(Unless you have a PS3 in Europe. Then you’ll need to wait until Wednesday.)
The demo includes four playable modes.
“Play Now” is the basic team vs. team mode. In the case of the demo, players can choose to control the Los Angeles Kings or New Jersey Devils.
“Hockey Ultimate Team” allows players to put together teams in a card-collecting style.
The new “Moments Live” mode recreates events from last season. In the case of the demo, you need to lead the Kings beyond the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime, although you don’t need to score with Dustin Penner.
There’s also a “free skate” mode.
Here’s EA’s promo video for the demo:
In case you’re wondering, the song is “Run with me” by Classified.
As much as video games have advanced, some believe it is too easy to beat up on digital GMs in various modes.
If EA Sports’ promises about “GM Brain” come to fruition, we’ll get closer to a time when it might be tougher to swindle a video game opponent than some believe it would be to fool real-life execs.*
First things first, general managers will think more long-term.
Now, thanks to the accuracy of the new Player Progression model, the CPU GM knows exactly what roster it has today, and is able to ‘grow its players instantly to predict what its roster will be like in the future. The ability to predict that it will be a Cup Contender in X years based on the players it has now, allows a CPU GM to understand what assets are expendable, and which ones must be kept at all costs. We could never do that before now.
EA reveals that players will be more conscious of their potential when signing contracts.
No longer can you sign the ‘up and coming prospect’ to an 8 year deal at 650K a year, and lock him in to a long term contract as he becomes the next Claude Giroux or Steven Stamkos. Now, players understand (via their growth model) that they may be an ‘AHL first liner NOW and will accept that type of money for the current year, but in three years, they’ll be good enough to be a first liner in the NHL, where they’ll expect bigger bucks.
(It might be worth mentioning that the Philadelphia Flyers actually signed Giroux before he reached his ceiling; they’re getting him at $3.75 million per year for two more seasons.)
This story includes details about tweaks to the trade system and how scouting is done.
It all sounds like it will make armchair GMs’ jobs more realistic than ever.