EA Sports’ NHL 15 certainly boasts impressive visuals, physics, and asthetics, but their newly revealed gamemode list shows the new features come at a cost.
- Play Now
- Be A Pro
- Be A GM
- Online Versus
- Hockey Ultimate Team
- NHL Moments Live
EA’s official release states that they are proud of their work with the Next-Generation Hockey Player, True Hockey Physics, updated arena experience, and the new Broadcast Presentation, but some of the most popular gamemodes will be absent from the new-generation version of the game — EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL) and Online Team Play (OTP).
While EASHL will be entirely removed from the game, a simplified OTP mode is said to return in a free update after the intitial game launch. The gamemode will not entirely resemble that of the previous online team-play iterations. The OTP add-on will not allow players to create and play with their own custom player, but rather the in-game roster players will be used instead. There will be no lobbies to organize any specific games. EA has opted for an easy to implement random-joining process to the OTP games — similar to how joining versus games currently operates.
While the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions will maintain the classic gamemodes, the removal of the fan favorite gamemodes will be a significant blow to EA. An EA developer described the transition they had to under-go while creating the new-generation experience.
“NHL 15 on the new consoles is a fundamentally different gameplay and presentation experience.
You can still play Be A Pro, Be A GM, NHL Moments Live, Online Vs and HUT.
We have overhauled every screen within those modes and are continuing to deliver additional content post launch.”
EA is still working to determine whether the online-franchise mode “GM Connected” will be included at this point, but it’s clear the company’s development process regarding new features consumed a lot of their resources.
“Maintaining these modes year on year (even if we don’t add any new features) is very costly and it takes away from us working on other features in the more played modes which is why I say that the future [of GM Connected] is TBD based on current usage.”
While the news may disappoint some fans, EA maintains that NHL 16 will hold massive improvements to EASHL. They ensure that they will be clear regarding the development process of for the 6v6 gamemode.
“We’ll be fully transparent on the development of OTP as we build back towards created players and the EASHL.
The exact timetable is TBD.”
NHL 15 will be releasing for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4 and Playstation 3 September 9th.