NHL 15 - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

September 09, 2014

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
6.7

Summary:

In NHL 15, new collision physics keep track of every player on the ice, resulting in secondary collisions, pileups, and scrambles near the net, while rebuilt puck physics are designed to capture the unpredictable nature of spinning, bouncing slabs of hard rubber. Bodies, equipment, and jerseys now act independently in order to convey the speed and movement of each skater, and NHL 15 features the most realistic player likenesses in series history. The overall presentation of games has been revamped, with authentic re-creations of every arena, four times as many crowd animations as before.

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Details

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 19.4GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 50 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-03-19

Dave_Finnigan

Writer

PS4

7.0

'NHL 15' on the PlayStation 4 is the next entry in a long line of hockey titles released by EA Canada. 'NHL 15' is the first title to land on the next generation of consoles and with it we will set our expectations going forward. The game was released back in September of 2014 and it didn't take long to become the defacto hockey title to play. Published by the juggernauts at EA this title was destined for a wide release. We got our hands on it as a casual hockey fan intent on trying to get more into the sport. Throwing into our PS4 we were prepared to commit to whatever the game had to offer. We saw some good things, and some bad things, and some stuff right in the middle. Keep reading to see if this is the game for you.

Hockey exists in a sort of odd limbo in the spectrum of distinctly American sports. Set up next to football, basketball, and baseball it isn't surprising to see that hockey and the NHL falls at the back of the pack. The game is particularly difficult to get into for most of the players that end up coming through professional spots. You can't go down the street and play ice hockey. You can't put on a pair of gym shorts and hit the ice for your school either. There are so many things standing int he way of playing the game.

With that being said, we still believe that hockey is the most dramatic and exciting sport on the list. A good game of hockey features athletes racing full speed from one end of the ice to the other while enduring epic hits. The game is physical, dramatic, and such a tease. Watching your team get a 1 on 1 with the goalie is about the most exciting moment in sports that we can think of, especially after a hard fought game. Shoot outs are probably the coolest way to resolve tie game scenarios.

So knowing how much we truly do appreciate the sport, it shouldn't have been hard for the developers at EA Canada to bring that sort of experience to us. With the core mechanics of a true to life hockey game in place, NHL 15 could be a slam dunk even without all of the extra razzle dazzle. Fortunately for us, that is what we got.

Now for the game modes on 'NHL 15'.

Getting onto the ice is simple but there are a variety of different ways for you to do so. Upon loading up the game you will be hit with a slew of different game modes to partake in. You have your standard fare: exhibition, online play, and season mode. You also have the option to play Be a GM or Be a Pro. These two game modes are geared at giving you an immersive experience in two very different roles in the game of hockey. We'll touch on those a little bit later. First, let's talk about actual on ice experience.

Once you've decided to click into a game mode in order to get your first taste of some fresh ice, you'll be shocked to see how different everything looks. NHL 15 originally dropped for the PlayStation 3 and if that is where you got your first taste of the game then you'll be noticing how big of a graphic jump the PS4 installment received. Armed with all of the power of the PS4 and utilizing all of the on screen presentation that NBC could offer, the game presents itself gorgeously. We got a tour of the surrounding city before being dropped into a realistic representation of the United Center (we were the Blackhawks). The audio commentary seemed on point and they were dishing out relevant information and numbers and the whole experience felt like a real game.

Once the puck drops you'll forget all about the graphical improvements. The on ice experience has been improved by beefed up puck physics as well as a multiple player collision system. The puck reacts like it would in real life and it became a bit of a challenge to control it, but in a good way. We glided down the ice and the noise and feel was so on point that we could basically feel our blades cutting a groove through the ice. Our shots on goal were alright but at times it felt like the AI was letting us get into the net on purpose. We had a problem with competitive imbalance and had to rack up the difficulty in order to adjust for it. Still, we loved the feeling of collisions at full speed and of fighting each step of the way to get the puck to our best shooter. It was a fun first experience.

Once we had gotten our taste of the actual on ice action we had to take a step back to see if the rest of the game lived up to our first impression. Unfortunately we almost immediately ran into some issues. One of our favorite game modes in sports right now is the 'Be A Pro' series. NBA 2K has locked it down with their MyPlayer mode and even Madden has done some pretty nice things. We love the immersion of working our way to the big leagues and becoming a star. We loved earning it. 'NHL 15' on the PlayStation 4 takes that completely away from players with their dumbed down version of 'Be a Pro'. Instead of working through pre-draft drills to improve your stock you are randomly drafted to a team, regardless of skill. From there you immediately land on the NHL roster. By your fourth or fifth game you will probably be on the first line.

Other than 'Be a Pro' the other game modes are certainly playable. We love getting into the GM mode so that we can create our own superstar teams, or otherwise dig bad ones out of the basement. We enjoyed our time on the ice and thought that the game handled well. For a next gen hockey game it was a decent first entry, but it still had its flaws.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Oct 5, 2014
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By:

Electronic Arts

Release Date:

September 09, 2014

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