NHL 22 Review: Worst or Different?

NHL 22, the latest addition to EA Sports’ long-running hockey franchise, attempts to revolutionize things with new features and next-gen hardware support. While there are noticeable improvements in graphics and gameplay, NHL 22 falls short of meeting its promises.

This review will examine gameplay mechanics, visuals, replayability, and our overall opinion of NHL 22.

Platforms

NHL 22 is the 31st installment in the NHL gaming series. EA Sports was pumped to announce NHL 22 PS4, NHL 22 PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on October 15, 2021.

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You can get the NHL 22 game pass from the Microsoft store or a PlayStation store now.

NHL 22 Gameplay

The gameplay in NHL 22 is familiar to fans of the series. With some tweaks and the addition of Superstar X-Factors from EA’s Madden franchise. These X-Factors provide special skills to some of the best players in the league. But their impact on gameplay isn’t as great as one might hope.

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Despite attempts at differentiating star players on-ice, most still feel quite similar. Poke checks remain overpowered, and tracking pucks – particularly around corners – remains difficult.

Superstar X-Factors have not produced a major shift in the metagame. Franchise mode and Be A Pro both benefit from having X-Factors involved. Yet these modes lack the depth or excitement that fans might expect.

On the other hand, World of CHEL’s EASHL mode takes advantage of these X-Factors by allowing players to build characters tailored to their style.

Given NHL 22 wasn’t cross-play compatible, it appears EA is taking its time introducing this feature into the franchise. Not only does cross-play allow players to play with friends from other consoles, but it is also a lifesaver in terms of reduced match times.

Graphics

NHL 22 features EA’s Frostbite engine and modern hardware for improved lighting, uniform details, and realistic ice.

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Additionally, there are new animations for faceoffs and blocking as well as more accurate player likenesses. These visual enhancements, combined with enhanced statistics presentation and immersive camera angles provide players with a more realism-rich experience.

Is NHL 22 Replayable?

While NHL 22 offers various modes to suit different player preferences, its reliance on Superstar X-Factors and lack of substantial changes to franchise mode or Be A Pro mode may leave some players feeling like they’re playing the same thing over again.

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Ultimately, whether or not players find NHL 22 replayable will depend on their interest in various modes as well as their tolerance for issues mentioned earlier in the gameplay section.

Verdict

NHL 22 makes a positive step with its improved graphics and gameplay, as well as Superstar X-Factors to shake up the metagame. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to these potentials, with some modes lacking the depth or excitement players may desire. As such, replayability for those looking for significant changes may be limited.

Overall, NHL 22 offers some improvements and is worth giving a shot for hockey enthusiasts or those who haven’t played the series in some time. However, those expecting an unprecedented shift might find themselves disappointed.

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