/NHL 18: A New Age in Virtual Hockey

NHL 18: A New Age in Virtual Hockey

As summer grows old and the leaves change colors, we (thankfully) approach a new season of hockey. In a few short months the season will be in full flight, news frequent and juicy, and entertainment present for all passionate ice hockey fans. However, with free agency at a lull and few leagues in play, fans are without means to quench their hockey desires… well, at least in real life. Luckily, they will have one virtual world to turn to soon: The brand spankin’ new NHL 18 video game, which is due to be released in early September.

Each new year of sports’ gaming brings basic advancements such as superior graphics, improved mechanics, and updated rosters. Coupled with these generic advancements, the newest addition to the EA franchise of sports games will feature many more gimmicks than previous years. These incorporations have given 18 the widest leap between one year to the next in the past several years of the game’s history. Regardless of whether you own every NHL game dating back to the ’90’s, or have never purchased a sports’ game in your life, these advancements should give the public an even greater motivation to join the addiction that is virtual ice hockey.

Here are three major additions to NHL 18 that should make you want to drop everything, buy the game, and play it as if your life depended upon it.

1. NHL Three’s

An arcade style version of the base game itself, 3 v 3 is an easy way to accelerate scoring and make the game even more free-flowing than it already is. No offsides, no icing, and less clogged ice leads to easier offense for players wanting a slightly unconventional game mode. Also, unlike the conventional hockey game, every penalty turns into a free shot rather than the 2-minute box time. By including a campaign, versus, and online mode, EA gives consumers reason to play three’s over more realistic game modes.

2. Expansion Mode

Just as the Vegas Knights have become the newest NHL franchise through expansion, gamers can too take part in an “expansion mode,” which is a branch of franchise mode called. New cities, creation of your own mascot, and drafting from multiple teams gives the full encompassing of being a brand new team. This gives a different, more realistic approach to going through a season with one team in virtual reality.

3. Creative Attack Dekes/Defensive Skill Stick

As mentioned earlier, each quality sports game will improve mechanics from year-to-year. As a whole, NHL 18 has little tweaks here and there, but the most promoted and recognized by EA are their offensive attack dekes and defensive skill stick. The new dekes provide extensive movements to use in combination, such as between the legs, back handed toe and heel drags, and puck flips. These allow for an even wider range of moves to combat the accentuated defensive skill stick that is manually designed to stop opponents with precision.

And as one reflects on this game, it may not be a revolutionary turning point for the gaming community, but NHL 18 is shaping up to be quite the game for casual fans and statisticians alike. Thus, as we look to the upcoming season, we can set our sights on this game to raise the anticipation.

Drew Bishop is a freshman at Temple University in Philadelphia. He's been watching hockey since the age of 3, follows the cardinal rule of Saturday's are for the boys, and wears sunglasses everywhere no matter what. The primary way of contacting Drew is at this email: dbishop@gnghockey.com.