We’ve recently been hitting the ice with EA‘s latest instalment to the highly anticipated NHL series. And as someone who hasn’t played many of their previous titles, I’m going to be open to the fact that this NHL 21 Xbox One review won’t and can’t judge the game compared to previous titles of the series within the last 4 years. Instead, we have offered up our fresh perspective on this year’s title and this year’s title alone.
Like many other EA titles this year, the first thing you will notice when loading the game up for the first time is that the menu slaps you in the face with a ridiculous amount of game modes available to you., so much so that you won’t know where to start. Although on the one hand choice is good, I personally feel that a lot of these game modes could have just been a bit more organized with how they are assorted into their respective categories. staring at a screen with 18 available game modes is overwhelming.
Upon finding your favourite game modes, the player can add these into a ‘pinned modes’ section of the menu for quick access. Which does add to the convenience.
Upon jumping into your very first game you will notice just how fluid the game feels. Players drift around the ice intelligently and with grace – Until they get rammed headfirst into the plexiglass barriers anyway.
the AI reacts well to the situation, transitioning smoothly from offence to defence, even making the effort to ensure that they don’t wander offside during the offensive movement.
Back when I last picked up an NHL title they had similar controls to the FIFA games. Nowadays it is great to see that they have utilized the right analogue stick as a form of a mechanic to control the hockey stick. Duking one way or another with the flick of the stick or pull back for a powerful slapshot.
EA is great at including a number of different settings in order to accommodate the level of the player. NHL is no exception to this. Whether you are a rookie picking the game up for the first time, or a veteran of the series, there is a difficulty for you.
Another year, another Ultimate Team game mode… And if that is your cup of tea then it will not disappoint. I personally lost each and every one of the games I played, Resulting in the same early retirement outcome as during my time playing NFL 21 Ultimate Team. But as a whole, I found it ran just as smoothly as the FIFA 21 Ultimate team, a game in which my win/loss ratio is significantly better.
NHL 21 is elegant in design and although the different stadiums, animations and skins do get a bit ‘samey’ – but you can’t really knock it due to the nature of the game…
The character models rarely clip into each other and when they do it isn’t really noticeable without going into the instant replay and taking a closer look. The highlight replays really capture the beauty of the play and really emulate the feeling of participating in a real match.
Player Models are uncanny to the athletes they represent. Which although customary for EA’s titles, is still worth the mention.
EA have ventured into storytelling within their sports titles on a number of occasions. and more often than not it has left the player feeling relatively unsatisfied. The most famous of these being the Alex Hunter trilogy in their FIFA series.
NHL 21 is one of the EA titles where they offer a similar experience in the form of their ‘Be A Pro Career’ Mode. Only instead of playing a character in which you have no emotional connection. On NHL 21 you can put yourself into the skates of your character as you progress through your very own NHL story.
You will venture through your career making pivotal decisions on your career – as well as other, not so pivotal decisions. Countless times you will get dragged into a discussion with the manager where you will hear the exact same thing you’ve heard 10 times before.
The soundtrack on NHL 21 is one of the most disappointing things on the game. EA are famous for having a great blend of music within their titles. incorporating a nice blend of high budget hits and popularizing lesser-known artists and songs by showcasing their works on the menu playlist. Unfortunately, the tracklist on NHL 21 is incredibly disappointing compared to the other EA sports titles.
NHL 21 Xbox One Review Conclusion
NHL 21 is a fantastic game for Ice Hockey fans and casuals alike. You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of hockey to enjoy everything that NHL 21 has to offer! Definitely worth a buy!