Developer: EA Canada
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: NA: September 9th 2014, EU: September 12th 2014
NHL 15 is an upcoming sports simulation, officially licensed NHL (National Hockey League) Ice Hockey video game that is currently being developed by EA subsidiary, EA Canada, the same studio that has worked on Skate and Need for Speed as well as the FIFA series of sports titles.
Slated to be the first 8th generation entry in the series, marking it as the first 8th generation iteration of the popular series, NHL 15 will have a slightly scattered release window, arriving in North America on September 9th of 2014 and September 12th in PAL Regions (Europe, Australia and New Zealand). NHL 15 will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Being available on the new 8th generation of home consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 builds of the game will be running on the powerful internally developed IGNITE engine. The IGNITE engine is powering all the major licensed sports simulations titles that are being developed by EA development teams, including FIFA 15, and EA Sports UFC. The IGNITE engine already powers 2013’s Madden NFL 25, NBA Live 14, FIFA 14, albeit in a lesser capacity than that found in the 8th gen games.
NHL 15 is going to be the first officially licensed National Hockey League game to appear on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and it will be continuing the tradition of having a prominent player from the Hockey scene on the cover of the games case. NHL 15 will feature the multi award winning player, Patrice Bergeron, of the Boston Bruins.
A number of the games finer mechanics have been tweaked or entirely overhauled to allow for a more realistic version of the game. This includes the basic physics of the game that was generally reserved for certain on screen characters, this has been changed so that all 12 players on the field will be affected allowing for collisions, tackles and pile ups that can potentially include the entirety of both teams.
As you’re probably aware, the score in Hockey is determined by the amount of goals scored with a puck made of vulcanised rubber. Being such a key component of the game it was important to refine the physics on the puck to, once again, allow for a better sense of realism, now everything on the ice (presumably even imperfections left in the ice) will impact the pucks performance.
[Writers Note: EA are playing up the fact that one of their software engineers has previously worked on the Large Hadron Collider, a particle collider that is massive in both terms of scale and scientific importance. This is however, pointless self promotion on EA’s part as particle and HE physics are in no way comparable to the physics behind a puck on ice]
The AI found in NHL 15 has also been tweaked and improved to give the opponent and the players team a higher level of awareness and intelligence when on the ice. Similar to FIFA 15, team mates will react accordingly to certain plays that the player makes which make the game more dynamic in nature. This is being referred to as Vision AI, likely because it references the AI controlled players increased observational skills.
Gameplay in NHL 15 is from a third person perspective and involves the player competing with the opposing team in an effort to score as many points as possible by getting the puck into the opposing teams goal/net.
As players have come to expect, Hockey is a game with physical content in spades. Body checking and high tackles are all par for the course and have become part of the sport as a whole. To this end, the increased player physics that allows for mass collisions and multi-person pile-ups lends NHL 15 a more brutal yet realistic edge.
Overall though, gameplay remains largely unchanged with most differences between iterations come in the form of tweaks. Given the strength of the 8th gen hardware, the arenas and crowds are being re-created in a lot more detail than before.
There aren’t any official lists that detail the teams that will be included in NHL 15. Instead, we know which leagues will be appearing and from that can draw conclusions. The leagues are:
NHL – National Hockey League
AHL – American Hockey League
Liiga – Finland’s Hockey League
SHL – Swedish Hockey League
Czech Extraliga – Czech Republic’s Hockey League
DEL – Germany’s Hockey League
NLA – Switzerland’s Hockey League
QMJHJ – Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
OHL – Ontario Hockey League
WHL – Western Hockey League
CHL – Canadian Hockey League
EA failed to aquire a license from the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) which prevents them from using official national jerseys and true to life league players.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.