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NHL 23 Review - IGN

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To use common hockey terminology, use NHL 23 rebounds and scores. This is the first big step forward for the series since the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 debuted in his 2014. It’s the little things at times, and NHL 23’s enhanced graphics and audio bring a notable freshness. It pays off.

Unlike last year, NHL 23 actually harnesses the hardware power provided by the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, making ice look like ice. It doesn’t sound extravagant, but it’s gorgeous to see the overhead scoreboard reflected on the playing surface at the start of a period. ) leaving a pile of ice, the reflection disappears exactly. Before the game, certain teams will put on a custom light show as their athletes skate. They’re impeccable too, with entire crowds waving glow sticks and laser light shows shining on the ice.

This also applies to the player, meticulously defined down to the freckles (where appropriate), precise jersey stitching, the visor shining in the light. Assuming (the necessary fast transitions always break immersion), NHL 23 looks completely and completely like the actual broadcast.

NHL 23 looks completely and completely like the real broadcast.

The revamp on the audio side has also advanced, creating one of the most authentic arena soundscapes in sports gaming. Not just the various cheers and boos, but the intensity, with the crowd rapidly rising during a tense showdown, giving up and even booing when downed by an insurmountable number of goals. The home teams have individual chants to promote them, all newly recorded. It sounds typical on paper, but in execution, the believability is unreal. That means the all-too-gamified X-Factor chat is back from last year, but it’s the only break from NHL 23’s sublime audiovisual reality.

NHL 23 adds flashy new drama in the form of numerous frantic plays, such as diving into otherwise unreachable pucks in front of the net. The same goes for defense, trying to push the puck out of your zone, balancing fun and strategy. All they need to do is double-tap the pass button or quickly double-swipe the analog stick. This is almost a natural reaction when getting excited near the net. The rest of the controls remain the same, with elegant stick handling, smooth deke, and satisfying slap shots, all performed with the right thumbstick.

Star Player comes with X-Factors. This is another cross-brand touch that, like HUT, applies to the entire EA Sports roster. These receive tuning updates this year, along with new abilities in the mix, but in hockey’s breakneck pace, their viability is rarely apparent mid-play. Do not remain a passive function. As an example, Sarah Nurse’s X-Factor improves shot and pass accuracy after a hit, though the actual effect or amount is unclear. But color commentary thinks this makes a difference, and these snippets sound more like marketing than actual information.

The winning team will be invited to participate in an interactive Stanley Cup celebration. It’s nice to pick up the cup, pass it on to someone else, and see your name engraved on the trophy. Choosing who lifts the cup doesn’t really make sense because it’s just a bland menu choice that adds little drama. I could see it giving you more control over the . It looks fun.

It’s not worth buying NHL 23 when Be a Pro is your main mode.

Aside from the applied visual boosts and new ice moves, Be a Pro mode is unchanged. The single-player career unfolds exactly like NHL 22, from cinematics to storyline. Quite frankly, they are exactly the same. All of it. NHL 23 isn’t worth buying if this is your primary mode unless an updated roster means so much to you. Same goes for side modes like NHL Threes and One-on-One It applies. They look like they’ll be in this annual hockey game.

Instead of focusing on that, EA worked on revamping the franchise mode. This isn’t a complete redo, but a clever redo of the setup phase could fundamentally change the way the season progresses. Entire divisions can be sorted, the number of teams can optionally range from 6 to 48, and international teams can be mixed. Playoff terms bounce between how many teams make the cut and how the standings are constructed.

EA’s marketing says they can now run the franchise with the original six teams, and that’s true. In case of unfortunate timing, NBA 2K23 allowed for similar ideas when it released last month, but also offered real players for those legacy teams. roster can be mixed. Gordy Howe will not participate in the action.

By including a full IIHF women’s team and tournament as well as custom players, NHL 23 will make history in hockey video games. The microtransaction-based Ultimate Team, EA’s decidedly lucrative card-trading team-building mode, will see the first women on the IIHF team. Destined to spark no-nonsense conversations about gender hockey, no doubt, the move is a fitting one to go with Canada’s Sarah Nurse’s co-cover star debut. Those playing the legacy edition of NHL 23 on , will be able to migrate their HUT team to the new console when upgrading to Series X or PS5. This is unusual for these annual real-world dollar-based modes.

As an added bonus, online play on HUT offers cross-platform play between Xbox Series X/PS5 or Xbox One/PS4 players. This is all limited to vs (no co-op) and this only applies to HUT and World of Chel competitions, so it’s not a perfect integration, but it’s a notable move. Buy packs and dig in to find the best players who are teams, predatory in their execution, and remain artificially rare by design.