The first bit of news revolving EA Sports' NHL 22 is finally here.
The latest edition of the series is set to be released on October 15, 2021. Signups for the first technical test on all platforms recently wrapped up, with invitations coming soon.
NHL 22 will release on Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X and Xbox One. This is the first game in the series designed for the latest console variations, with the previous version being cross-generation compatible. It also follows in line with previous NHL games between generations, staying on the old generation console while having an improved version for the latest generation.
New Game Engine
The game will run on DICE's Frostbite engine, EA's exclusive graphics engine used for previous FIFA and Madden NFL games. The focus with that is improved graphics, improved lighting and improved objects to create a more realistic, lively looking scenario. The Frostbite engine will be available on all versions of the game, regardless of system generation.
Auston Matthews will return to the cover on NHL 22 after previously doing so on NHL 20.
Matthews follows in the footsteps of NHL 21 cover athlete Alex Ovechkin, previously making it on the cover in NHL 07. Jonathan Toews (NHL 11 and NHL 16) also appeared on two covers.
One of the new big features is Superstar X-Factor. When it comes to some of the best players in the game, these abilities will help the best players shine through in ways other players can't. It's broken down into two categories: zone abilities and superstar abilities. Zone abilities help make star players better, while superstar abilities are extra power-ups for the best of the best. These will be evident in modes such as franchise, Be a Pro, HUT and the World of Chel.
There will be about 50 players that feature special zone abilities and goalies will also receive these abilities, too.
Special Edition Pre-Order Bonus
Those that pre-order the X-Factor edition will get three days of early access, special HUT packs, zone ability unlocks for World of Chel, five hockey bags, Be a Pro X-Factor unlocks and more. It also unlocks both generations of the game, so if you have a PS4, it will also give you the PS5 version.
Franchise mode will include the expansion option, allowing fans to create a 33rd team for the first time ever. Seattle will feature in the game, while the franchise mode overall will have new scouting and line chemistry metas.
Players that play on previous-generation games will be able to transfer their HUT team to the next generation. Players will be allowed to protect 20 players and their coach with their progression to a next-gen system. That functionality is expected to come out in December.
There will not be crossplay for NHL 22. GM Connected, a highly requested mode from NHL 13, will not be in the game, but producer Clement Kwong said it's something they're looking at for the future.
The last iteration of the game, NHL 21, brought in lacrosse-style goals, a more comprehensive Be a Pro mode, and some changes to other modes such as Hockey Ultimate Team and World of CHEL.
Need to Know:
Release Date: October 15, 2021
Platforms: Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X and Xbox One
Version: Standard, X-Factor Edition
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Vancouver
Graphics Engine: Frostbite (all platforms)
Cover Athlete: Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Commentary: James Cybulski, Ray Ferraro