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Game critics seem pretty happy with NHL 14

Sep 18, 2013, 8:57 PM EDT


EA Sports’ latest video game NHL 14 released in North American on Sept. 10 and worldwide on Sept. 13, so it seems like a good time to take a look at how critics are receiving it. The general response seems to be enthusiastic, although maybe that excitement is waning a bit year-to-year.

Most of the critiques are glowing and contain a multitude of hockey puns, although Giant Bomb’s review captures a mild feeling of stagnation that might be familiar to fans of sports video game franchises.

All of this considered, NHL 14 is most certainly a better game than last year’s, but whether it’s enough to convince you to go for another purchase will likely depend on how badly you want improvements to the series’ more physical game elements. In terms of visuals, commentary, and feature set, little of NHL 14 changes notably from what was on offer last year, leaving only the hitting and fighting systems as the marquee upgrades. NHL 13 had a pretty massive chasm between the quality of its gameplay and its feature set, and that chasm hasn’t really been filled in much at all this year.

Metacritic’s aggregated reviews gives the Xbox 360 version an 83 out of 100 while the Playstation 3 one mysteriously falls to 79. The site’s collection of game reviews shows that the series is generating slightly less impressive reviews each year, although only incrementally worse.

NHL 14: 83 on 360, 79 on PS3
NHL 13: 83 on 360, 83 on PS3
NHL 12: 86 on 360, 86 on PS3
NHL 11: 88 on 360, 88 on PS3

EA hasn’t confirmed NHL 15 for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, but perhaps bigger innovations – and more enthusiastic reviews – might come then?

  1. jonkchar - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    if NHL doesn’t go next-gen, we riot

  2. slammed81 - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:08 PM


  3. colby7 - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    The fighting is probabaly worth the purchase for most.

    Minimal amount of effort put in to the majority of the modes. You even see some with the exact same text blobs from NHL 13, mislabeling things as “All new!!!”. The game modes are bloated and need to be cleaned up.
    “Live the Life” is just Be a Pro with a few text dialogue boxes added.

    I would kill for something like FIFA’s “lounge” that lets all of the local users creat profiles and it keeps statistics from all of the times you play and shows a leaderboard.

    • claudegirwho - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Are you talking about the lobby where you can go in and it keeps track of your wins and losses with you rank and gives you a skill number. I haven’t played FIFA in years so I wouldn’t know

  4. themagicman1223 - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    They ruined Be a GM, the overall of the young players I have doesn’t nearly go up as much as it used to. The development of young players is ruined, I don’t know what they were thinking.

  5. pxland - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Wait, wait, wait….

    Is that a picture of a canucks player winning a fight? I thought realism was part of the allure.

  6. rushledger - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    It’s seriously gonna take them next gen systems to finally add more than one ref on the ice at a time, assuming they do it. That to me is painfully sad.

  7. jacketsfan7 - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    ^^^^^omg I’m dying lol , anyways I like the game but I must agree about the be a gm mode , it kinda sucks with the development ratings

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    It would be nice if somehow the NFL and NHL rights could be shared by both 2K and EA. It would force both companies to ‘1 up’ each other making it better for us consumers.

  9. blomfeld - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Sodom and Gomorrah

    while our planet continues to go through it’s death pangs, it truly is a shame that as a species ‘this’ type of tripe is what we’ve come to be … 😦

  10. mehetmet - Sep 19, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Anyone else find it really easy? Despite playing on superstar, with the Sabres, and making no trades to “better” my team i still win almost every game.

    Difficulty increase would be nice. I play Madden 25 on All Pro and can barely win a game, this on it’s highest setting and (on Be a Pro) I get a hatrick every game.

    Also one other thing. They changed “Be a Pro” to “Live the Life” but when you save it, it says “Save Be a Pro”. Can’t you make the change consistently…?

  11. amityvillefun - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Some things are improved to make the game a bit more realistic (shooting after the whistle invites retaliation as does injuring a player with a big hit) and the hitting seems better than before. Chara is a BEAST in the game, and can send guys flying! Introducing the spin move back into the game the way they did isn’t as realistic to my eyes. Not every player can do this move without losing the puck in the process. But in the game, every player can do it as well as Denis Savard!

    A disappointment to me is that that transition screens are literally the same which seems to be something that would be easy to update to keep it fresh. Most of the play by play commentary is really, really old now. They really need some new guys doing it.

    I’ve been a fan of hockey video games since Blades of Steel and I do like NHL 14. With a bit more detail this could have been a much better. As it stands, it is an upgrade from NHL 13 but they really could have done more with the presentation side. One move I miss from NHL 12 is the “push the puck up” button. That is a move any NHL player can do and it really helped to create some space and speed up a breakaway or a rush.

    In all, it’s worth the extra loot if you are a big fan of the series.

  12. 2jivecrew - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I’m sure the metacritic score for most yearly sports games trend downward toward the end of a console cycle.

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