When EA Sports began promoting the upcoming tech test for NHL 23, it meant that the game’s release was finally getting closer.
It is expected to be released in August and we should have more information about the game in due course. For NHL video games, the excitement of even the tiniest bit of information about the next game will quickly build.
But as always, it’s easy to be cautiously optimistic about the next offering. EA’s NHL video game series has been criticized for its lack of real additions and improvements to the game, with the same bugs being abused for years, and nothing truly game changing has happened in the series in a while.
If there is any major feature this year, we don’t know about it yet. So, let’s just look at some simple fixes that will make the game much better:
Crossplay, or at least CrossGen
With every new generation of console video games, you’re going to make people fall behind and wait a few years to master the newest system.
This time, however, it’s a much bigger problem. With chip shortages preventing more PS5s from flooding the market, it’s been a tough couple of years for people wanting to get one. It’s been a little easier over the past few months, but unless you’re constantly looking for it, it’s hard to get what you want.
So, for both Playstation and Xbox, the game has been split into four versions representing the last two generations of consoles. This meant that unlike NHL 21, where it was the same game for both generations, allowing people from the same console family to play together regardless of system, you couldn’t do that in 22. If you had a team of six , you usually play with, and one didn’t have the latest equipment, they were essentially relegated to the AHL.
I can’t explain how frustrating it is after a month or two of playing to wait 2-3 minutes for 3s Eliminator to start, a fun arcade mode where you should have no problem finding available teams to play. And then half the time after you got into a match, there would be a problem with the server and you’d have to start all over again.
Crossplay – or in the case of this particular example, crossmarket – will also be a big boost to the HUT community, allowing you to buy and sell cards with people on others
FIFA 23 and F1 22 both have crossplay enabled, so there’s hope that maybe, just maybe, fans of the NHL franchise will get it. But I wouldn’t want to rely on you either. If we can’t get crossplay, can we at least get a year of cross-generation?
Become an upgrade pro
EA updated Be a Pro back in NHL 21, supposedly breathing new life into a mode that puts the player you create in the spotlight.
Oh man, they fumbled that big time.
If I have to talk to my captain again about buying hot dogs at a baseball game or going bowling, I’m going to lose. None of the conversations were worth reading, and none of them felt natural.
Being the good guy on the team isn’t fun, but being Sean Avery isn’t much for the experience. And once you max everything out, there’s no point in paying attention to the story mode.
That being said, creating a compelling story for a sports game is a difficult task. Some tried and most failed. So what’s the solution? I really don’t know. NHL 22’s career mode felt dated the moment it came out, and 22 did very little to change that. MLB 22’s Road to the Show mode is highly regarded, but the NHL offering just feels like a first attempt that never made it out of beta. So I don’t have a yet
The most popular feature of NHL 22 has been the new X-Factors, which allow players to add new abilities to their character to give them success in certain aspects of the game. For example, if you are more of a Datsyuk style, using Puck on a String will be very useful.
But unfortunately, the idea did not work as they had hoped. In normal club games, players simply abused the live ding from close quarters, allowing players to score wobbly goals from odd angles when they were close to the crease. It led to so many unreal situations and when you were a small, quick forward with him, it was basically a freebie every game.
In a 3s eliminator, what’s the point of running anything but Truculence? In a game dominated by big shots and no rules, the easiest path to diamond or elite status was simply to be a 6-foot-5 slugger who lets everyone fly and then let his teammates finish the game when everyone tries chip their teeth off the ice.
The idea was to make X-Factor balanced, but they didn’t come close to achieving that for real competitive play.
In World of Chel, only being able to change attributes by plus-minus-five per trait takes away from any real customization. It’s a good start, especially if you strategically ditch other traits and focus on the ones you care about most, but having a truly unique build will lead to more creativity and variety. It seems like an easy fix, but keeping a balance is still important.
Best WOC setup
How difficult is it to have color sliders for different parts of the helmet design? There are so many great masks that I want to try, but they don’t match my team’s color scheme, so I never use them. My team is green and black – you can see our uniforms in the photo above – and it took me 10 months to get a mask to match our uniforms.
Is this my favorite mask? No. But since I can’t change the colors of any custom designs, my options are limited.
And it goes far beyond goalkeeper equipment. Players also face the same issues, whether it’s with sticks, helmets or the casual word of clothing during scrimmage games. It’s great to have so many options, but it still doesn’t feel unique enough if you can’t customize what you like.
And please, for the love of God, let me open all the hockey bags at once. God forbid I forget to open them in a few days.
Improved goalkeeper management
My team thinks I’m Andrei Vasilevskiy from NHL 22. Okay, when I posted this, I got a few laughs in our team’s group chat.
But seriously, it’s become all too common for goals to bounce off the keeper, or for the keeper to completely miss an otherwise saveable goal on an auto save. It’s a tough position to play, no doubt. The most difficult, you can say. But if the goalie seems to be fighting your general instincts, that could be a problem.
It’s another one of those “I want change, but I’m not sure what I want to implement” things. Sometimes I yell angrily at the screen because my gloved hand wouldn’t move and I wish I could do it manually. But I know you can’t just add that without adding another port on the controller, and even then I couldn’t imagine it working well. Anyway, I just wish the autosave was improved and more realistic. I understand that bad goals happen, but it’s very frustrating to see even the competition’s elite goalkeepers just miss spot-kicks that somehow trickle down. Make the goalies doubt more often.
– The shutdown seemed to be fixed early in the game’s life, only to revert to NHL 21 levels after the first updates. Come on!
– Server problems are too frequent. I understand that online multiplayer games can be difficult, but how is it that playing with another team in your city can sometimes result in a disconnection when both parties have a good connection?
– Acceptance of passes is still a mess. Passing was different in NHL 22, and while some loved it, many hated it. When simple, easy passes are missed through no fault of the player, it can be frustrating, especially when the puck just rolls under the player’s stick despite being in good position. It’s more of a 3v3 challenge, but a bad one at that.
– I’m not entirely sure GM Connected will be a success because it wasn’t that good the first time around, but I’d like to see it come back with a more eSports oriented aspect. This is consistently one of the most requested features and I can see that happening sometime.
– It seems people want to see more player celebrations. Honestly, why not?
NHL 23 wish list: 10 things we want to see
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