The first teaser trailer for EA Sports’ NHL 17 was released a short time ago, but the only thing the trailer really did for fans is leave them yearning for more.
The vision trailer that was released during the opening round of the NHL playoffs gave fans a glimpse at some of the new features, including team relocation and the brand new World Cup of Hockey. But that isn’t everything that EA Sports is doing to help get its NHL franchise back to the top of the sports.
After speaking to a few surrounding the game, there are some more unannounced aspects surrounding the upcoming NHL simulation that fans will be excited to know about. Now, I don’t know full details surrounding everything, but I was given enough information to go forward with letting you know.
One small aspect that the team at EA Vancouver has been working diligently on is the game’s menu system. Since making the jump to the current gen of consoles, the NHL series’ menus have been slow and clunky. With NHL 17, the changes made should lead to a much smoother interface that feels like that of other EA Sports titles like Madden and FIFA.
The in-arena presentation in NHL 16 was pretty awful. The game failed in many ways, especially when it came to actually winning the greatest prize in sports – The Stanley Cup. The fans sat down, the arena was quiet and it just felt as boring and dull as the overall game presentation did. With NHL 17, arena atmosphere has been addressed to try and replicate what a playoff game is like in the NHL.
More commentary has been recorded with the hope of eliminated the repetitiveness of lines throughout a game. There is also the hope that the changes made to in-game presentation will make it feel more like a real-life broadcast as opposed to commentary that sounds as robotic as Siri.
The developers have promised to improve on player likeness in the past, and NHL 17 is expected to have the highest number of lifelike players in the franchise’s history. Throughout the 2015-16 season, whenever teams would pay a visit to Vancouver, the developers would take the opportunity to scan players for the game. Though every player on an NHL roster isn’t going to be scanned for NHL 17, I was given a number of over 50 percent of players on NHL rosters last season being scanned for the game. It’s not great, but it’s much better than past titles.
EA Sports heard the complaints about player build. Though no details were given to me about what changes are actually coming, one thing for sure is that the player system in NHL 17 for the EASHL will be different. Players will feel more in control of their actual character, and feel like they are building someone how they want rather than being stuck with a generic player style.
Be-A-Pro and Be-A-GM are going to see major changes this year as well, but I wasn’t given enough information to share this time around. Also, there are currently plans in place to offer more post-launch content than ever before solely due to the amount of things being worked on and added to the game this year. I’d expect details on that to come within the next month or so, and don’t be surprised if EA Sports actually manages to fit most of what it wants into the game ahead of its launch.
Of course, fans have been told changes are coming before only for them to be hyped up much more than what actually came to be. For NHL 17, however, things are pointing towards positive changes for EA Sports and the only hockey game on the market.
NHL 17 releases on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this fall.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.