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EA made a real effort this year to bring an authentic broadcast experience to NHL 15

In terms of gameplay improvements, NHL 15 also delivers a suite of upgrades. NHL 15 Puck physics, a highly advertised improvement prior to the launch, has seen huge overhaul. Tackling and taking shots feels and appears more true to life than ever before. However, one area which I have not seen any improvement in NHL 15 to is the behaviour of the AI goalie. Shots which don’t approach from the usual direction will almost always score without fail. This is something which the team needs to look at improving in the future. However, while NHL 15 delivers on promised gameplay and graphics improvements, the end product has turned out to be highly disappointing. Most of the game modes known and enjoyed by fans of the series have either been stripped down greatly or made unplayable at this present time.
Another significant addition to the title of NHL 15 is the new commentary team of Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk. Before each game of NHL 15 you will see a panoramic view of the city and arena before being brought inside of the broadcast booth to hear an introduction by both of the aforementioned men. While EA Canada has clearly put forth an effort to allow for slightly customized introductions based on the teams playing, you will hear the same recycled pieces after a while and the novelty will wear off. There have also been some odd moments in NHL 15 Be a Pro mode because NHL 15 will attempt to incorporate various stats into the introduction but it is not always the most appropriate. After the first game of the season in NHL 15, my player happened to be leading the league in scoring and Mike Emrick made a point of mentioning that the fans must be excited to be seeing the league’s top scorer on the ice an that the opposing team would be keeping a close eye on me. In a different instance, the intro of NHL 15 suggested that if they were relying on the stat sheets, that it would be a low-scoring game despite the fact that all of the games my team had been involved with prior to that one had at least 10 goals scored between both teams.

NHL 15 certainly gets off on the right foot early on, with a brilliant visual presentation that has authentic arenas, outstanding character animations and plenty of pretty effects from reflections to ice spraying up from the blades of the player's skates. After years of the same basic commentary, a new commentary team in NHL 15 also helps to breathe some new life into the proceedings. Unfortunately these bells and whistles fail to deliver once you start to dig a bit deeper into the game. EA made a real effort this year to bring an authentic broadcast experience to the game and it’s a great first step but there’s definitely room for improvement here. The NBC Sports branding is all over the place with logos and presentation styles and the commentary crew has changed as well. Before big games, you’ll see Mike (Doc) Emrick and Eddie Olczyk setting the stage for the game. When I say you’ll see them, I really mean it. It’s full video of the actual guys sitting in the broadcast booth with the arena behind them as if it were an actual game. You’ll also see a (real video) shot of the city or arena before the game, just like you would on TV. The effect is outstanding but it kind of ends right there and I’ll get into that more a bit later.
Overall, NHL 15 focuses on giving gamers a very strong hockey gameplay but an incomplete overall hockey game. If you want a game that you can pop in, play a match, pop out, then you’ll probably love this. Everything is more natural and better than in previous editions. In that way, NHL 15 is very friendly to more casual players who love hockey but don’t care about what goes around it. Pick up NHL 15 if this is you.
For everyone else that sees value in the stuff around the NHL 15 hockey playing, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. NHL 15 is missing so many pieces and so many of those just don’t make any sense. A lot of the cut content of NHL 15 couldn’t have been time-intensive development wise that it had to be left out. It seems to be EA’s tendency these days to see what’s the absolute minimum amount of content they can put in their games without affecting sales. EA has announced that they’ll add features over the next 2 or 3 months. It will probably cover a lot of my negative criticism about NHL 15 but I feel that when you buy a full-price product, you should get everything you’re supposed to. Car dealerships don’t send you your doors 2 weeks after you drove out of the lot.