Early buyers of NHL 15 are being rewarded for their patience and faith. Franchise developer and publisher Electronic Arts announced today that it’s begun adding in many of the most crucial NHL 15 features that should have been available when the game made its way to store shelves.
The first in the series of crucial NHL 15 updates is being called the Free Content Update for NHL 15. Even in this first update, there are some serious upgrades for the hockey franchise. Playoff Mode is getting some much-needed attention. Starting with this update users will be able to play a bracket team tournament without having to be connected to the game’s multiplayer services. Users can simulate a game too.
The update also includes Coach Feedback. The feature, is more of a way to keep NHL 15 educated on how to score. Grades are issued on Positioning in relative to opponents, how the team is playing together and stats. At the end of each game, a new End of Game summary will break down which players did well and which didn’t. They’ll be stacked and compared in 1st, 2nd and 3rd positioning. Finally, Ultimate Team, the digital card game that’s built into NHL 15 itself, is getting a few updates. New layouts in the menus are in the update, along with big changes in new animations.
So far, EA is only promising to add Online Team Play, a Rookie Draft, Be a GM mode in later updates. We don’t yet know when these updates will make it to NHL 15. Launched on PS4, Xbox One PS3 and Xbox 360, NHL 15 is pretty much the only high-profile gaming series for fans of hockey. When it was announced EA said that the players could expect a completely enhanced experience thanks to upgraded physics engines and modeling systems. The developer had even went as far as upgrading each arena to make it more accurate and provided new commentary and a new presentation style provided by NBC Sports.
What reviewers who took a look at NHL 15 realized is that there were tons of essential features missing from the next-generation version of the game. Online Team Play wasn’t available for NHL 15 for the Xbox One and PS4 at launch. Next-generation buyers couldn’t even control which players from the NHL they dragged on their teams in GM mode, making GM mode practically useless. Tons more niche features are missing from these two versions of the game – even though their last generation counterparts on the Xbox 360 and PS3 included them. In response to the outcry of missing features EA confirmed that it would re-add many of the features in subsequent updates.
The problem doesn’t seem to be that NHL 15 is a bad game, but that it offers even fewer reasons to purchase if you have a now-current generation console. That’s strange since usually the point is to produce a game that gives owners of older consoles to upgrade to the new ones. That’s discounting the fact that both games are still $60, despite the version for newer consoles having less features than its older generation replacements.
Ironically, every version of NHL 15 is still $59.99, except for the Ultimate Edition version, which is $69.99. Buying the game used from GameStop is $54.99 on all platforms too. Electronic Arts is promising that the feature updates designed to fill the functional gap between different versions of NHL 15 will be absolutely free for users who purchase the game. That’s key because it still makes the game worth it’s purchase price. The Ultimate Editions for PS3 and Xbox 360 are also $69.99. Digital copies of NHL 15 purchase through the Xbox Store or PlayStation Network are also getting these updates free of charge.