In the last few years hockey games have been a bit one sided in terms of the competition between 2K Sports NHL 2K franchise and EA Sports NHL franchise, with EA’s taking the top billing quite handedly. In 2010 there has been some talk that 2K Sports might be on its way with a comeback, so the big question remains does EA’s NHL game have what it takes to continue being the king of hockey video games. Well we have played the heck out of NHL 10 for the Xbox 360 and we have the results. Read our full review to find out.
With how many accolades NHL 09 got in 2008 for being such a standout sports video games there was a lot of pressure on NHL 10 to deliver in a big way. And although NHL 10 has a lot to be proud of it won’t turn as many heads as last year’s version did. Although last year saw a major overhaul in the gameplay mechanics, NHL 10 stays rather consistent in the gameplay mechanics. There are a lot of smaller details in NHL 10 that stand out as big improvements whether its hitting opponents on the glass or the even smoother puck movements on the ice.
One of the additions that gamers have been begging for over the years is a real fighting mechanic to a hockey game. EA has finally listened to the fans and created a full blown fighting mini game that allows you to test your skills against your opponent. Although this was a nice feature to add I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed with the execution. EA is the leader of boxing video games and you would think with this experience they could make a half way decent fighting mechanic for NHL 10, but this is just not the case. There is very little satisfaction that comes from fighting in this game which is a bit of a let down.
Depth was not an issue in NHL 09 and it continues not to be an issue in NHL 10. My favorite mode from last year was Be a Pro which continues to be a great mode in NHL 10. The modes themselves continue to offer up so many different options and so much depth that any hockey fan is going to be overwhelmed with choices. Online play is still as deep as last year with the ability to join leagues, play full online games, and of course your standard one on one style play.
Overall NHL 10 is not a game full of big new features, but it is a game that improves a lot of smaller areas of last years game. I think after such a successful outing last year we got a bit spoiled and some may find this game a bit of a letdown. However NHL 10 although not full of the big upgrades still remains to be a very successful game.
I was expecting NHL 10 to have a bigger graphical upgrade then what ended up coming from the game. With not having as many notable features as last years game I thought we would see a bigger graphical upgrade but that is just not the case. I am still waiting to see some better character models come into this franchise an area that I think is still struggling for the series. The physics of NHL 10 is one of the most impressive visual aspects of the game and continues to be great in this game.
I have said it each of the past few years I have reviewed an NHL game and that hockey although not a great sport to watch on TV, really does make for a great video game. NHL 10 may not be the biggest step forward for the series like many had hoped after the great year the game had last year. There are a lot of small upgrades in NHL 10 that continue to move the franchise forward although there isn’t that big new mode that really stands out over the rest.
NHL 10 is not where near the impressive game that we saw last year but that is in no way saying that this is a bad game. Because along with the great game that was NHL 09 you now have even more improved mechanics and an overall deep experience. NHL 10 continues the extremely strong legacy of the series and proves to be yet another great hockey experience from EA.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.