NHL 13 Announcement

While the rest of the hockey loving world has had its attention on the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the team here at EA SPORTS Canada in Burnaby has been focusing on trying to bring more of the excitement of the game that we all love from the rink to your home (while sneaking in some moments to watch some great playoff hockey).  We’re excited about NHL 13, but had to keep quiet until it was time to start bragging about what’s new and improved in this year’s game.

With today’s announcement of the NHL 13 feature set we’re ready to start talking -

Bringing more realistic skating to this generation of video game hockey has long been a goal for the NHL development team.  Since a lot of the team play or have played ice hockey at various levels throughout their lives, they knew that the skating experience in previous NHL titles did not fully capture the fidelity, excitement or creativity of real skating.  Being able to cut to the outside and speed past a defenseman was something missing from the game, as was the trade-off between top-end speed and control.  With the introduction of True Performance Skating, a physics-driven skating engine with over 1,000 new animations, we’ve captured the explosiveness, momentum and incredible top end speeds that today’s NHL stars have.  True Performance Skating also brings a whole new level of creativity to NHL 13 players, giving them as much control over how their player moves as the Skill Stick gave them over the hockey stick.  It’s a new weapon in the arsenal, and one we are excited to have you get your hands on.

Be a GM is the most popular offline mode in NHL 12, allowing players to take control of their favorite team and build it into a dynasty from the boardroom to the ice.  This year we’re letting you pit your GM skills against those of your friends, allowing you play in your own 30 team NHL against them.  They’ll manage their team, you’ll manage yours as you control your team’s trades, draft picks, lineups, and on ice performance.  It’s the ultimate armchair GM experience, offering unrivaled accessibility and depth as players manage, play or coach their team on the road to a dynasty.  With five ways to play, this is a mode for every fan of NHL hockey, whether you’re a longtime EA SPORTS NHL player or just a passionate fan of the NHL who wants to moonlight as your favorite team’s GM.  A companion mobile app will let players stay connected to their league even when away from their console.

Listening to the feedback from you, the players, we also wanted to make sure NHL 13 took a big step forward in terms of the computer A.I. that controls the behaviors of the players, goalies and team systems in the game.  In NHL 12, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate vicinity and goalies would only focus on the player in control of the puck.  In real hockey players have to be able to read the whole ice, identifying scoring chances and threats as plays develop.  With EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. players and goalies are now fully aware of every other player on the ice.  This results in quicker, smarter and more realistic A.I. decisions.  Hockey I.Q. also gives players a much greater control over team strategy and positioning with the most detailed recreation of team systems ever to be included in a hockey game.

Other gameplay modes have also been improved and there will be deeper reveals to follow, but here is a small taste of what to expect.  Hockey Ultimate Team received an impressive new interface as well as changes to playoffs and tournaments.  In Be A Pro you now have greater control over your career, including the ability to request a trade away from your team or decide to hang-up your skates and retire when your virtual knees begin to grow stiff.  EASHL, the EA SPORTS online hockey league has received a number of new improvements including the ability to choose club captains, a region based matchmaking system designed to reduce lag and the addition of procedures created to encourage users to play through a full EASHL game.

We’re very happy to announce NHL 13 and share with you the details.  Leading up to launch we’ll be diving deeper into the gameplay advancements that are coming in NHL 13, so keep your eye on this space for more details.

NHL 13 gameplay innovations and brand-new connected experiences include:

True Performance Skating: A ground up overhaul of how skating is handled in the NHL series bringing unprecedented reality to video game skating

EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q.:  Smarter computer controlled players who read and react to the entire ice not just what’s right in front of them.   You are also able to customize the behavior of your players and team

GM Connected: The ultimate fantasy hockey league allowing you to play with friends across the world and deepens the experience of Be a GM NHL’s most popular offline game mode allowing players to manage, play or coach while building their team’s legacy.

NHL Moments Live: Rewrite or relive history as you play through the most thrilling moments from the today’s NHL.

Refined on-ice presentation: We bring the most authentic looking NHL hockey experience to-date

Even more improvements to core offline and online modes including Hockey Ultimate Team, Be a Pro, EA SPORTS Hockey League and more.