Friday, September 5, 2014

NHL 15: EASHL Fail

The game I was most looking forward to this year was NHL 15 on Xbox One. The though of a better engine and crisper graphics combined with the ability to stream to Twitch or just grab highlights on the go seemed like the breath of fresh air the series needed. As it turns out this was not to be. EA decided to leave EASHL (and other modes) out of next gen in favor of overhauling the presentation, crowds, and arenas.

In my professional life I do custom application development. This decision from EA is like getting a complaint from a client that their application is running slowly and responding by prettying up the UI. If we did something like that we would be fired. It is difficult to fire EA because there are zero alternatives for NHL games. What I did though was I got EA Access refunded and am not buying NHL 15 on next gen. I would encourage you to do the same.

However, the story doesn't end there. EA happily informed us we could still play EASHL on last gen. Reluctantly, my teammates and I resolved ourselves to the disappointment and decided to suffer another year in the 360 ghetto to play the only must have feature of the NHL series. At this point I think things are about as bad as they are going to get.

I was wrong. As you can see by watching that video they have basically taken NHL 14 and changed the logo to NHL 15 and forced you to look a Bergeron all the time in the menus. I am grabbing the pre-release as I write this to confirm myself but at this point I am not inclined to keep my NHL 15 pre-order for 360. If the gameplay is still exactly the same as 14 then why play it or more importantly *pay* for it.

I will be commenting on Twitter as I try out 15 on the 360 this weekend. I may follow up a with a blog post but it is looking like this may be a lost year for the NHL series. I can see my team just staying with 14 and then maybe upgrading to next gen if they follow through with their promise of implementing OTP in a future patch. But I could just see waiting for NHL 16 as well.

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