As EA Sports NHL 15’s Sept. 9 (North American) release date approaches, the video game company is sharing some interesting details about the series’ jump to the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles.
There have been a few intriguing gameplay trailers filtering out lately, which can be found in one spot via this link.
With all due respect to those who get excited about advanced hockey uniform graphics, the two most interesting videos detailed the latest tweaks the series made to its physics engine and “superstar skill stick.”
Check out video of the revamped physics, with all 12 players interacting in ways that weren’t possible before:
A few days ago, Puck Daddy caught up with NHL 15 producer Sean Ramjagsingh to discuss the fine line between realism and frustration when it comes to things like choppy ice affecting the polygonal puck:
The puck physics already have a huge impact on gameplay. To be honest with you, we’re still evaluating how much we want the ice to impact the puck. It’s awesome puck behavior with the physics and the puck bouncing and being loose and creating the emergent gameplay, but it’s a fine line of having too much of that and having the ice impact that as well. It could lead to, and we’re doing testing around that, a frustrating gameplay experience with the puck bouncing all the time when the ice is bad. As part of the final stages of tuning and balancing, we’re still trying to assess where the sweet spot is in terms of fun factor and how much the ice may or may not impact the puck.
The series is also touting improvements to the “superstar skill stick”:
Here’s hoping those innovations don’t open the door for too many cheap goals that prompt people to throw expensive video game controllers at walls, though.
(NHL 15 screenshot via EA.)
The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.
Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.
The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.
Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.
But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.
“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.
Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.
Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.
It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.
It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.
For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.
Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.
Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.
Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.
The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.
Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:
In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.
Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.
Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.