NHL 17 lights the lantern

EA Sports

Alex Kramer, Sports Editor


Since the introduction of the next-gen game engine, the significant problem with the Electronic Arts NHL franchise was the lack of game modes, and ultimately what a player could do with the game. Last year, EA revamped the NHL game with new modes. However, those modes seemed dull. Then comes in NHL 17, the new and improved EA hockey video game.


People thought that the gameplay could not have gotten any better from its predecessor. They were wrong. NHL 17 makes it much harder to score in the offensive zone and a lot more difficult to dangle around defensemen. The new gameplay style forces players to set up plays in the zone. A three on two breakout play with the puck carrier making one move around a defenseman just won’t work every time like it did in past games. Almost everything in the game is harder, but for the better. For example, a wrist shot from the slot is not going to be on target every single time. To make it harder for the defense, screening the goalie is even more effective. A big player like Colton Parayko will force overrated goalies like Corey Crawford to find a new way to stop the puck. Another huge element in the gameplay is the time a player has to make decisions. Hockey is a fast paced game, and EA hit home with pace. Overall, the gameplay is top-notch.


           There really isn’t much to say about the graphics this year. They are once again as realistic as possible. The next-gen engine makes players feel like they are watching a prime-time game on NBC.

Game Modes

           A big improvement to the game is depth. Franchise mode, a game mode that allows the player to act as the general manager, president, and owner gets a fresh look, making it almost as complete as Madden Football’s equivalent. Ticket prices, stadium type, jersey changes, etc. are all new aspects of that game that the developer has added to make the mode more interesting. Before, in GM Mode, the player only had to worry about the team’s roster. Additionally, EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL), the multiplayer aspect of the game, receives a renewed feel. It almost feels like a first-person shooter. A player ranks up his in-game player to earn upgrades like celebrations, equipment, and hairstyles (hair is very important to hockey players). Also, if someone has friends that they want to play with, they can create a franchise and treat it like a franchise mode team and earn upgrades for the team. Starting out with a small arena, the team can work itself up to a Madison Square Garden equivalent. Moreover, Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) is of course in the game and adds some key new features like being able to trade in useless cards for better card packs. Finally, a mode that people may not be familiar with is Draft Champions. Similar to HUT, a player owns a fantasy team and competes against other players around the world. To make things exciting, Draft Champions begins with card pack themes to choose from and then twelve rounds of card selecting. After the strategic card selecting, the team will battle it out on the ice. EA certainly upped the ante with its depth of game modes this season.


           All in all, NHL 17 scores a 9/10. The depth of the game modes keeps players busy and its challenging and quick gameplay lives up to what the game of hockey really is all about.