EA is not a very popular company among gamers right now. With the Battlefront debacle, everyone is finally getting on board that EA is a shit company. This is something I realized 5 years ago after they eliminated their competition in hockey video games. After 2K stopped making NHK 2K, the EA NHL series has either stagnated or just gotten worse.
My two greatest passions in life are video games and hockey but when they’re combined together I just hate it. It’s so frustrating to watch a company year after year put out the same product with the same issues. They make little changes but for the most part, the game is plagued by issues that have been there for the last 10 years. The game is too slow, you’re too reliant on the games poorly written AI and there are times where the game feels more random than Mario Party. Every time I sit down to play the game, I have the same reaction. At first its fun but after an hour, I need a break from the game.
Where the game does truly shine is the offline component of the game. Specifically the franchise mode, they have improved the mode and even added to it. Right at the start, you have three options, you can take control of an existing team, you can take control of the Vegas Golden Knights at the expansion draft or you can create a brand new team and do an expansion for them. Personally, I had a lot of fun doing the expansion for a new franchise. Where I have the most fun with these games are building from the draft and drafting has been getting better every year. Now in later rounds, you can occasionally find a gem. Most people buy these games for the online, I buy this game for the franchise mode and it doesn’t disappoint.
Another new mode EA has introduced is 3’s which is an arcadey 3 on 3 game mode. Its fun but the announcer is bad. It’s trying too hard and its kind of like Kevin James, its “cringey”, awkward, not funny but really trying to be.
My recommendation, if you’re a hockey fan. Just wait, get it on sale for $20 and avoid the offline. It’s more headaches than its worth. If you don’t like hockey then don’t bother.