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NHL 22

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Oct. 15, 2021

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'NHL 22' Details Changes, Improvements, Updated Engine And Shows Off Gameplay - Trailer

by Rainier on Aug. 27, 2021 @ 3:48 p.m. PDT

NHL 22 is an all new game for a new generation, giving you more ways to play and compete than ever before.

Now powered by the Frostbite engine, every real-world player and arena will have unrivaled visual detail, while the addition of Superstar X-Factors will elevate the league’s biggest stars with an all-new layer of class-based play. Toronto Maple Leafs superstar center Auston Matthews, whose world class skills personify what it means to be an X-Factor on the ice, returns to the EA Sports NHL cover in NHL 22 after an incredible 2020-21 season that included winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for most goals in the regular season.

For the first time ever, the Frostbite engine comes to the EA Sports NHL franchise, making NHL 22 the biggest leap forward in graphics and game play in franchise history. Players will be brought to life via overhauled player likeness, cloth animations and uniform micro-details, all delivered in higher resolution to make every stitch visible. Alongside these advancements will come enhanced spatial awareness for players to track and react to the world around them. In addition to enhanced player detail and visual fidelity, on-ice gameplay will see an upgrade as well with new physically accurate stick interactions, just one of many gameplay improvements coming to NHL 22.

Superstars will distinctly feel like their real-life counterparts in NHL 22 with the introduction of Superstar X-Factors, a game-changing system that unleashes unique abilities for the best players in the game, with traits inspired by their individual real-world skills. Superstar X-Factors bring two key elements to help elevate hockey’s elite and break them away from the pack: Zone Abilities and Superstar Abilities. Zone Abilities bring game-breaking enhancements to the best players, while Superstar Abilities represent upper echelon skills reserved for athletes playing at the next level. Players like Edmonton Oilers Forward Leon Draisaitl, whose “Tape to Tape” ability reflects his elite core passing; or Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s “Contortionist” X-factor that boosts his ability to make wild, body-twisting saves with ease will make a profound impact on NHL 22 gameplay. Superstar X-Factors not only bring new facets to gameplay but also add new dimensions to Franchise Mode, Be A Pro, Hockey Ultimate Team and World of Chel.

EA SPORTS has released a new NHL 22 gameplay trailer giving a first detailed look at the gameplay of the first true next-gen NHL game.

NHL 22 takes a generational leap forward with the Frostbite engine, delivering the most visually distinct upgrade to date. Backed by numerous other improvements around the game including Superstar X-Factors, improved stick physics, player expressions and more, the gameplay experience has also never been better. 

Superstar X-Factors

The gameplay Trailer showcases the X-Factor abilities, both what they do and how they influence the game. This unique ability system elevates the most elite players in the league making their presence on ice more influential than ever.

NHL 22 features two tiers of Superstar X-Factor abilities: game-changing Zone abilities and enhanced Superstar abilities. Each player receives one Zone ability that defines them and a secondary set of Superstar abilities. The actual function of any Superstar X-Factor ability always remains the same, but its level of boost changes between Zone or Superstar assignments.

Superstar X-Factors are inspired by the league's top talent, bringing their exceptional abilities to the NHL 22 experience. Whether it’s a blistering slapshot, precision passing, explosive speed on the rush, or lightning-fast reflexes in front of the net, Superstar X-Factor abilities span all positions on the ice and provide a new layer of class-based competition and strategy to the world's biggest hockey gaming experience.

Frostbite Engine

Frostbite has visually upgraded the entire on-ice experience by improving the fidelity of environments, player details and lighting effects across the board. The Frostbite engine is allowing the development team to make EA SPORTS NHL 22 the first true next-generation hockey experience.   

Featured Gameplay Improvements Including:  

  • Augmented Reality Broadcast: Get the info you need without taking your eyes off the ice with as key game stats and more are projected onto physical surfaces in the game via an augmented reality-like visual package. Plus, every time you execute a highlight reel play, a 3D graphic will project over your player to pump you up and demoralize your opponent.
  • Player Facial Expressions: Overhauled player likenesses, eye movement animations, and shaders for hair and skin make players look and act more realistic everywhere on the ice. Eye movement and facial expressions visibly react to the changing environment and in-game moments.
  • Stick Physics: Stick play has been overhauled with new gameplay physics, resulting in moves that look, feel, and affect games in true-to-life ways. Expect realistic battles for the puck, fouls called for stick to body contact, and more.
  • Skill Moves and Environments: New skill moves, environments, and X-Factors will stand out for all the right reasons thanks to the new visual details provided by Frostbite. New gameplay mechanics and animations will make X-Factor abilities shine even more as they visually affect each game and interact with other players and the environment.

Hockey encompasses a diverse community of passionate players, all united by their love of the sport, and NHL 22 is embracing this culture through a number of new features across modes, as well as its rich live service plan beyond launch. In the coming weeks more will be shared on the World of CHEL, Hockey Ultimate Team, Be A Pro and Franchise modes, as well as some long-requested community features.

Fans that pre-order NHL 22 will get a variety of bonus in-game content. The EA Sports NHL 22 X-Factor Edition includes the PS4 and PS5 or Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game, three days of early access, up to 10 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs, one HUT X-Factor Player Choice Pack, HUT X-Factor Power-Up Starter Pack, up to four HUT X-Factor Power-Up Packs, five World of Chel X-Factor Zone Ability Unlocks, five Unlocked Hockey Bags, two Be A Pro X-Factor Slot Unlocks and XP Boost and Bonus Trait Points.

NHL 22 is coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on October 15, 2021.

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