NHL 16 Announced for Xbox One

By Shawn Hoffman, 1 year ago
The annual NHL series, developed by EA Canada, has just grown a game stronger with the announcement of NHL 16 for the Xbox One. Some of NHL 16's key features and game modes were announced, showing us what to expect once September rolls around.

Last year's NHL 15 for the Xbox One was lackluster, to say the least, when it came to the online team-based competitive play. The popular EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL) game mode didn't even make the cut into last year's game, leaving a lot of fans disappointed. This year, however, their central focus seems to be on cooperative team play.

New Ways To Compete As A Team

Hockey is a sport that comes to life in a competitive team-based gameplay experience. Whether it’s through speed, skill, or physicality, every player makes an impact on the ice no matter what position they play or their role on the team. So grab some friends and jump into either 6 v. 6 Online Team Play, Online Couch Co-op, or the re-imagined EA SPORTS Hockey League and prove that great individuals can’t beat a great team.

The New EASHL

Sharpen those skates and grab your buddies because the EA SPORTS Hockey League is back! This fan-favorite online team mode has been reimagined and lets you choose specialized player classes to deliver a balanced competitive experience on the ice. Player skill and your ability to play as a team will now be the determining factor in who wins and loses hockey games.

6 v. 6 Online Team Play

Play online with up to twelve skaters including user controlled goalies. Using real-world NHL rosters you can compete in ranked drop-in games against players from around the world or invite your friends to a private OTP session before you step into EA SPORTS Hockey League.

Online Couch Co-op

The perfect way to play when you and your friends want to jump on the couch, join forces and play some drop-in hockey online. It’s the best place to practice your team play skills before playing OTP or EASHL.
One of the most important aspects of a sports game is its available game modes. Without a comfortable range of playable modes, there will be a strong sense of content lacking. Fortunately, we're provided with some of the returning game modes as well as some newer ones.

A Way To Play For Every Hockey Fan

Whether you’re an armchair GM, want to live out your NHL pro fantasy, or build your ultimate dream team, NHL 16 will deliver a single-player game mode for every type of hockey fan - each with new features that you’ve never seen in EA SPORTS NHL.

Be a GM: Player Morale

Being a GM is about more than just getting the best players, it’s about getting the right players to play well together. Each player on your NHL and AHL team has a different personality that you will have to manage. Deal with trade demands, teammate relationships, and much more by calling team meetings or adjusting your roster to directly affect your team’s on-ice performance.

Be a Pro: Shape Your Legacy

The way you play dictates the type of player you will become in an all-new Be a Pro progression system. On-ice actions directly influence attributes earned, ensuring that your Pro will reflect the way you play. Sim to your next shift and the ability to work your way up from CHL rookie to an NHL Superstar also make a return in NHL 16.

Hockey Ultimate Team: Single Player Seasons

The most played mode in the NHL series gets even better. Improved player management and the introduction of HUT Single Player Seasons gives you another way to hone your skills before jumping online with HUT Online Seasons or challenging your friends with the Play a Friend feature.

Visual On-Ice Training

Whether you’re new to the NHL series and looking for pointers or are a grizzled veteran trying to perfect your game, this new training tool will help sharpen your offensive and defensive skills no matter your talent level. Visual aids project shooting targets, passing lanes, open teammates, and more.
Another focus for NHL 16 is on the overall gameplay experience that comes with the position you're playing on the ice. Nearly every year we see some sort of change to the game's physics, collision detection, or skating controls. This year we're promised a meaningful experience with every position.

Complete Control From Every Position

Whether you play as a forward, defenseman or goalie, NHL 16 delivers a balanced gameplay experience that makes every position on the ice meaningful to team success. With gameplay innovation on offense and defense, players have new tools to not only score goals, but to prevent them as well.

Precision Skating

Utilize a new skating tool that allows you to make refined movements with your skater in any situation. On defense quickly jump into passing lanes and intercept the puck, or walk the blueline on the power play and open yourself up for that one-timer in the offensive zone.

Seamless Puck Pickups

The ability to quickly control a pass or corral a loose puck can be the difference between generating a scoring chance and getting leveled. New puck pickups result in smoother transitions when receiving the puck no matter what your position, giving you more time and control to make your next move.
Perhaps what the other NHL games were really lacking was a sense of natural liveliness to hockey's greatest environments. Game commentary and crowds have looked and sounded pretty, but they never seem to be all that into the game. Looks like that's about to change.

Unrivaled Game Day Authenticity

NHL 16 brings the game to life with distinct arena atmospheres, the most realistic players yet, and a story-driven commentary package to pull you into the energy of the game like never before.

Distinct Team Arena Atmosphere

Best in class arena authenticity gets even better with the inclusion of authentic arena effects and props including team specific celebrations, mascots, chants, and even signature props like the Lighthouse at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.

Story Driven Commentary

Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Ray Ferraro are back and now call the game with even more emotion. Hear Doc’s voice rise and fall with the action on the ice and get analysis from Eddie & Ray on the peaks and valleys of a NHL season. An expanded NBC SPORTS broadcast package and new pre-game intros brings the drama to life in more ways than ever before.

Superstar Authenticity

Enhanced facial features and new equipment details synonymous with the league’s top players adds another layer of player authenticity. Use these new equipment elements to customize your own created character giving them a unique look, from custom stick tape, colored skate laces, tinted visors, and more.

Playoff Beards

One of the oldest and most iconic traditions in hockey has arrived. With accurate representations of beard patterns, length, thickness, and growth rates for individual players, the road to the Stanley Cup just got hairier.
That's right, playoff beards. No more baby-face skating around the ice during the post-season.

NHL 16 is scheduled for release in September of 2015 for the Xbox One.
Shawn Hoffman
Written by Shawn Hoffman
TheSpinalClerk is a gamer and writer who spends his free time rooting for the Pittsburgh Penguins, hunting achievements, and drinking too much Mountain Dew. Halo is his favorite game series, for which he may or may not have written fan-fiction about. He probably did. He did.