In the latest in its long series of hockey games, Electronic Arts
focuses on improvements in gameplay. NHL 14
sees improvement in key aspects of gameplay, such as "improved Hockey I.Q., better goal-scoring balance, more realistic goalie behavior and refinements to True Performance Skating."
In a recent EA blog, the focus, however, was on stick skills:Puck Chops
--Chop controls are easier to pull off. Now, you only need to hold the RB/R1 button and then flick the right analog stick in the direction you want to chop. This ensures you’re not chopping the puck when you expect a pokecheck and allows you to chop a puck that is directly in front of you.Face-Offs
--If used when close to the offensive goal, that player will try and put the puck on net.
Some get frustrated by those who spam during face-offs, so NHL 14 now gives the advantage to the person who get their sticks in early and stays with their initial grip. Timing and skill will be the determining factor in winning a face off and controlling the momentum of a play.Pokechecks and Defensive Deflections
Pokecheck effectiveness will still vary based on a player’s stick-checking attributes, but we’ve ensured that pokechecks are less effective if the player’s body is not properly aligned. Just like real hockey, players will be stronger when they’re balanced on their skates and poking in the area directly in front of them.Passing and Puck Pickups
--In NHL 14, speed is now much more of a factor in determining whether a poke or deflection is effective. If a puck is moving with great speed, the puck may slip through the defender’s stick. In other situations, if a defender only gets a piece of the puck, the speed will play a greater role in determining how much the puck will bobble.
--If a defender gets a stick on the puck, the player trying to perform a one-timer will no longer automatically pull it off.
--A player that pokes a puck will no longer pull it back with their own stick in times when it makes double contact
--Fixes ensure it’s easier to pass to stationary players
--Less offsides on passes near the blueline. Now, the receiver will turn to face the pass rather than pull back to their generic stance and inadvertently go offside.
--On fake slap shots, the pickup is now much more seamless (previously the player would often fumble with the puck when reacquiring it)
EA has provided a brief trailer to highlight some of the upcoming improvements.
One-touch dekes, better poke check accuracy, and more predictable chops all make the game more reliant on player skill and control. EA promises more upcoming videos to display further enhancements to the game.NHL 14
is due out in North America September 10th and worldwide September 13th.