NHL 17 Hits the Shelves

By Cam Doherty

The EA Sports NHL video game franchise is back and better than ever. After playing it for a few weeks, and exploring the many new and improved game modes, there is much to talk about. For the fans who have enjoyed the game over the past few years: you are in luck.

The overall mechanics of the gameplay did not change much. When the puck drops, the feel of the game is almost exactly the same as last year's version. However, this was well done by EA.

One of the strengths from last year was the feel and realisticness of players in-game. The gameplay engine was already strong, so this was not a major focus of the developers, and rightfully so.

Photo Credit: Cam Doherty 

Photo Credit: Cam Doherty 

One of the more popular game modes, Be-A-GM mode, was somewhat of a disappointment last year.

Yes, the mode did present the ability to take over a real life NHL franchise, and also the ability to edit lines/make trades, but other than these aspects, the game mode was rather flat. In comparison to other sports games from last year such as Madden 16 (football) and NBA 2K16 (basketball), NHL 16 lacked the option to relocate its franchises, and also manage financial aspects like a team budget, which Madden and 2K contained in their franchise modes.

Fortunately, NHL 16 added these features to their Be-A-GM mode this year! Additionally, they even changed the name of the game mode to Franchise Mode (thank you, EA!).

A con prevalent in most sports games is the slow speed of online gameplay. Unfortunately, the EA servers are aside from the actual game, so there wasn’t  much the producers could do in improving the speed of online gameplay.

Personally, I’ve been able to complete most every online game I’ve played in, so I don’t view this as a ‘make-or-break- when making the decision to either purchase the game or not.

Each year, the NHL video game franchise updates its rosters, which adds the newest free agent signings and trades to the game. Locally, the Boston Bruins acquired star player David Backes in free agency this year. In NHL 16, the user CANNOT use the updated roster with David Backes on it… so keep this in mind when debating on purchasing NHL 17.

Overall, I’d say that the game is a success. Out of 10, I would rate the game an 8.5. In consideration of sports games, they cannot change immensely from year-to-year, solely because they are already so well-liked and they have a stronger tie to reality than some other video game genres.

With the small change in mechanics, and also re-doing franchise mode, NHL 17 is certainly a good purchase. SHS Students: Do your homework… but play NHL 17 when you are done!

Jenna KellyComment