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PS4 and Xbox One versions of NHL 15 are missing some major features

Each year I find myself sinking hundreds of hours, right up until the release of the next game. This year is no different, I just played a few games this week in anticipation for NHL 15, only to be severely disappointed. It hasn’t been a great launch for EA Sport’s big Hockey franchise, but I don’t think it’s the death of affection from both gamers and developers alike. There is still plenty of time, and reason, for the series to build on this first next-gen whiffed shot. Some of it they have (and apparently will) patch up in short order in the coming months. Others, will take time. Maybe it comes down to just putting in more time, allowing the team to remake puzzle pieces that once saw complete domination of the genre by NHL of past, and hoping that come next season there aren’t as many holes in the goalie’s pads.
 
If you’re a die-hard of NHL game. Get it. What are you waiting for? Chances are, you’ve already got it. If you’ve been on the fence. Wait a few more months. Then trade in a couple of other dust-collecting launch-season blockbusters and pick it up post holidays. Might as well deal with the elephant in the room straight away; the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of NHL 15 are missing some major features. While this does not change the fact that NHL 15 is an amazing hockey sim, I feel it is best to address these missing features right away. The fact is it doesn’t matter how much the cloth physics have improved year over year when major, important pieces of the franchise are missing. EA Sports Hockey League, General Manager and Online Team mode, are all missing from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions. Anyone who primarily plays NHL 15 for any of those game modes might as well not even bother (there are plans to add Online Teams back in later on via update). This did not have a huge bearing on my score but keep in mind that the current versions would score higher due to their inclusion of these extra game modes.

 
Each arena in NHL 15 has a different feel to it. TD Garden feels close to home, with banners high above the ice and the gleaming Garden HDX at center ice. That awful red bar behind the Montreal net lights up after a P.K. Subban rocket at the Bell Centre. The arenas are populated with thousands of unique fans. They look like Sims in an NHL arena. In between plays, you’ll see a person selling concessions sitting on the stairs watching the game. Sometimes the camera will show a fan standing all alone. They’ll see their image on the jumbotron and will start jumping around. It’s quite comical. It all comes together to look like a real NBC broadcast.
 
The gameplay on a next-generation console is a decent jump. It feels like NHL 14, but with some very nice additions. Multiplayer collisions make things interesting when there’s a scramble in front of the net. It can be exhilarating when you bang that desperate rebound home, but when it happens to you, it is the worst thing in the world. The commentary of NHL 15 isn’t the only thing that can be a bit buggy, as I’ve encountered a handful of bugs while playing NHL 15. One moment I scored a hat trick in NHL 15 as the away team and Doc and Eddie mentioned how the hats were going to start falling on the ice. Whether you are the home or away team, the crowd never tosses hats on the ice (in NHL 15 that is). The new NHL puck physics can cause some wonkiness, as I’ve seen a defender put the NHL puck clearly into his own net, after clipping right through the side of it yet no goal was called on the ice.
 
Another time players were chasing a NHL puck behind the net, but weren’t able to interact with it, instead the NHL puck bounced off their skates until the puck became playable once again. Goal celebrations are limited to two skaters, as once a second player interacts with the goal scorer, the rest of the team will immediately head to the bench. No group hugging here. The same limitation occurs after the whistle is blown, as shoving between players is limited to one-on-one.