NHL 12 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
NHL 12 Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3
Dev: EA Canada
Pub: EA Sports
Release: September 12, 2011
Players: 1 (2+ Online)
Screen Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p Mild Violence

And there are many more signature traits where those come from. EA has managed to pack an incredible amount of depth into NHL 12's gameplay. It's almost a shame that a new one will hit the shelves in a mere 12 months.

If you were a fan of the controls in NHL11, you'll be perfectly comfortable in this latest incarnation. It's a little bit more difficult to hit people and score, but all of the buttons and analog sticks should perform the same functions. If they don't, you probably need a new controller.

EA has also spent some time tweaking the Ultimate Hockey Team feature that they implemented last year. Basically, Ultimate Hockey League is like a fantasy hockey league that can be played via Xbox Live or PSN. This explanation might be a tad simplistic, considering how much thought must be put into every single decision in the UHT.

NHL 12 Screenshot

Ultimate Hockey Team tasks players with collecting players' cards, assembling a team, and entering that team into the league. Players are allowed to trade or purchase new cards, but they need to pay attention to things like salaries, contract length, and chemistry. UHT was pretty popular in NHL 11, and I assume that the same will be true of 12. It's a welcome distraction from the standard gameplay.

And Legends mode actually affects many of the other game modes in NHL 12. Now players are able to play as (or play with) the biggest names that hockey has ever known. You'll be able to play as Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, and many more.

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You will also be able to select legendary cards in Ultimate Hockey Team and put Wayne Gretzky into your multiplayer lineup. Obviously, this detracts from EA's vision of overall realism, but we'll give them a pass. Playing as Mario Lemieux totally makes up for it.

NHL 12 is a welcome addition to the NHL family. EA has seemingly done the impossible by revamping the game in a way that not only increases the realism, but also improves the gameplay. NHL 12 also includes a few extras that are guaranteed to make it a fan favorite (like Legends, goalie fighting, and the Winter Classic). American hockey fans and pretty much all of Canada will not be disappointed by this title. So go pick it up if you want EA to continue defying science.

By Josh Engen
CCC Contributing Writer

Amazing attention to detail.
The same controls we're all used to. If it ain't broke…
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Perfectly executed. However, the announcers can get a little obnoxious.
Play Value
Many will play it every day until NHL 13 is released.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Full-Contact Physics Engine - From shattered glass and flying helmets to knocking players over the boards and into the bench, experience the skill and aggression of hockey like never before. Crash the crease too hard and you'll knock the net off and send the goalie flying.
  • Be a Pro Revamped - Playing as your created pro, earn every shift on the ice with stellar play, big hits, and spectacular goals. Simulate the action to your next shift so you're always on the ice as you play out your entire career gunning for the Stanley Cup
  • All-New Dynamic Goalie Interaction - Stonewall your opponents with awe-inspiring desperation saves from your goalie as he covers every possible angle and works through screens and flying players in front of the net.
  • Goalies Drop the Gloves - When the action boils over, send a message by leaving the net, dropping the gloves, and trading punches with a heated rival during fights.
  • Play in the Winter Classic - The NHL package jumps to life with the addition of the NHL Winter Classic, the league's premier outdoor hockey event on New Year's Day. Play under snowfall at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field as 70,000+ rabid fans provide inspiration by cheering you on while donning Winter Classic gear.

  • Screenshots / Images
    NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 12 Screenshot - click to enlarge

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