A fighting system backed by technology from Fight Night, plus off-the-ice role playing encounters in the Be a Pro career mode, are among the new features coming to NHL 14, EA Sports said today in offering the first look at the game.
To beef up fighting—yes, to those who don't play, it is in the game, fully sanctioned by the league—the "Enforcer Engine" was built, and it's built on code EA Canada's Fight Night team built for that game. The engine allows for "true size and strength differentiation between players" when they go at it.
"All players on the ice (human or CPU) remain live from the drop of the gloves to the trip to the penalty box, with no break in the action," a fact sheet added.
As for Be a Pro, your created player will interact with teammates and the public off the ice. "Take part in media interviews," the fact sheet said. "Each choice you make will affect your relationship with fans, teammates and management, influencing your skills and progression."
Be a Pro was introduced in NHL 08, the same year the mode was introduced in FIFA, which is made at the same studio. Since then, its focus has been almost entirely on game action, while 2K Sports has explored lifestyle interactions, postgame interviews, discussions with management and the like in NBA 2K's acclaimed My Player mode.
Other upgrades promised in NHL 14 will be better collision physics and truer skating (with the requisite hundreds of new animations added in.) A list of all the new features can be seen here. You can watch some more of what NHL 14 has in mind—fighting, checking and skating—in that one-minute trailer above.
The game will be available Sept. 10. A vote on the cover star will commence a week from today.