developer: EA Sports
publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet / split screen / common screen, players: 1-12
NHL 20 is the next installment in the popular hockey simulator series, dating back to 1994. We can play single games, tournaments and league matches, using licensed players and teams of the NHL league. The game offers a number of different modes - both single and multiplayer. The title was developed by EA Sports, which has been consistently developing the franchise since its inception.
NHL 20 is a comprehensive hockey simulator, in which we can take part in both indoor and outdoor competitions. The struggles of virtual sportsmen and sportswomen are very realistic and the gameplay model is complex enough to convey all the characteristics of this sport.
EA Sports has made a few changes in the gameplay, compared to the previous installment. The stars received special characteristic shots - a total of several actions distinguished by different animations and style. Developers have also added a contextual shot system, which enables us to execute actions tailored to the situation of the player. Thanks to this, the game runs more smoothly and offers higher level of realism.
Developers also improved the way goalkeepers behave and added a few hundred new animations - so they can react more efficiently and flexibly to various situations on the ice rink. The mechanics of taking over the puck have also been changed - players should be more aware that they are close by and more likely to take it.
There is also a new system in the game, called Line Chemistry, responsible for the cooperation of players within one team. It is complemented by the Trade Finder tool, which makes it easier to find the right athletes.
NHL 20 can be played solo or in the company of other people. Traditionally, there is a career mode in which we can lead a single player or an entire team. It is also possible to play tournaments and individual matches, either solo or in multiplayer mode. Hockey Ultimate Team, Pro-Am and NHL Ones (the latter enriched with a local multiplayer option) are also coming back.
Another novelty is the Coaching Carousel mode, in which we play the role of a manager supervising eight different coaches - four from the NHL league and four from the AHL (unfortunately, the game's license does not include coaches, so we are trained by fictional people selected from an extensive list). Our task is to organize their work in order to achieve the best possible results.
The creators also prepared the Eliminator module, which enriches the gameplay of NHL 20 with some elements of the battle royale genre. The rules of competition are simple. We play against 81 other players and by winning, we move on to subsequent stages of the game, but after the first defeat we have to start again.
NHL 20 boasts a very attractive, three-dimensional visuals, powered by the Frostbite engine, as well as the proprietary Real Players Motion technology. Models and animations of both players and stadiums and ice rinks (including four brand new ones) represent the highest level in the world. Developers have prepared a number of new animations accompanying, among others, the scoring of points. Improvements to the graphics also include new card animations in Hockey Ultimate Team mode and more customization options for our character in the career module.
The game is accompanied by a professional sports commentary with James Cybulski and Pierre McGuire, as well as athletes (e.g. Wayne Gretzky) and celebrities (e.g. Chance the Rapper).