During this year’s NHL Awards, the titular hockey-hustling organization showcased their latest game in their longstanding series. Current Edmonton Oiler and the 2017 recipient of the Art Ross Trophy (most goals scored in a season) Connor McDavid will grace the cover of the title. Not bad for 20 year old fellow Canadian. NHL 18 is slated to come to Xbox One and PS4 on September 15th and goes for $59.99 and up depending on the version.
There are currently three different makeups of the game which includes the usual standard one. Then there’s the ‘Young Stars Deluxe Edition which each include three days early access to the full game starting September 12th and Connor McDavid content’ and extra packs and items for the Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT). The ‘Young Stars Edition’ is similar but contains less stuff for HUT. These are $119.99 and $99.99 respectively. Also, those who are members of EA Access get 1o hours of gameplay before launch starting on September 7th.
The most exciting part of the reveal however was the gameplay trailer which showed off a number of new features and modes. EA is definitely pushing the 3-on-3 aspect of the title with NHL Threes taking center stage. This time its an arcade version of 6 player showdown with ‘faster gameplay, bigger hits and high-scoring action’. There are a number of ways of enjoying this mode in NHL 18 including local co-op, online team play, and a complete Campaign mode (with objective based rewards). You can also take Threes to the popular Hockey League mode with a larger rink to play on and more options for strategy.
The core gameplay has also been tweaked a bit with the addition of Creative Attack skill moves. Even though the name makes it sound only available to the offense, the defense are able to harness it as well. Most of these abilities come in the form of stick handling with one to two handed dekes, toe-drags, extended poke checking, and controlled stick sweeps. Not only will these dynamic moves create some sweet looking plays (like you see in the trailer) but the AI will also make use of them making their plays even more varied.
Online and local players should be excited since NHL 18 brings a whopping 64 separate modes for match-ups. These include the new Threes option, tournaments, and the classic VS. There are also new modes to play around with including a substantive Hockey Training Camp to get any one use to the ice. There’s the ability to create your own 32nd league team and fill it with a fresh Expansion Draft. Or you can make the unbeatable Hockey Ultimate Team for yet another way to play.
The gameplay trailer is available below for your perusal. Just make sure to follow the puck on the ice!