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Excitement builds for NHL 24 as EA unveils revolutionary gameplay changes

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Woz
By Woz
6 months ago
NHL 24 is right around the corner and the leadup to this year’s edition has fans as excited as ever as the franchise looks to revive itself.
What’s helping drive the excitement this year is the implementation of not just gameplay improvement, but cross-platform play arriving for the first time.
One of the competitive players for the NHL games, Uninsta1l feels the franchise is making one of the greatest comebacks of all-time.

Gameplay

For NHL 24, EA has made multiple changes to how you can play the game. One is the sustained pressure system which will reward the player for dominating the ice. On paper, this sounds overpowered, but in the game, you will have a meter that you can build up by cycling the puck and peppering the other team with shots. Pressure your opponent’s zone and you’ll gain more of a boost.
While the skill stick will still be available for users, EA has introduced the ability to have those highlight reel moves done with the click of a button. The skill stick, meanwhile has been simplified to become more efficient. One button is all it’ll take for your favourite deke but you’ll still need time and space to pull it off.
EA has also introduced a new vision passing system. When you have the puck on your stick, your teammates will have a button above them that when pressed, will direct your pass to that player. No longer will you need to aim where you want to pass the puck. 
One-touch passing is possible as well, creating more tic-tac-toe plays.
Those are the major changes to gameplay, however, time will only if these improvements make the game more playable and enjoyable for the user. By the sounds of it, EA is trying to simplify how the game is played and make it less complicated.

Cross-play

Fully functional cross-play is now possible in World of Chel and Hockey Ultimate Team. This means if you are a PlayStation user you can team up or play against a user on Xbox and vice versa. This doesn’t mean the game will be cross-generation, so if you are playing on PS5 or Xbox Series X or S, that means you can only go up against users who are on the latest generation. 
This also benefits HUT with a cross-platform market allowing PlayStation and Xbox users will share the same card market allowing users more opportunity to find players they want on their team.
There’s no confirmation if cross-play will be available in Online Versus. If not, EA could look to add that in a future update or it’ll be in the game regardless.

World of Chel

Next to HUT, World of Chel has become a popular online mode allowing users to play with their friends, and EA is introducing a number of changes to this game mode this year.
Daily Faceoff has listed a number of those changes:
  • Instead of opening hockey bags to unlock items at random, users can now directly purchase the items they want with in-game currency. The bag system will still be included to collect the currency.
  • A battle pass will be utilized to unlock special items during each season.
  • Crossplay is expanded, allowing players to easily join teammates from other game consoles, as long as they are part of the same generation – no crossing over, such as PS5 and PS4.
  • Teams can also pick up free agents to fill out their club roster for a game.
  • A new quick play mode allows for one-period drop-in games. This will be especially useful when trying to level up the battle pass or test new features without worrying about teammates dropping early.
  • There’s a new club finals playoff format that resembles more of a Stanley Cup playoff style. It isn’t just about grinding games anymore – there’s a bracket format, with teams being eliminated after losing four games.

Wrap up

EA has yet to address what changes are coming to franchise mode and will most likely provide an update closer to the launch of the game. In years past, they will typically release information on gameplay changes first, before diving into game modes one by one leading up to the release of the game. 
From what I’ve read on social media, I’ve never seen fans so excited and optimistic about an NHL title. Typically there would be more pessimism when EA Sports start promoting the game.
One thing’s for sure, this won’t be the same game we’ve been used to.

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