NHL 2005 - PC

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NHL 2005 (PC)
Also for: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Ice Hockey
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Electronic Arts Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 17 Sept 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Control Pad


Year on year, Electronic Arts succeeds in delivering the most popular, most in-depth and best-looking NHL titles to grace the genre. Where for many developers it would be easier to release the same old game engine with a few updated figures, EA takes the time and effort to produce a sequel that's much more than a generic update. And NHL 2005 is true testament to this.

Though updated season statistics and player information will be welcomed by series veterans, it's what's new about NHL 2005 that really matters to its players. Firstly, EA has introduced what it calls Open Ice Control, which is a fancy saying for a better play mechanic. Noticeably different from earlier instalments, gameplay is now much more seamless, affording players the ability to switch between players, call for passes and set up defensive double teams with the push of a button. Quite simply, the game is more fluid than it's ever been.

Furthermore, NHL 2005 is host to a brand new skating engine that affords its players remarkable precision and control. It's not only superior in terms of gameplay; it also helps to better capture the fast-paced play of the sport, placing an emphasis on a character's gliding and acceleration. In addition, skaters are now driven by new 'personality AI', a technique that sees individual NHL stars behave as they would in real life.

Dynasty mode, effectively the game's built-in management simulation, is largely the same as it was before. However, there is a new and in-depth email system to tinker with, bringing the series right up to date.

With every update we ask ourselves how EA will beat its last NHL game, and every year we seem to get a very good answer. Who knows what NHL 2006 will have in store?