Playing a sports game can be a bit of a slog. After a certain point, people are just ready for the next edition after grinding out everything you possibly can in the last game.For me, that time came about two months ago with NHL 21. I had a great time with it - probably the most fun I've had since NHL 14. But it was time to move on, especially with the acquisition of a Playstation 5 after seemingly having to win World War III to acquire.
And so far, I'm happy with EA Sports' latest offering, NHL 22 The menus got a major overhaul and the quality definitely is a noticeable aspect of the game. They're vibrant, quicker than previous iterations of the game series and overall easy on the eyes. The old tile system seen from NHL 21 is gone, and thankfully.
NHL 22's Top 50 Overall Player Ratings
To add strategic depth to some of the superstars and teams this time around, EA Sports has also implemented the new X-Factor feature in NHL 22. These grant certain players unique abilities that make them stand out amongst a sea of other athletes. Depending on their real-world characteristics, these abilities can range from being better at passing, to having a deadly-fast slapshot, to any other number of on-ice specialties.
X-Factors act as a nice identifier for the crème de la crème of the NHL, but they aren't necessarily a selling point either. Instead, they offer a unique element that highlights what it means to be a superstar in the National Hockey League.
The introduction of star players and the aptly named Superstar X-Factors were meant to let the best pros shine and show why they are at the top of the game. Similar to its FIFA and Madden cousins, there is certainly some merit to going down this path, with EA Vancouver trying to strike a balance between simulation and arcade gameplay. Yet, there are some growing pains to account for.
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