NHL 15 is missing which key features?

3 min read
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NHL whats missing

We often joke around the office that none of us know about sports. That’s actually something of a lie considering Gavin’s die-hard love of football and Geoff and Darryn’s obsession with fighting games. I also stay true to my North American heritage, and I actually care when the sports I like are ruined in game form, which is why this news makes me glum.

When I saw NHL 15 at E3, it looked like they were adding some really cool things, like realistic and nuanced crowds. Unfortunately, it appears that in adding crowds, they removed a whole host of other features, from customizing your team to playing the All-Star game. Here is a relatively complete list (via Polygon), although this is based on people playing the game for the brief amount of early time allowed by EA Access subscriptions:

Modes/Features

  • No GM Connected
  • No Online Team Play (when this is patched into the game later this year, it will use real NHL players and teams)
  • No EA Sports Hockey League
  • No EA Sports Arena
  • No Online Shootouts
  • No Live the Life
  • No Be A Legend
  • No Winter Classic
  • No tournaments or Battle for the Cup
  • No season mode (you can only play seasons in Be A GM, which is limited to NHL teams)
  • No NHL 94 Anniversary mode
  • No custom music support
  • No create-a-play designer
  • Cannot customize each team’s AI
  • No create-a-team
  • No way to edit individual players
  • Practice mode is now limited to one skater vs. an AI goalie

Gameplay

  • No custom camera option
  • No Action Tracker replay highlights
  • No Top 3 Stars at the end of games

Be A GM

  • Yearly draft is fully automated by the CPU
  • Cannot play the AHL games for your chosen franchise
  • Players sent down to the minors do not accumulate any season stats
  • No fantasy draft option
  • No preseason games

Be A Pro

  • No option to sim ahead to the next shift
  • You only play in the NHL; you cannot play for minor league teams
  • The Memorial Cup tryout period is gone. You now begin by picking an NHL team, or by letting a random CPU team draft you.
  • No All-Star game

Ultimate Team

  • Cannot play against your friends
  • No tournaments
  • No mobile app

I understand that from one year to the next, sports games might remove certain elements in the interest of offering a better yet more compact game. For example, not many people use the practice mode, so I suppose most people won’t mind that it only includes one skater vs an AI goalie. However, to remove something as integral as the All-Star game or each team’s AI seems like a real step backwards for the game. This is a particular slap in the face considering that NHL 15 now has the full power of the new consoles.

EA had just better hope that the game actually functions or they will be in even bigger trouble. They are planning on patching in some features down the line, but with the core game missing so much, I think most hockey fans will just stick with NHL 14.

Last Updated: September 8, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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