Ice hockey may not be the phenomenon that it is in other countries, but there’s still enough love for slapshots, zambonis and Wayne Gretsky (yep, that’s our ice hockey knowledge exhausted) to warrant releasing it on our shores. If you’re one of this elite crowd, then you might be excited to learn that NHL 22 is arriving on console Game Pass today, all thanks to EA Play.
A quick reminder of what NHL 22 offered when it launched in October of last year. There were various gameplay and presentation improvements, like augmented reality broadcasts (a fancy way of saying that menus and other interface components are projected onto the ice), improved player facial expressions (see the blood as you punch it out of your opponent’s mouth!), better stick physics and new skill moves, all powered by the Frostbite engine.
Then there were the game-changing X-Factor abilities. No, that doesn’t mean you get to aim a puck at Simon Cowell: each player receives one ‘Zone’ ability that defines them and a secondary set of Superstar abilities. This gives each player a unique personality, including blistering slapshots, precision passing, explosive speed on the rush, or lightning-fast reflexes in front of the net.
Finally, there are the game modes, mostly present and correct from previous iterations. It wouldn’t be an EA Sports game without Ultimate Team, which comes with new Power-up player versions of the fifty best players, allowing you to nudge up their abilities through resources that – yep – you can buy. World of Chel allows you to focus on and upgrade one player and then take them online in multiplayer match-ups. Be a Pro is the customary campaign, and Franchise takes a more management-oriented approach, as you scout, trade and train to become the best.
Away from all the sportiness, there are a few other additions planned for Game Pass in May. Floppy Knights (Console and PC) and Headspace Shipbreaker (PC) are due on the 24th, Sniper Elite 5 (Console, PC) is coming on the 26th, and Pac-Man Museum+ (Console, PC) will be out on the 27th.
As usual, there are also a few games leaving the service. On May 15th we lose Enter The Gungeon (Cloud, Console, and PC), Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (Console and PC), Remnant: From the Ashes (Cloud, Console, and PC), Steep (Cloud and Console), The Catch: Carp and Coarse (Cloud, Console, and PC) and The Wild at Heart (Cloud, Console, and PC).
Are you going to be taking to the ice? Let us know in the comments or on our social channels.