NHL 11 Review (PS3)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Oct 20, 2010 14:04

Sometimes you get games long after they’ve been released, and are obligated to review them. This is one of those cases.

Shoot hard, hit hard, skate fast. Those are things that make NHL hockey great. They are also things that make NHL 11 great, but they are not the only things. There is so much game and stuff to cover in EA Sports’ NHL 11 that I don’t know if it will all fit into one review.

NHL 11 gives you the ability to create everything from a single hockey player to an entire team. You can be player, owner and GM in various modes and all of them are fairly well done. This year Hockey Ultimate Team joins the NHL mix allowing you to create your own team from the ground up in a trading card-based format akin to many collectible card games. You have various types of cards including players, contracts and ability increases for skating, shooting, etc.

Tee graphics are so nice on the PS3 that when I was playing and News Girl came in she thought it was a real hockey game for a moment and then realized it was the game. That’s the true sign of great graphics there. When, for even a split second, you look and think it’s the genuine article. Players are a little rough around the edges though. Hair still looks terrible as do faces available for your specific players. I mean, they’re still almost as bad as the FIFA 10 players were on the Xbox 360 last year when I reviewed that. It’s just pathetic that they can’t manage to get some decent looking graphics in the game on the build-your-own player end. Many of the real-life players look pretty good in the game on the other other hand. You can, with some fiddling about, get your player to not look like a reject from the genetic pool if you’ve got some patience and find a decent combination of facial features. I even managed to get my player (Kazimir) to look fairly Czech.

There is a technical glitch that shows up when your Be a Pro player goes to the penalty box as well where part of the screen is just black as if blocked by something.

The announcers are about 70-80% accurate on their play calling. The often get tripped up during quick plays and cut off in mid-sentence. They say things that didn’t really happen (like taking a puck in the mask, 3-on-2, "can you say lightbeam" when he was one foot from the goalie and bounced if off him) and are sometimes forgettable. But a lot of the time they’re just fine. They just can’t seem to keep up with the action on the ice all of the time and it would probably have been better if EA Sports had gone for less chatter than more. They also comment on a lot of penalties and that’s about 50% accurate as well. Of course a lot of penalties look like poor calls anyway.

That’s partly because of the blocky, bag-of-potatoes-like physics of the players on the ice. There are some really stellar animations at times, but hits and falling are totally lacking. It’s like they said ’we don’t need mo-cap of people falling down, gravity takes care of it right?’ No, in your game it doesn’t quite do it right. But still, there’s a lot of satisfaction in laying someone out or plastering them up against the boards, so it’s not a major issue.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for NHL 11 Review (PS3)
10.0 Replay
I don’t often give a game a ten for anything but there’s so much to keep coming back to here, I don’t know that they even need to bring out another one next year. I might still be playing this one.
8.5 Graphics
Some of the characters are still crap looking in the face and hair. Other that that it’s stellar and good realism.
8.5 Sound
The crowds and the music change and work well as do the actual game sounds. The announcers should learn that less is more sometimes as they often trip over themselves.
9.0 Gameplay
I haven’t really liked a sports title for a long time aside from FIFA 10. This game makes me want to skip work and play all day.
9.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Any mode can be local multiplayer and there are lots of ways to play online including taking your skater or team online to compete.
9.0 Overall
This is what sports games are meant to be. Even with its minor flaws in graphics and sound I’m still quite satisfied. Some minor stuff is wrong as well but still, a very enjoyable experience.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 1

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