds X-Factors and new abilities such as being able to reverse a hit or brace for it.
The footage, which you can watch above, breaks down the changes to passing/receptions, how the Frostbite Engine enhances the gameplay, and the impact of the new stick physics. Outside of the beta, this is the most substantial look we’ve had at the game in action, so it’s a good watch if you want to see how the new features look on the ice and hear explanations from the developers about their vision for this year.
The NHL 22 blog also further highlights how the gameplay is different this year, which includes strength and body positioning playing a bigger factor in puck possession alongside an all-new deflection system that offers more variety in the ways you can trick the goaltender, from subtle stick flicks to more skillful moves that pivot and pull a puck back against the grain.
The blog also details improvements made since the closed technical test, touching on everything from physics to A.I., to shooting and passing. For instance, A.I. defenders should face up the ice more and not move out of position after center-ice faceoffs. In addition, one-timer shot outcomes have been rebalanced to take into account the quality of the pass and reaction time.
For more on NHL 22, you can check out our interview with producer Clement Kwong that discusses balancing the X-Factors and the status of the overpowered poke check.