Developer: EA Sports
N Amer - 09/11/2007
Last year’s NHL 07 offered up a key new innovation with the introduction of the skill stick. Unfortunately the game was pretty slack on depth. However, EA Sports will change all that with NHL 08. This year’s entry to the series will take the innovations of last year and bring more complexity and depth to the game. The game will offer new skating mechanics, vision control and tons of new modes and improved gameplay.
The development team is aiming to improve NHL 08’s gameplay several key areas, including skating. Skating will offer new animations and new mechanics. Rolling the left analog stick slowly will let you do crossovers, or tighten it faster to carve the turn sharper, even though it will slow you down. Skate speed is controlled with small movements of the thumbstick. All in all, the skating mechanics will feel a lot more dynamic and natural.
The skill stick will also see some improvement over last year’s game. Now it will help a lot with defenders, letting you sneak the puck around him. You can press the left bumper to flick the puck in any direction the right thumbstick is pressed, while still moving with the left analog. You can then re-intervene and grab the puck after keeping it away from the defender.
There will also now be 10 points on the controller for dekes instead of just three, giving you a lot of control in this regard. On defense, checking has also been improved, with better contact physics and lots of sliding.
The game will also include Sweet-Spot Shooting, which is a skill-based shooting system similar to the control layout of the Tiger Woods golf games, Vision control that lets you power play while facing one direction (strafe), and teams that emulate their real-life counterparts. NHL 08 should be one that hockey fans won’t want to miss.
“This year’s entry to the series will take the innovations of last year and bring more complexity and depth to the game.”
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 06/11/2007