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NHL 23 Review (PS5) | Push Square

It’s the same thing every year. The annual sports title is announced and highlights several key features. Then sit still for a few months, hoping that any kind of backlash will be swept under the rug. Some series hit harder than others, and Madden NFL is the most notable franchise to hold up in the rough. But some other sports titles can do a little better: EA’s NHL franchise is generally more reliable and all right, Take the time to include new marquee features or modes, or something substantial. But in NHL 23, the wheels seem to be off the trend as the difference is so slight this time around.

NHL 22 was the franchise’s debut on PS5, bringing engine changes and numerous visual improvements, all without cutting content. As such, NHL 23 starts off with a pretty impressive amount of work. The point here is that it didn’t take EA Vancouver the past year to add anything new to its mode library.I’m not saying there is none New. Some of the in-game displays and infographics have been overhauled, the Stanley Cup celebration has been reworked to allow for a more customizable experience, and hats at home Players who score his tricks will receive a truly massive amount of hats. You can now wear it. In addition, the arena presentation has undergone some improvements, featuring on-ice displays and a louder crowd, much like it does in his real-life NHL arena. The presence of this crowd makes him one of the best changes in the game because it makes things feel appropriately big when the team is in a crucial situation such as a playoff his game or a power play.

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A series of animations have been added to further enhance the presentation package. The player moves to open the player or break coverage with the stick, just like in the real game. Also, many of the puck’s pickup and transition animations make it look a bit clunky overall.

All of these improvements are nice, but you’ll notice that I’m not talking about any meaningful gameplay changes. Hmm, not really. Last-chance frantic play has been added, allowing players to try and hit the puck when teammates fall in a last-ditch bid effort to keep possession, but it’s awkward to capitalize on. It also tends to use less AI, so you’ll be playing multiple games at once without even seeing this system in action. Defensive His skill stick is now a bit more difficult to use as well. If you try to block a pass or shot, you’ll notice a significant slowdown. It’s a welcome change, but in the end it’s like messing with a gameplay slider.

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As for modes, as I said, there is nothing to report. Franchise mode now has more sophisticated customization features, such as the number of games and teams in a season. But that’s about it. Be A Pro, Ones, Threes, and a slew of other modes haven’t changed at all from last year. Opponent AI continues to be as flawed as it has been in years past. There’s never enough new animation to hide these issues, so unless something drastic is done, exploits will always remain.

Frustratingly, some of NHL 22’s weirdest bugs are back. For example, a “sync” issue that appears on some replay screens and prevents you from exiting the game. Even HUT feels almost unchanged from last year. This is a big shock considering how much profit Ultimate Team makes on each of EA’s sports titles. To be fair, women were fully integrated into the mode. This would be a very welcome addition to the title, even if it was long overdue. But beyond that there is nothing new to discuss. It’s still a pay-to-win mode that you can enjoy without paying, but it’s one of the less fun things to do in the game.

Finally, cross-platform integration is welcome. A feature planned to be added after launch, the NHL has a small population, so finding matches can be difficult, so this should make waiting a little easier. This is especially true for less popular modes such as Threes mode and Ones Now. It’s a shame it’s just cross-generational cross-platform play instead of all-encompassing. Having the PS5 play alongside the PS4 or Xbox One not only allows it to play alongside the Xbox Series X|S, it’s a big help for matchmaking.


It’s amazing how little has been done to differentiate NHL 23 from last year’s edition. Bugs that should have been squashed long ago remain, Be A Pro continues to be littered with misspellings and meaningless dialogue, arena retirement and championship banners are five years behind him, The list goes on. Nonetheless, the integration of women into the HUT and desperate play is a welcome improvement, as is the overhaul of the rink’s atmosphere. The advance is so small, so small that it may not be moving at all.