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All Articles: NHL 18
EA Sports has announced that Connor McDavid, a center for the Edmonton Oilers, will serve as the cover athlete for NHL 18. They also revealed that a Public Beta for NHL 18 will be available to download beginning July 25 (registration is open at EASports.com now), as well as the first gameplay trailer.
“Representing NHL 18 as the cover athlete is an incredible honor,” said McDavid. “I’ve played EA Sports NHL every year since I was kid. To appear on the cover, something that has been done previously by so many players that I respect and admire, is very exciting. I can’t wait to play NHL 18.”
In addition to the gameplay trailer’s focus on “speed, skill, and creativity,” NHL 18 will also include an Expansion Draft feature to build a custom team for the Vegas Golden Knights, along with an arcade-inspired 3-on-3 mode known as NHL Threes:
New Creative Attack skill moves give players the control to execute jaw-dropping plays. On offense, creative dekes include between-the-legs moves, one-handed dekes, back-handed toe-drags and much more — like the ability to branch moves together for moment-to-moment decision making. On defense, the new Defensive Skill Stick delivers the tools to counter attacks with poke check targeting, extended pokes, and controlled stick sweeps to cover zones of the ice and take away lanes. New Creative A.I. systems mean teammates now leverage the same tools as the player for intelligent decision-making all over the ice, including board passes and through-passing into space.
NHL 18 introduces 3-on-3 hockey in two bold new ways. First, NHL Threes is an arcade-inspired experience with fast-paced, over-the-top action that features faster gameplay, bigger hits and high-scoring action. Players can choose modes between fast-fun couch co-op and fully competitive online team play, or dive into the new NHL Threes circuit-style Campaign Mode to compete against different teams and leagues in a circuit-style journey where they can unlock objective-based rewards as they progress through the campaign. Second, NHL 18 adds an authentic 3-on-3 online team play option to the fan-favorite EA Sports Hockey League mode, allowing for more open ice and strategic, risk-vs-reward multiplayer competition.
NHL 18 will be available for the PS4 and Xbox One on September 15… though players who opt for the Young Stars Edition (with includes a ton of bonus content for Hockey Ultimate Team) will be able start playing on September 12.
There’s no need to panic… EA Sports will indeed release a full slate of sports simulations in 2017.
CEO Andrew Wilson shared the completely unsurprising news during EA’s quarterly financial report earlier this week, and he seems particularly proud of the enhancements planned for FIFA 18, including an expanded new storyline for “The Journey”:
FIFA 18 will build on the foundation we created with Story Mode this year, bringing players back to “The Journey” with Season 2, featuring new characters and new storylines. Our development team in Vancouver is delivering deeply innovative new experiences across this year’s game, including an Ultimate Team, and creating the most emotionally immersive and connected FIFA we have ever produced.
Wilson also announced that development of the Madden franchise will finally transition to the Frostbite Engine with Madden NFL 18:
Our Madden NFL franchise will transition to the Frostbite Engine with Madden NFL 18, unlocking major visual advancements and new gameplay experiences that will excite dedicated Madden players, football fans, and sports fans overall.
The executive closed the EA Sports portion of his report with confirmation that EA Sports UFC 3 is set to be released sometime in 2017, while NHL 18 and the “all new” NBA Live 18 will be released in the Fall.
SAG-AFTRA, a union representing voice actors and stunt performers, authorized a strike against game developers that began this morning. As part of the process, the union has published a list of projects that members are no longer allowed to work on, and it includes several unannounced games.
It wasn’t much of a shock to learn that EA Sports is already hard at work on Madden NFL 18 and NHL 18, but listings for Lego Marvel 2 and Brothers in Arms were a bit more surprising (though not unexpected). While WB Games has yet to make any noise about a new Lego Marvel game, Gearbox confirmed the existence of a fourth Brothers in Arms game last year.
A large number of mobile games also make up a large part of the list, as well as a few games that are denoted only by codenames. For example, Take-Two is working on something called “Alligator,” while EA is developing games under monikers as diverse as “Odin,” “Fearless,” “Scorpion,” and “Timbits.” We may never know what these codenames refer to (they may even belong to games that have already been released), but one of the union’s major demands is for developers to be more transparent during the hiring process and to use a game’s actual title when contracting with vocal/stunt performers.
Finally, several highly-anticipated 2017 titles will be affected by the strike including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Injustice 2, and Crash Bandicoot Remastered. So hopefully the two sides can reach an equitable agreement soon.
UPDATE: A representative from WB Games has informed us that the inclusion of “Lego Marvel 2” in the SAG-AFTRA strike list is actually a reference to Lego Avengers, which was released earlier this year. However, Lego Avengers was announced in January 2015, several weeks before the union’s deadline for projects that must be part of the picket line. I’m not sure why it was included on the list (it’s possible the union goofed), but the official line from WB Games is that “Lego Marvel 2” is definitely not a reference to “Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2” or any other unannounced game.