The beginning of the regular season in the NHL is right around the corner. EA’s annual NHL entry is finally here! What better time to lace up your skates, tape up your stick, and dive into why you should be excited for EA Sports NHL 24?
This list will focus on brand-new gameplay, exciting game mechanics, new modes bringing more ways to play than ever, and so much more. After previewing EA Sports NHL 24 a few months ago, I know that NHL players everywhere have something special to look forward to. Here are ten things you can look forward to in EA Sports NHL 24!
“Gameplay is King”
This year, EA has dedicated its focus to improving gameplay in all aspects of the game. From skating to shooting to bodychecking and more, the tagline “Gameplay is King” takes a starring role in this year’s iteration of the popular hockey franchise with a complete redesign. EA Sports NHL 24 will feel brand-new.
The Sustained Pressure System
The Sustained Pressure system is brand-new this year and gives players a new way of attacking and defending. The Sustained Pressure system activates when one team has maintained control of the puck in the attacking zone for a specified time. Once this time prerequisite has been met, the attacking team receives a modest boost to their stats for passing speed. This is called the “Adrenaline Effect” and lasts up to 30 seconds or until the defending team clears the puck from the zone.
The opposite is true for the defending team, however. If you’re defending the zone and the other team activates their attacking boost, your team will see their skating stats get slightly reduced for up to 30 seconds or until the zone is cleared. This is called the “Pinned Effect” and can test your ability to defend the zone.
Physics-based contact is making its debut in EA Sports NHL 24. The development team at EA Vancouver wanted to ensure that playing the body has its place in this game. Players will be able to level bone-shaking bodychecks and devastating hip-checks and dump their opponents into the bench if they try to take that lane. Smashing the glass with a hard hit will make many players happy because who doesn’t want to break stuff?
World of Chel Battle Pass
EA Sports NHL 24 will feature a Battle Pass in World of Chel. While this may be a bold inclusion, the idea is that the items are cosmetic, so it depends on whether the player wants to invest the time and/or money involved in acquiring these items. In addition, the items one acquires will carry over to future installments of the NHL franchise. This alone should increase the value of these items significantly, if for no other reason than the fact that one of the biggest issues with annual sports titles is the need to start from scratch each year.
The Instinct System
EA Sports NHL 24 brought in the Instinct System as a brand-new feature entirely related to manual goaltending. The Instinct System was designed for those who like to play as goaltenders but want to have more control over how to make a save. For the goalies among players, whenever you ‘guess’ correctly about where the puck will go, the Instinct System will give a boost to make the save as a reward. This has the potential to be a real game-changer for how people tend the goal and could require a new level of precision for both sides of the attacking play.
Creation Zone Update
Back in the World of Chel, the Creation Zone is also getting a facelift. Regarding updates, it’s pretty extensive and is entirely centered on making things as accessible as possible. Going between the menus to select different jerseys, skates, gloves, etc., is simple and easy and doesn’t require you to spend your afternoon figuring out where everything can be found. Not only is it easy to navigate, but it also looks fantastic, and the customization options for your player are extensive. Spoiler alert: it definitely looks like a Fortnite locker.
New visuals. There are several new visual updates to EA Sports NHL 24, chief among them being the whopping 75+ new Flex Celebrations. These new celebrations will give players a ton of new options to choose from when celebrating a goal. I grew up watching wrestling and got a chance to see them mo-capping some of these celebrations, and everyone loves a good gloat.
In addition to new celebrations, Dynamic Boards are one of the coolest new features in EA Sports NHL 24, and their purpose is almost entirely cosmetic. Depending on the situation you find yourself in in-game, the dynamic boards could show you various stat tallies. Everything from shots on goal to hits to saves and more. Each stat is also updated in real-time, ensuring that you are always aware of how well (or poorly, if you’re me) you are performing in that particular game.
Hockey Ultimate Team Moments
Hockey Ultimate Team Moments are similar to Moments found in games like MLB The Show and FIFA 23. HUT Moments are here to play in EA Sports NHL 24. These moments feature some of the biggest or most memorable moments in hockey history that you can recreate. Each moment you play has a number of goals to complete, not necessarily requiring you to do them all in one go, either. These HUT Moments could be very lucrative for the player to complete, depending on the rewards you get for finishing them.
The Exhaust Engine.
The Exhaust Engine is a brand-new system in EA Sports NHL 24 designed to reflect the real-life fatigue that a goaltender experiences during a sequence of high pressure. During a high-pressure sequence where the goaltender is required to make numerous saves, they will begin to experience fatigue, resulting in a requirement for desperation saves.
The puck leaving the defensive zone counters this new fatigue system for goaltenders. Goaltenders will begin regenerating energy as soon as the puck is cleared from the zone, resulting in a more fluid expenditure of energy instead of a constantly fatigued state. The energy a goaltender has available will always be visible, so the player is always aware of the state of their goalie.
Goaltenders become more stable in the goal when they are considered ‘rested,’ and the rested state arrives when the goalie is above 50% energy. This means there will be fewer opportunities to pull out a desperation save.
Commentary Team Update
With EA Sports NHL 24, the commentary team has a new voice behind the microphone, Canadian Women’s International legend Cheryl Pounder. With this inclusion, Ray Ferraro will not be returning to the color commentary position. Pounder takes her place alongside James Cybulski in the commentator’s booth, adding professional insights and passion to the position. I am never mad about a woman added to the team.
You can dive into EA Sports NHL 24 yourself now. What are your favorite changes this year?