It's pretty remarkable that year after year, the EA Sports NHL series finds ways to innovate and take the franchise to new levels of ice hockey realism. Even though this year the game runs totally unopposed by any other hockey game, NHL 12 makes improvements across the board, both in gameplay and modes.
Plenty of noticeable tweaks have been implemented into NHL 12's gameplay, which add to the title's overall sense of NHL realism. Goalies are now live within the context of the game, meaning they can be bumped and interfered with. Overall CPU player positioning has drastically been improved, which all but eliminates unnecessary off-sides calls due to out of position computer-controlled players. Wingers and defensemen skate logical tracks up and down the ice and are usually in the right spot to anticipate a rebound or one-time pass.
In addition, there are handfuls of aesthetic tweaks to the game. Nets can come off their moorings, players can get checked into team benches, and the full-contact physics engine has been retooled to react appropriately to players of all different strengths and sizes. Player face re-creations also seem more accurate this year.
NHL 12 also marks a significant tweaking to the overall physics of the puck in game. No longer does the puck seem to unnaturally hover like in years past. Instead it now rolls on end, pops in and out of the net organically, and overall has a much more realistic presence. Fans familiar with the franchise will also notice that game speed has been increased just a bit from NHL 11.… Read more