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The NHL 24 gameplay reveal went live last week, introducing a variety of new information and details fans can expect to find come launch in October. Every year, the EA Sports NHL Team finds a way to make its hit hockey game come to life in a meaningful way, adding new gameplay features and changes to elevate the authenticity of each edition.
Though the NHL 24 release date is still well over a month away, the excitement revolving around the new game has started to build, with fans already after the NHL 24 pre order editions and bonuses they come with. But a big reason why there’s been an uptick in excitement as well, is because EA has been dropping new reveals for NHL 24 over these last two weeks, with its first trailer focusing on the gameplay.
Prior to the release date announcement and official trailer reveal on August 16, we at VideoGamer had the opportunity to speak with EA Sports’ NHL Development Team about the new gameplay changes set to arrive this year. And from our personal interview to the official gameplay reveal itself, we share all you need to know about the new gameplay features set to arrive in NHL 24.
NHL 24 Gameplay Details
The NHL 24 gameplay changes this year are quite significant, with the aim being oriented around making this latest edition one of the very best in the series’ history. To give you the full inside scoop on what you can expect, we at VideoGamer not only provide the details covered in the reveal, but also took some time to speak with both NHL 24’s Creative Director Mike Inglehart and Senior Producer Chris Haluke.
On that note, here’s a look at all the ins and outs you need to know about NHL 24’s revamped gameplay and the new features it will be home to.
The biggest change set to arrive in NHL 24 is none other than the new exhaust engine. This new feature operates as a sustained pressure system that rewards extended offensive sequences and attack zone time. The longer you work the puck successfully in the attack zone, the quicker the defenses stamina will deplete, and so will the goalkeeper’s the more shots you fire on him. Reaction times also slow down, and essentially, the exhaust engine grants offenses an extra incentive for locking in and being patient when attempting to find the best opportunity.
“Part of our time here is spent looking at the product and going okay, what other aspects of the story of hockey are not being told in our gameplay” said Inglehart when asking him about the new exhaust engine mechanism. “The idea was to add layers on top of what was there to create some more value in the gameplay. So the inspiration was to change the meta in providing a different focus to really shift the tactics and the cerebral part of the game so you’re not playing the game on autopilot but you’re thinking about these new systems actively.”
For those that are passionate about playing defense, you might be wondering if there will be any key ways for those holding their ground to disrupt the sustained pressure periods, and NHL 24 will be home to a handful.
“At the peak of it, both teams are fighting for sustained pressure,” said Inglehart. “So it’s a tug-of-war back-and-forth until one team actually manages to activate pressure. So, the offensive team, while they have this moment, it’s like real hockey; you can diffuse the situation by getting the puck out and dumping it in, getting a line change in, and resetting.”
Pretty much what it sounds like, the new physics-based contact feature serves as the primary influence for providing checking in NHL 24 with an all-new purpose. This year, EA overhauled its physics and animations of its gameplay to revolutionize the physical contact and have players deliver more realistic body checks. New animation-based reactions will allow fans to create bigger impact moments at any time in the game and the physicality of delivering body crunching shots on defense will come with a brand new meaning and style.
One of the most influential changes fans can expect to see is slow response times when players sustain a big hit on the ice, leading to more turnovers and counterattacking opportunities. In addition, fans will be able to complete shove hits, which tend to be safer to execute when trying to avoid penalties. And to top it off, NHL 24 will be home to a new defensive gameplay meta that will grant fans a reverse body-check control to knock down any defenders aiming to hit them off the puck. Last but not least, tossing players into the benches and breaking glass are back in NHL 24, making checking even more enjoyable and authentic than ever before.
75+ New Celebrations
A fun new change that NHL 24 is introducing is a ton of new celebrations, ones that you will be able to perform with real-life teams and players and others that will be exclusively available in the EA Sports Hockey League.
“Obviously, goalscoring is a peak moment in hockey and there’s a lot of NHL players that are becoming much more expressive as time goes on,” said Inglehart when asking him about the purpose of this change. “There’s a lot of fandom around the heroes of the game, but the purpose was to not only refresh goal celebrations and get more personal moments that we see from guys such as Auston Matthews, Mark Stone, guys who really like goal scoring. But the second part was also to ensure it carries through to the EA Sports Hockey League side with World of Chel.“
That’s right! A slew of new celebrations will be featured in World of Chel, adding in more flavor and passion for fans to tap into when scoring goals.
“In the ESHL side, you’re going to see kind of anything your mind can expect to see, such as balancing your stick on your hand while skating down the ice,” said Inglehart. “Whereas on the NHL side there’s going to be more of the raw emotion; there’s a lot more of the clenching of the fits and the passion that comes out from the players.“
Total Control Skill Moves
The Total Control Skill moves feature in NHL 24 will provide a refresh of the control setup to allow for completing highlight-reel moves more intuitive and accessible. In addition, fans will have a new ability to fake, pass, or deke out of every move, delivering a whole new level of creativity and strategy for players.
As is the case in real life, timing and how you read the ice will impact your ability to pull off skill moves successfully and score the goals you’re after once completing them. Though the stick handling and skill moves have generally been pretty smooth in previous editions, the changes we will find this year do add a new layer of versatility and fluidity that will make it significantly better than we’ve had in recent years.
Vision Passing System
With the new exhaust engine in place, it does not come to much of a surprise that NHL 24 decided to add a vision passing system feature in their gameplay. For NHL 24, fans can expect to find a re-mapping of face buttons, new visuals above pass receivers that will offer more direct passing, and the new ability to pass anywhere at any time.
Furthermore, one touch passing will arrive in NHL 24 as well, allowing you to quickly move the puck and cash in on big scoring opportunities. This really opens the floor for players to tap into a crisper level of passing while also being able to do so in a quicker fashion to maximise sustained pressure. In short, fans will be able to dig into their creativity with finding different new ways to pass, but will also be able to complete disguised looks that can lead to some sneaky and clever finishes.
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