NHL 11 follows in that fine tradition, but does add a new game mode, Ultimate Team EA Sports Hockey League for multiplayer. At first glance I was very skeptical about this mode of game play, and before I figured out the controls and menu systems I was almost ready to declare NHL 11 a disaster; and then everything clicked and I was out on the ice playing goalie in the NHL 11 demo out this week.
The more I played of this new mode the more I was sucked into its time wasting vortex of addicting game play. Combined with friends we might have created a time space wormhole, because five hours of our day mysteriously disappeared.
From the time spent playing this mode, I’m sure it will be a popular bonus to the already fantastic game play us hardcore hockey fans have come to expect from the NHL franchise.
Outside of the new Ultimate Team mode, everything from NHL 10 is included, which makes NHL 11 really feel like a nice update or an add-on pack. From playing goalie in the Ultimate Team mode the game play and physics felt exactly the same from NHL 10.
The real differences in this year’s updates are felt playing on the ice. Players are more realistic in motion and momentum, something sorely missing from previous NHL titles. No longer can you just stand next to a guy move two feet and plant him on his backside. You’ll need the proper momentum this year or you’ll just bounce off him or harmlessly bump into him.
The shooting, passing and puke handling all felt a lot cleaner and more intuitive than last years title, but the controls seemed a bit different, took me a few games to readjust from NHL 10. The new broken stick feature is pretty neat, not overly used it felt very natural.
I hope EA has fixed their servers this year, last year’s NHL 10 servers and really every year the EA Sports NHL franchise has had online team play, the servers have been a mess with phantom drops, random disconnects and funky restarts.
If the server issues have been cleared up, it looks like NHL 11 from EA Sports will have another award winning season, especially with the added multiplayer mode. I definitely recommend buying EA Sports NHL 11 for fans of hockey or of the EA Sports NHL franchise; you’ll get your money’s worth.