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Video: Early NHL 13 trailer is all about skating

May 29, 2012, 8:10 PM EDT

I hate to bum everyone out, but here’s a sobering thought: there are only four-to-seven NHL games left in the 2011-12 campaign. Along with the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and free agency, hockey fans will probably turn to EA Sports’ NHL 12 for their hockey fix, which might make people clamor for NHL 13 in turn. While Electronic Arts polls fans to determine the cover star, Operation Sports shares some screen shots taken from this early preview video.

Perhaps I’m not very observant, but I’ve found the skating in the games to be pretty fantastic, so it wasn’t immediately clear what precisely the difference is (despite how undeniably cool all of that looked). Game Informer sheds a little more light on the changes that are in store for the next iteration of the popular (and unopposed) hockey video games series, which includes these bits. (Also added: some quips from your nerdy, game-playing author.)

 1. Previous NHL entries featured speed differentiation between players, but the developer is the first to admit the skaters lacked explosiveness. For NHL 13, EA Canada has completely reworked the skating engine, which its marketing team is dubbing True Performance Skating. This year speedy wingers like Marian Gaborik have the ability to fly by defenders.

That’s bad news for digital Hal Gill.

4. To build the new skating system, EA Canada has added over 1,000 new animations. Players will dig their skates hard into the ice when making abrupt changes in direction, and it takes them a second to gather their momentum when quickly stopping and skating in the opposite direction. You will also see skaters subtly dodge defenders who mis-time their checks.

OK, now that sounds promising.

7. EA has tweaked goaltender performance to open up the five hole for more scoring opportunities.

8. For the first time in the series, goalies now have individual limb control, which introduces more save possibilities and could also result in more deflection goals off their arms and legs.

EA Sports needs to call it Total Limb Control, unless that’s a real plan for a scary future in which we’re all flailing in some sickening virtual reality goaltending simulator. (If that ever happens, I’ll totally take a swig of a drink after allowing a goal, just like a real netminder.)

Anyway, Game Informer’s preview includes plenty of other early details on the much-anticipated next installment in the long-running series.

  1. G - May 29, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Reblogged this on Bruvahline and commented:
    I am addicted to NHL 12 and in fact, it’s the only game I get year after year. Any little video, or any little news about it makes me heart throb.

    This trailer just dropped and I can’t wait for it! I am not really sure what the deal is with the skating but I don’t care. The game can only get better. EA Canada has done an amazing job on previous versions of the game.

    They also seem to have addressed two huge problems that I have with the game in the lack of 5 hole opportunities against goalies, and the absence of a true speed burst with some of the speedier players.

    • ravenscaps48 - May 29, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      This game looks AWESOME! Can’t wait to lose DAYS of my life because of it, either!

      • cmutimmah - May 30, 2012 at 8:19 AM

        Hi, my name is Tim, and I’m addicted to EA Sports Hockey games.

        *Hi Tim!*

  2. sknut - May 29, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Whats great is they find the subtle things and tweak them to make the game better, last year it was deflections and now the 5 hole. Its the only sports game I get new each year.

  3. alexb64 - May 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Interested to see how this change works, as I have always found having fast skaters doesn’t really offer the advantage it would in an actual game.

    • ravenscaps48 - May 30, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Exactly… Jason Chimera played like he had cement in his skates when he is one of the fastest in the league

  4. bluesrawesome - May 30, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Ya same hear this is the only game I get year after year. I’m glad their working on the skating part because it needed help. I also saw in the video hockey iq which all players have so more than others Alex Petrieanglo vs George Parros (not hating on Parros) so that’s cool. I don’t know about you guys but I play be a gm mode a lot and wish they would make the entry draft a little more in depth. Also glad they fixing 5 hole I don’t think I’ve ever scored a goal 5 hole in this game.

    • cmutimmah - May 30, 2012 at 8:21 AM

      5 hole goals are easy… you just have to get close enough to make them happen or make a big move to get the goalie to open up like a prom night virg.

      shooting 5 hole is just my default for when I get to close to the net.

      PS – If you’re not playing online, you’re not playing the game. THe computer AI is better than it used to be, but it’s still a joke.

      • bluesrawesome - May 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        My internet speed is so bad that it cuts every time I play online.

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