EA Sports released its first gameplay trailer for NHL 22, the publisher's first NHL game to officially be revealed on the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The trailer gives a first real look at the franchise's first foray into the Frostbite engine, EA's exclusive graphics engine used for previous FIFA and Madden NFL games. The move allows for 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.
At first glance, the graphics definitely see an improvement, although not in a major way like in previous jumps through console generations. The biggest noticeable changes is the improved lighting, shading and overall detail in the crowd and arena to build a more realistic atmosphere - assuming fans can return in full force.
In the trailer, it did appear as though something didn't look totally right with the graphics. Reports from game testers said the gameplay looked better from their experiences, but the short gameplay included in the trailer didn't seem to showcase the game in the best light.
Just 34 of the 274 seconds in the gameplay reveal featured actual gameplay.
The trailer also gives further information towards the big selling point, Superstar X-Factors. 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.
Augmented Reality Broadcast: While in a game, new AR graphics will appear to offer information and stats through environmental surfaces.
New stick physics: An issue in previous games was poke checking becoming too powerful, resulting in a multitude of tripping penalties. The gameplay trailer showcased what appears to be improved stick physics, with EA saying that the new interactions should prevent sticks from poking through the boards and allow for more accurate penalty calls.
New facial graphics: The trailer also showcased more realistic player facial expressions. In previous games, players either looked zoned out or reacted incorrectly to the play at hand. In the trailer, it appears as though the players react a bit more realistically to situations.
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