Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

EA Sports NHL 13 Hits Stores Next Week

For the gamer inside all of us – the only NHL action that you might get to see this year is the hours of creative game play that gamers will no doubt log on their game consoles this year given the impending lockout.

NHL 13 by EA Sports will provide that relief for many.  I for one am going to hold out on purchasing the newest copy of the wildly popular sports franchise – primarily because I don’t have the time to dedicate to hours of exercising my thumb muscles.  Needless to say, ripping apart opposing goaltenders and the Be A Pro Mode (CHL of course) is deep enough in the 2012 version of the game.

There is a lot to get excited for this September 11th, as EA Sports continues to improve and excel in the world of professional sports.

Added artificial intelligence makes computer controlled players a more formidable foe, making it more difficult to run the score up on unsuspecting processors.

One feature of the modern NHL games that I do enjoy is the enhanced goalie features.  This was one position that I never thought got a fair shake in the gaming industry – I mean, back in the Blades of Steel and Ice Hockey it was up and down, with very little forward and back.  According to the EA Sports NHL site, this years goalie modes now features the most athletic goalies ever seen in a video game. In the first period or with the game on the line, your favorite netminders scramble with more versatility and anticipate like never before.

Last year saw the creation of “female” hockey players that could skate with the boys of winter, this year we see actual female hockey players added, as Olympians Angela Ruggerio and Hayley Wickenheiser join the ranks of hockey legends that will be playable.

The Buffalo Sabres are finally going to get in on the action with the addition of Dominik Hasek as a playable legend.  Not sure if the creators of the game consulted with the Dominators people on this, but it should be another sign of the end times for the almost 50 year old goaltender.  The Dominator is scene in screen shots wearing Sabres blue and gold – which might have something do to with Buffalo Sabres front office influence on the game – he is shown with the number on the front of his sweater, so it could be more about licensing than anything.

I am glad they are continuing to revamp the Be A Pro model – one thing I didn’t like about the current addition, was the ability to land yourself in the draft.  If you played your CHL career well, it was almost a given that you would be selected by the Edmonton Oilers- now you can request a trade!  This would be the one thing that I convince myself is worth bumping up to the next edition for.

This year I dabbled in the online play briefly, netting a record that saw me about ten to fifteen games below five hundred.  The GM connected mode doesn’t really entice me all that much – playing the game with other people offered a challenge that the computer could not – I am not one to take the GM component of a video game up against other arm chair GMs – I see the enticement, just not for me.

So your probably asking yourself – with just a week or so away from the launch of the game, I am not telling you anything new about the game, and with the impending lockout, there are even more of you are almost going to the stores grudgingly to get your copy of the game – why write an article about it now?  Well I just retired the Xbox 360 for the evening after having played two contests online – winning one, and losing one – and had a thought that maybe the creators at EA could develop for the NHL14 edition.

We have the ability now to be a pro – we can take a 17 year old “hockey player” and try to raise him (or her) in the way of ice to see if we can’t make champions or legends out of them.  Depending on the settings, not too hard to reach legend status if inflating stats is how you play.  You can also take control of a team, and be a GM.

Well – here is your challenge EA – how about a mode of play where the future NHL armchair GMs can try there hand at leading the NHLPA or being Gary Bettman – goals could be set, you can hire and fire, you can put teams up for sale, you can expand the league, retract it, change rules, and yes, even lockout seasons when it is time to negotiate a new deal.  If the NHL can do it three years under the same boss in real life, then I should be able to try and break that record in my living room; the same way I go out and play every HD pixel by pixel frame as I try to break some of Wayne Gretzky’s records.  Don’t you think it would be fun orchestrating your very own virtual lockout?  Its happening enough in pro sports now adays, you would think that league commissioners and owners would think us fans like seeing that.

If you have not already reserved your copy of EA Sports NHL 13 – check out our promotion here, and you could win a copy for yourself!


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