Sports season is now upon us, in video games at least, and with the recent release of Madden NFL 23, we’re already in the midst of EA Sports’ yearly releases. With that in mind, they have released tons of information about NHL 23, and we’ve got all the details so far about what players are going to experience when the game releases. So, without further ado, here’s the scoop on this year’s EA ice hockey entry.
When does it release?
What platforms will it be on?
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.
Who are the cover athletes?
For the first time ever, we’re getting dual cover athletes crossing both men’s and women’s ice hockey. Anaheim Duck’s Trevor Zegras and Canadian national team member Sarah Nurse will be on the cover.
What visual improvements will there be?
EA Sports’ NHL series enters its second year featuring the Frostbite engine, and with it comes a slew of impressive visual enhancements, both to the game itself as well as the arenas and fans in attendance.
- 500 new Last Chance Puck Movement gameplay animations – NHL 23 will feature hundreds of animations for when play unfolds after various levels of contact occur, such as passing after a tumble to desperation shots from the ice. Not only will you be able to take advantage of these new opportunities when in control, you’ll also be able to go for a loose puck by double-tapping pass or shoot to make impressive plays or clearing the puck when all hope seems lost.
- Enhanced Goalie AI – Goalie’s have more animations throughout play, and taking advantage of the Last Chance Puck Movements, there’ll be more than 50 new Human Desperation Save Groups, equalling over 50 new save animations.
- Intuitive crowd reactions – Depending on how the action is unfolding on the ice, fans will become more louder or quieter with how their team is performing. They’ll become louder in the dying moments, react to various goals depending on when they’re scored, and more. You might even see hundreds of hats fly onto the ice if you hit that all-important goal in the dying seconds.
- New levels of immersion – Thanks to Frostbite, there’ll be new Overtime winner, Hat Trick, and Shootout celebrations to hype you up, highlighting the power of this year’s visuals.
What new features are coming to Ultimate Team?
- Make way for the women – In another first for the franchise, women are being added to UT, with IIHF Women’s National Team members available to be added alongside men in a HUT line-up. Women’s national team members will have both base and master items incorporated into events.
- New updates and rewards coming to Rivals – Players will now be able to compete in a variety of new rotating game themes, and thanks to feedback from the fans, there’ll now be three additional tiers of rewards based on Win streaks, set to br granted immediately.
And what about Franchise mode?
So far, not a ton has been revealed about Franchise mode, but what we do know is that customisation will be at a series high, bringing all-new levels of versatility to the game, including adjustments to the number of teams, games played, divisions, conferences, playoff rounds, league salary cap, and more.
Cross-Platform matchmaking will be coming to NHL 23
Although this won’t be available at release, the plan is for EA Sports to add cross-platform matchmaking in November, specifically for HUT and World of Chel. There is a minor caveat for this, though, as PlayStation and Xbox players will only be able to play against each other across their respective console generations.
Transferring progress across generations will be available
If you were to start playing on PS4 or Xbox One, HUT Team Value and progress can be transferred to either PS5 or Xbox Series X|S, as long as it is via the same console line i.e. PS4 to PS5. This will also mean players can protect 20 player items and a coach in their current line-up, and any coins and items remaining after the transferral will be given a similar value in Tradeable Packs to start on the new generation account.
Is it available for pre-order?
NHL 23 is now available for pre-order, and can be done so from the official site. There’re two Editions to choose from: Standard Edition and X-Factor Edition.
The Standard Edition comes with:
- X-Factor Women HUT Choice Pack (1 of 4)
- 5 World of Chel X-Factor Zone Ability Unlocks (instant)
- Signed Sarah Nurse World of Chel Jersey (Digital)
- Be A Pro X-Factor Slot Unlocks (2), XP Boost, and Bonus Trait Points.
The X-Factor Edition comes with:
- Everything in the Standard Edition
- Dual Entitlement (buy on one generation of console, get it for the other generation in the same family)
- 3-Days Early Access
- 4600 NHL Points
- HUT X-Factor Player Choice Pack (1 of 18)
- HUT X-Factor Power-Up Starter Pack (Instant)
Where’s the reveal trailer?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check it out below: