NHL 19 Reviews

241,349 (158,045)
TA Score for this game: 3,026
Posted on 03 January 19 at 14:52
This review has 6 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Hit the pond and carve up the the competition in the annual hockey release with NHL 19. This review will cover the online aspect of NHL 19. If you're looking for info about the offline game modes, check out this link. https://www.easports.com/nhl/news/2018/19-things-to-know-abo...

EA Sports attempt this year to revitalize the series has gotten off to a shaky start. At the time of this review, there have been 2 major patches already, mostly for issues during online play. In early December, during the second patch (1.4) users couldn't even go into their HUT team menu for a prolonged period of time. Some fix huh? Of course it was up and running eventually, they wouldn't let their cash cow that is Hockey Ultimate team be offline for any longer than necessary. The newly added online features are most likely the cause of the number of bugs and glitches experienced thus far.

World of CHEL

Split up into 4 sub-modes:

Pro-Am - Users play solo 3v3 with their custom online character against various teams of opponents. EXP is earned for winning the match and an arcade-like score is set - based on how well you did. My thoughts? A fun little mode that's very easy and rewards 300 XP every win. The games go by quick and it's a good practice arena for trying out the new dekes. You also earn HUT packs every now and then. Rating - 3.5/5

Ones - Here, it's a free for all dogfight, battling in the corners on a small rink to see who comes out on top with the most goals. With huge hits, a running clock and a tier progression system until you reach the top "rink". You start off in the Bronze rink (4), then have 2 chances to win to get to Silver rink (3), 2 more until Gold (2) and then 2 tries to win the Trophy in the last, Diamond Rink (1). My thoughts? The goalies are terrible, every common shot works (like glide across and shooting opposite side) and the game is over before you know it. The hitting is very frustrating as it's almost impossible to avoid 2 players coming at you like maniacs unless you make your character the like of Zdeno Chara. For that reason, it's almost tactical about how you approach the puck, because if you go for the hit there's a 50/50 chance the remaining guy grabs it and it's in the back of the net. I've spent many games with the 3 of us just spinning around like ballerinas. Luck definitely comes into play in this mode, especially in the Gold and Diamond rinks. Doesn't help because 1/10 games the goalie actually does play decent and it sucks being in a relegation game and having that happen. A new mode that is probably going to be here for a while and eventually get better. Rating - 2/5

NHL 'Threes' - Your custom World of CHEL player is dropped into a smaller, brighter and louder match with many goals to go around. Player attributes are more enhanced, fast and fluid as you bodycheck your way through the competition in a 3v3 style playground. Money pucks have the ability to make normal goals count as +2 or +3 and even -2 and -3; anything can happen. As long as you're scoring the big goals at the right time, you're winning. My thoughts? - An stupidly unrealistic but fun arena of hockey, especially if you find yourself a balanced loadout that suits your character and your style of play (Traits and Specializations do matter). Like in Ones, unless your character is Andre the Giant you're going to get hit...a lot. Hands down the most annoying thing about this mode is the announcer. The guy is unbearable and says the exact same crap and it doesn't take long to get sick of him. A good thing is, you get the most goals and assists playing Threes than in any other game-type. These in turn help you for your player progression (overall level) by unlocking player badges and EXP; which can be viewed under Stats. Rating - 3/5

EASHL - Choose any position on the ice as you drop into a 3v3 or 6v6 match. Or laceup with a team of your own in Season Style hockey. Add friends to your team and compete to gain a higher division and win the monthly Playoff Title. My thoughts? - I prefer only playing goalie in 6v6 drop in just because it feels like a clusterfuck, not to mention the penalties EVERY MINUTE it feels like. I stick to 3v3 if I feel like playing FWD or D. I really liked that they brought back the ability to wear a 'C' or the 'A' on your jersey when playing for your Club Team. They really upped their variety of progression rewards in this years addition, so earning points and team EXP is great if you're into the whole upgrading your team, arena etc. Matchmaking has gotten a lot quicker. I was finding games, often late at night, quite quickly. The goalie AI's are much better in this mode then in any other in World of CHEL. Very rewarding when you win, although I would recommend always matching room size. You have to wait a whole month to participate in playoffs, and only have 2 chances, that sucks. Rating - 4/5

Hockey Ultimate Team

Create and upgrade your very own favourite hockey team! Here, you gain coins with most of the playing modes such as Draft Champions, HUT Challenges, HUT Champions and Online Seasons. With these coins you can visit the Auction House, buy a wide variety of items to change your team. Buy packs from the store as you never know what you'll get. Lastly, grind away and complete the all-new Objectives and Milestones that is the progression system tied into HUT. There, you can collect rewards by doing various challenges pegged throughout the mode. The more coins you earn and players/item you possess, you can complete Sets, which takes your upgrading even further. My thoughts? Ah, good 'ol HUT. Last on my review is EA's bread and butter. After NHL 16 I vowed never to spend another dime on packs because it's a complete waste of money. I can tell you, play the solo HUT Challenges, they reward completing boring challenges with plenty of coins. Enough coins to buy a team of all gold players if you complete enough stars. Now that brings me to the first downside, however. People do spend money on these RNG packs. You do play teams loaded with Gretzky, Kurri, Lemieux...even when you're in the low Divisions like 7,8,9,10. It's nuts. Once you're in Divisions 4,3,2,1, if you're that good, it's almost impossible not to run into a stacked team. HUT Champions is even harder in this regard. The matchmaking is decent, I only experience lag sometimes, but other times the match will start and just disconnect. It doesn't give you a loss if that happens right away though. As for gameplay, NHL 19 plays a lot different than NHL 18. It took me a while to get used to the way the players sway with the puck while in control in the offensive zone. The AI's are WAY more buffed this year compared to last in terms of aggressiveness, they're on top of you QUICK. I won't go through all the glitch goals but, play some EASHL first and you'll see a lot of the same goals over and over. It's quite a grind to save up coins enough to ice a competitive team whilst resisting the urge to buy a pack and take the short cuts. Hardest achievement this year is advancing to Div 1 and it's a steep climb for even experienced fans of the series like me. Rating - 2.5/5

Overall, there are many changes from the previous installment in this long line of hockey games developed by EA Sports. The game is worth picking up now in 2019 because they slash the price by 40-50% every year now around Christmas/New Years. They just want you to get a copy and hopefully spend more of your money further if you get hooked on HUT. The new outdoor based 'World of CHEL' modes are still in their infancy stage and are a safe bet to return in 2020 with improvement. Maybe more patches are on the way? There is almost no lag online except for in HUT and the matchmaking has definitely improved. NHL 19 is a solid choice for both the casual and hardcore hockey video game player.

Thanks for reading!

written by Ryan McLeavey
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