Hockey is my sport. It's the one I follow the closest, have followed the longest, and love the most. Hockey video games are the reason for it, with NHL on Sega Genesis being a game that absolutely made me fond of the fastest game on ice. The latest in the series is the first on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and with that come some concessions.
A lot of the modes didn't make the transition over to the new consoles, but frankly, a lot of these modes of play were simply options or filler content. While things like the Winter Classic and Online Shootout are missing, I think given the opportunity to refocus these things aren't adding a ton to the game. That said what is missing is EASHL, a six on six competitive mode where each player takes control of a position. It was a personal favorite and I'm disappointed it's not here, but I know given the time it'll make a return.
What is here though is great. The presentation this year is as close to a TV broadcast as there has ever been. The new camera angle gets you right into the action, the overlays and transitions are tight and beautiful, and the players all look great. While the play by play and other commentary can leave a bit to be desired, overall it serves its purpose well.
Game play is tight this year too, with controls, pacing and strategies that just feel good. I always felt like I was in control of my player and they reacted exactly as I expected. The new physics engine lends itself well to the sport and the little details like broken and dropped sticks, players falling and never giving up on a puck, and several other small touches all add to the experience.
NHL 15 looks and plays the part despite being a little light in the content department. If you're someone who simply plays an NHL game with some friends or enjoys taking your team through a season - what's here is perfect. If you're looking for the deeper online modes and role-playing type stuff you'll need to wait until next year.