The NHL 18 official trailer and feature set has been released!
I’m going to list all the major new features below, but won’t go into detail on many of them as there are already several places you can find that information; however, there are a couple I want to dive deep into, including the most underrated feature! 64 Multiplayer Combinations(at least).
First, let’s check out the trailer if you haven’t already:
I’d highly recommend subscribing to the brand new Official EA Sports NHL YouTube channel since they’ll likely be posting some exclusive content there to get their subscriber base up for NHL 18.
- New Dekes
- Defensive Skill Stick
- Arcade-Inspired 3-on-3 Hockey
- EASHL 3v3
- Expansion Draft Mode
- Multiplayer Options (64 multiplayer combinations)
Those are the primary new features that are being pushed right now.
New dekes and defensive skill stick are gameplay changes and there really isn’t much to talk about there until we see how the beta plays. I tried the new dekes in Alpha a couple months back and they were fun but won’t make any judgement until the beta.
Arcade-inspired 3 on 3 hockey and Expansion Draft Mode both sound fun but are fairly self-explanatory and probably not something I’ll focus a lot of my time on when the game comes out(maybe Arcade 3 on 3… we’ll see).
EASHL 3v3 and the Multiplayer options on the other hand… I might never sleep again once NHL 18 drops. The latter of those two features is a much bigger deal than it’s being made out to be! Something I’ve wanted for ages and I think any NHL veteran will welcome with open arms as it’s been a long time coming.
If you’re still not sure what this is exactly then let me explain.
NHL 18 will allow you to play almost any multiplayer game mode(except EASHL) with friends couch co-op style, online, OR a combination of both. That’s right, you can have a friend at your house on your Online Versus team then have a buddy at his own house also on your team versus real players in a ranked Online Versus match. Or perhaps jump into a game of Threes with your two teammates and connect with three other friends in an unranked match to get a full 3v3 friendly match going, not sure who has that many friends but I’m sure someone does.
If you take into account the different game modes this actually makes for a lot more than only 64 Multiplayer combinations too. It’s no secret that NHL is way more fun with friends and the limitation in previous NHL’s of having to have your friend at your house to play co-op Online Versus(or any multiplayer mode) was a bit tragic.
This feature will also work for Multiplayer offline modes as well – so for example you can play single player HUT co-op with a friend against the AI.
I’ve been playing Online Versus in NHL ever since it was introduced back in NHL 2007 and over the past 10 years I can’t even imagine how many online games I’ve played couch co-op style with my cousin – It was just what we did growing up and even into our early 20’s. Thousands of games no doubt.
As you get older, life’s responsibilities get in the way and you just don’t have time to go over to your friend or cousin’s place and sit on the couch until your eyes are bloodshot(from gaming – don’t do drugs). Being able to hop online and easily get some co-op Online Versus in while you’re both at your own houses will be huge! At least for us.
Hey Con, you better have your skates sharpened and stick taped… our co-op Online Versus domination is going to make it’s return.
I’m equally as excited for EASHL Threes. If you’ve never played EASHL 6’s(all humans on both sides), then you might not understand just how much fun this is going to be. I got my hands on it back in April and can tell you from experience that I feel it will become an easy fan favourite.
Playing EASHL 6’s is no doubt the most fun way to play NHL 17 right now. It’s the most authentic hockey you will play without playing real life hockey. No computer controlled players! That means you have the most control possible, it’s all on your team.
A problem with EASHL 6’s is the fact you need 5 friends… I’ve been alive for almost 27 years and before I became more heavily involved in the NHL community this year I had only two friends who I knew in real life that owned the game. So if you’re in that situation and you want to play EASHL 6’s then you basically need to join a league like the LGHL. Point is, it’s not easy to get 6 people together. With that said, I’ll be posting a beginner’s guide for the LGHL within the next week, so stay tuned for that if you’re interested.
Queue EASHL Threes! Now you only need 2 friends; if you use AI goalies. Although, for maximum fun you really need to get human goalies too. AI goalies are predictable and thus takeaway the authentic hockey feel of a full EASHL 6’s or 3v3 matchup.
Less people required means easier to get matches started and less potential for connection issues. Also, more likely you will be able to get the same group together over and over again. When you are playing 6’s it is very rare you can get the same 5 players on regularly to practice. 3 people is more do-able.
I love competitive NHL and would love nothing more than for it to become an eSport, we’re still quite a ways from that, but I think EASHL Threes does have potential to one day become exactly that. Obviously EASHL 6’s will always be the most authentic virtual hockey experience you can have but the factors I mentioned above are a huge reason Threes has major potential to become even more competitive.
- Easier to get the same group on regularly
- Smaller teams means more teams overall
- Less connection issues
- Less waiting around for teammates or trying to find fill-ins
NHL has a small player base compared to other major sports games let alone major eSport games. 6 players to a team is a tough sell with a small player base. Those above four points equal more matches more frequently. Have you watched real life 3 on 3 NHL hockey? Either regular season overtimes or the All-Star games? It’s easily the most exciting hockey to watch! Will virtual 3 on 3 hockey be just as exciting to watch? Time will tell…
Over to You!
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Don’t care? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @ChelTips.
Don’t forget to sign up for the NHL 18 Beta!
See ya on the ice July 25th.