What’s New for EA’s NHL ’11

From ‘The Gamer‘, who used this wonderful pic…

That looks dangerous…Val looks like he’s about to get his beautiful blond locks chopped off, the hard way.  But anyway Jon Robinson sat down with NHL ’11 Producer Sean Ramjagsingh (that’s his last name…seriously) and talked about 5 things that will be new/improved for this year’s NHL franchise from EA Sports.

  1. Improved physics – NHL ’11 got a revamped fighting system, utilizing one of the lead physics producers from the boxing hit ‘Fight Night Round 4’.  They’re also developing the act of bodychecking into more of an art form by adding the ability to hit low (like Ulf Samuelsson) or high (like Matt Cooke).
  2. Broken sticks – Oh joy.  Just when you thought it was frustrating enough to watch, now your player will actually be able to snap his composite stick.  If ever we were going to get Mickey Redmond to try video games…you can forget about that now.
  3. Improved face-off control – Players can now do a wide range of actions while taking the face-off including:  tying-up other players and attacking the oppsing player’s stick, slashing the opponent’s stick away and then take the puck, and you can even knock the puck between your opponent’s legs and go get it on the other side. Players will also be able to shoot the puck off the draw.
  4. New dekes“If you played a lot online, you’d see guys lying down on the ice all the time on defense, and that’s something you’d never see in real hockey because some guy would just take a slap shot to your head or step on you. So this year we added a counter where if you hold the left bumper and flick up on the right stick, you can actually jump over the guy. I’ve seen a couple of goals over the last few years where a guy jumped over someone and as he landed shot the puck and made it into the net. Those are the goal of the year, highlight of the year type plays and it’s very cool when you see it in the game.  But none of these dekes are gimmicks. They’re all counters to what people can do defensively. You can drop the puck down to your skates, and that’s a counter to guys who like to poke check. The quick dekes left or right are a great counter to the guys who like to hit. These all just add to the overall gameplay balance on the ice.”–Sean Ramjagsingh
  5. Play from compromised positions – When a player is knocked to the ice, you can still take a swipe at the puck. Moreso, you can also shoot the puck from your back or  stomach, or pass the puck to a teammate and watch the play develop.

For all of you video game enthusiasts…these seem to be pretty exciting improvements/additions to what has always been the mother of all hockey games.  I’m wondering when/if they’re ever going to bring blood back into the game like they did way back in the Sega Genesis days.

“Watch this, I’m gonna make Gretzky’s head bleed for Superfan 99 over here…”

Oh and let’s see a Red Wing on the cover this year…okay?