NHL 22 is a hockey game for the Xbox One that features real NHL players and Stanley Cup winners. Has this been worth playing?
The newest installment in EA Sports’ long-running NHL series is a solid effort, but some of its gameplay decisions and modes detract from what could have been an even better offering. What’s the verdict on ‘NHL 22’?
The “ign nhl 22 review” is a review of the newest hockey game from EA Sports. The game includes all NHL teams, and many new features.
To be quite honest, NHL 22 is simply another hockey game to me. That’s not inherently a bad thing; there’s simply more to it than the average person realizes. When you stop to think about it, the key focus point for any sports game is how it feels and plays to the customer. The bulk of players are generally passionate followers of the sport, therefore the game’s enjoyment factor and replayability will be determined by how near it takes them to reality. A casual player mainly concentrates on picking their favorite team and competing against their friends, keeping to that formula and not branching out to explore the game’s other aspects. In terms of critical analysis, it just isn’t enough; it has to be examined in the context of gaming expectations as a whole.
In a similar scenario, the ice and on-ice data really stand out.
Hockey enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that NHL 22’s controls are highly responsive, as they have been for quite some time. Why repair something that isn’t broken? What I enjoy most about arcade-style hockey is that you can shoot with regular buttons or with the right stick, giving you total flexibility over how your player handles and fires the puck. Obviously, this feature is for the most devoted, hardcore gamers, but it does give the game a more genuine personality.
NHL 22 stands out for the time being thanks to a really excellent innovation designed to accommodate the PS5 Dualsense controller. While skating, hold down the R2 trigger to increase your player’s speed. Naturally, weariness will affect a player’s performance, and they will need to be changed at some point to keep their team’s momentum.
Previously, finding that out was a bit of a mystery, requiring you to turn away from your player and down to the bottom corner of the screen to check their stamina indicator. When a player becomes slow in NHL 22, much like in FIFA games for the PS5, the R2 trigger stiffens and becomes more resistant to being held down, which is a terrific little touch that supports the player in recognizing when to switch lines while keeping focused on the ices.
The X Factor Irrelevant and flashy.
I did notice one major flaw with the controls, which I hadn’t seen in other hockey games, and although I didn’t check the settings menu to see if it could be adjusted, I can only hope it can. R2 is your speed boost, Square is your wrist shot, and Circle is your slap shot, as previously stated (assuming you chose hybrid controls). You’d think you’d be able to fire while holding down your speed boost, but R2+Circle or R2+Square brings up an offensive or defensive menu, respectively. That implies you’ll have to temporarily release the R2 button to fire the shot. It’s absolutely a momentum killer; I can’t tell you how many times a wide open shot has been thickened up due to habit.
Now, maybe it’s because I’m playing this on the PS5, and I’m expecting more, but NHL 22 looks like a Magic Eye image visually. You know, the one where you gaze at a tangled mass of patterns for a long time until a secret image appears? Only this time, the more I looked at this game, which had begun to seem beautiful, the more graphical flaws I discovered. Star players’ face models seem to be quite detailed, but that cannot be true for everyone else. The players on the supporting squad seem to be rather ordinary, while the crowd itself appears and moves in a somewhat typical manner.
Tampa is always a good choice. Boston has always been against us.
The attention isn’t on their faces, thankfully, since the game is played from a bird’s eye perspective. The ice and statistical menus are the big visual standouts. To be fair, the ice looks incredible, the headlight glares and indietations formed with the ice skates are unquestionably genuine, and the numbers that appear on the ice in between puck drops or when the period finishes scream out at you like a high strung jack in the box demanding (and receiving) attention.
The music in NHL 22 may be rather enjoyable if you’re using headphones. Every movement is accompanied by the sound of the skates crunching on the ice. When you initially start the game, you’ll have to put up with a lot of tedious menu narration, so be aware of what to anticipate throughout your first setup. Also, I’m not trying to create a fight or call anybody out, but the announcers sound like they belong at home painting toy models rather than calling hockey games; they’re unpleasant and a blemish on the game.
Playing more hockey will help you level up your customized character.
The World of CHEL, which is practically a Create a Player fanatic’s wet dream, is one of the coolest things in NHL 22. The Create a Player capability is quite thorough, ranging from facial hair to the angle at which your back arches while you skate. This is maybe a little too detailed for my taste, since these traits aren’t really important in a fast-paced arcade-style hockey game. But, I digress; congratulations to the developers for their meticulous attention to detail.
After you’ve created a character, you’ll need to level them up since you can’t simply set all of their stats to 99 and call it a day. You can’t simply click your fingers and expect pigs in a blanket; you have to bring the bacon home. To level up, you must participate in the NHL ProAM, where you may earn XP, contribute points, and uncover lootbox-style sports bags full of unlockables by participating in 3v3 or 1v1 outdoor hockey scrimmage challenges. Sure, it’s more hockey, but the outdoor locations and warmup clothing you wear give it a new atmosphere. You have more flexibility and opportunity to get yourself open for plays since you are alone in charge of your customized character, but your computer partners occasionally do too much of the work, which takes away some of the pleasure.
The X-Factor is another aspect that gets lost and forgotten amid the action. In essence, this function provides rewards to elite players that give them an edge over other players. For example, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning has a perk that enables him to take a more focused and exact photo when skating quickly. Because arcade hockey is so fast-paced, you’re more concerned with locating an open player and shooting the puck regardless of who has possession. X Factor, in my opinion, favors goalies the most, since they are the one player over whom you have no influence. On paper, the feature seems wonderful, but I was too concentrated on playing hockey to notice there was a feature that offered me an edge in that sport.
Look, there’s more hockey. With less people and in the open air?!
Hockey games, out of all sports games, have the most attraction and replayability to me. The default four-minute phases result in a faster-paced, arcade-style competition with greater “attention to detail.” Sure, the games aren’t as lengthy as football or baseball, but I promise that, unlike other sports, you’ll want to play another game or two due of the fast pace. The only major change between NHL 22 and NHL 21 is the revised roster that matches to the year. But the real issue is: how long can you play a normal hockey game over and again before saturation sets in and you put it away till next year, when another version of the same game is released? That is the fact and difficulty with all sports games: although they are entertaining, they are all too familiar, and people will soon tire of them.
Why are superstar gamers the only ones that receive great graphics? The ice, on the other hand, seems to be amazing.
Controls that are familiar, sharp, and responsive. The stamina function turned out to be a major benefit. However, there was one vexing control problem that I had to deal with.
The pleasure of ice cracking is offset by the aggravation of the ridiculous announcer.
Additional features are both welcome and unimportant; at the end of the day, it’s all about hockey.
Final Score: 7.5
NHL 22 is currently available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.
PS5 was used for this review.
The publisher sent a copy of NHL 22.
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The “nhl 22 review embargo” is a game that was released on June 20, 2019. It is the sequel to NHL 21 and features a new engine and gameplay. The reviews are embargoed until June 24, 2019.
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