NHL 22 new features: Superstar X-Factors, Be a Pro storylines

NHL 21’s Be a Pro mode may have been more properly called “Be a Rookie.” Given, EA Vancouver upgraded the single-player profession dream, however the satisfaction was brief. Our evaluation of NHL 21 discovered that a great deal of its appeal was restricted to the gamer’s novice year, a frustration for fans of among the series’ most popular modes.

Be a Pro in NHL 22 will cram in brand-new stories and profession objectives, as if to particularly address that criticism. “We saw a big opportunity to really fill in that gap with new content, and challenges that take longer and have longer form,” Clement Kwong, NHL 22’s lead manufacturer, informed Polygon recently.

“So, like, winning multiple division awards,” Kwong elaborated, “you take a player like Pat Maroon these past couple of seasons, he’s probably living the dream as a player, winning multiple cups on multiple teams.” Maroon won a Stanley Cup in St. Louis in 2019, signed with Tampa Bay as a complimentary representative for 2020, and won rings with the Lightning in each of the previous 2 seasons. “That’s an example of something that we can now do in the mode.”

Integrated with the novice addition of Super star X-Factors — increases and characteristics readily available to developed gamers and the league’s leading 150 stars — Kwong factors that Be a Pro for NHL 22 will provide more powerful, more RPG-like interest developing a character and sticking with them over several seasons.

Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks in NHL 22

Image: EA Vancouver/Electronic Arts

Super Star X-Factors are being threaded into every mode of NHL 22, in Be a Pro in addition to Hockey Ultimate Group, the team-control Franchise mode, and World of Chel, the online multiplayer suite that debuted in 2018. Madden NFL presented the principle 2 years back as a method to make stars appear and play more like stars. Kwong stated NHL 22 designers are choosing the exact same distinction with their virtual gamer population, however guarantees that they’re not making a rigorous copy of what their coworkers at EA Tiburon have actually performed in Football.

“We have to make it make sense for hockey, right?” Kwong stated. “Hockey is a flow game, where things can change on a dime, and it’s a really high-speed game. So, we don’t look at how you counter [special] abilities in the same way [as Madden]. We wanted to introduce a kind of new layer of strategy that was unique to hockey, in terms of how you counter set abilities. We want to make sure with a team-based game, especially where it ties into [team] chemistry, with Be a Pro, that you have multiple options to counter an offensive ability with your defense.”

This suggests for gamers who desire the additional depth in game-planning they can focus on strategies like stick or poke monitoring, or diving into shots, to reduce the effects of gamers who are talented at making plays at high speed, or at shot precision with a one-timer.

“What we’re talking about here is beyond upgrades, beyond attributes,” Kwong stated, “and more behaviors as simple as, shot error; your capacity for being in a perfect position; how long does it take for a player to settle the puck, are you bobbling the puck.”

Structure the list of capabilities, and the gamers that would show them, come down to a type of top-of-mind workout, Kwong stated, where designers considered what they’d state to a pal if they mentioned a gamer on the TELEVISION and asked “What’s that guy do?”

“My girls always ask, ‘Hey, who’s that player?’” Kwong stated. “When we’re watching Edmonton, it’s like, ‘Hey, who’s 97?’ [Connor McDavid.] I’m like, ‘That is the best player in the league right now; he is known for being able to do things at top speed.’ And then from there, we took that list of abilities and asked, ‘How do we realize the goal of wanting to update and change the strategy, from moment to moment.’”

The story additions and objectives in Be A Pro regardless of, the majority of the improvements Kwong explained for Polygon recently seemed like modifications serving more than one mode, if not all of them.

Last month, he ensured Polygon that all variations of the video game — the previous console generation and the existing one — will share the exact same functions. A huge factor the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One’s visuals will still get an improvement is due to the fact that they’re switching to the Frostbite engine, the last of EA Sports’ 3 certified group sports to make that modification. It’s tough to articulate as a back-of-the-box marketing guarantee, however the hope is that makes whatever more pleasurable, the like presenting a brand new gameplay module or multiplayer playlist.

World of Chel’s upgrades are “really focused around getting together with friends, staying with friends. It was one of the key things we talked about during our production cycle,” Kwong stated. “The other thing was just helping what we call the social hub feel more alive with a new 3D environment. Obviously, this is a mode where a lot of our players spend a fair amount of time in the [user interface] right? Those were kind of the two areas where, while the game play is fun, it was pretty frustrating, trying to get into [multiplayer lobbies] and then after games, trying to stay together.”

NHL 22 launches Oct. 15 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.