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'NHL 15' to receive much needed overhaul on next-gen consoles

EA Sports has officially announced NHL 15 today alongside a teaser trailer. Most notable about the trailer is the narration that is overheard. If you are familiar with hockey in America, you will recognize it as the voice of Mike 'Doc' Emrick from NBC Sports. EA Sports and NHL 15 have picked up the licensing to use the NBC Sports Broadcast Package, a much needed change in the franchise for quite some time. Alongside Emrick will be Eddie Olczyk in the broadcast booth. These two will team with TSN analyst Ray Ferraro who will provide game insights at ice level. Using the Vision AI that the players on the ice use, the commentators will do the same as they will anticipate plays and ramp up the intensity of the action on the ice with 35,000 lines of brand-new commentary.

Next-gen to provide details and new presentation
Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts, used with permission

Besides the new broadcasters, fans can look forward to the same game day presentation that is seen on NBC Sports. According to EA, NHL 15 will feature the "most realistic broadcast package in a video game to-date." The scene will be set with the NHL on NBC crew welcoming you to the city during the game intros. All of this and the NBC Sports branding and presentation graphics will offer the complete package.

If it's in the game, it's in the game, and Doc and Eddie will literally be in NHL 15. The game will also feature real world pre-game video commentary which will be set against actual in-game visuals. To go with this, NHL 15 will offer over 9,000 crowd models along with the living crowds. Finally, to complete the package, the game will feature authentic arenas. Not to say this wasn't part of the series before, but the new next gen systems allow for complete detail of each arena down to every seat.

Now for the technical portion of NHL 15. It will feature full 12 player NHL Collision Physics. Rather than just where the action is going on, real-world physics will affect every player through every on-ice collision. Thanks to the next-generation consoles, every player on the ice is governed by physics at all times. Things like secondary collisions, net scrambles, and player pileups will offer the most realistic hockey experience ever.

In addition to the player physics, Real Puck Physics offers complexity to the game as it authentically replicates puck movement. Everything on the ice, including the surface, is live, so it will degrade. This leads to unpredictability such as puck spins, rolls, and bounces not yet seen in hockey video games.

The trailer shows a player model at the end. NHL 15 will offer unprecedented player likeness. It will use the same technology that EA Sports UFC incorporates. This will include unbelievable player likeness, emotion, and animations. Players will be as real as ever in NHL 15.

To match that, NHL 15 includes authentic player and equipment models. Player models will now have three distinct layers - the body, the equipment, and the jersey. Each layer interacts independently, making every contact with the puck of other players look and feel more realistic. Dynamic Cloth puts the icing on the cake for the realism expected from the player models.

As mentioned above with the commentators, Vision AI creates an elevated level of player intelligence. This will include evolved awareness with players reading and reacting to potential plays, rather than standing remotely on some area of the ice. Scoring area recognition, pass anticipation, and enhanced team breakouts all will revolution how hockey is played in next-gen.

EA Sports NHL 15 will be released on the next-gen PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, along with current generation PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this fall. The Cover Vote is under way and you can vote for your favorite players here. The teaser trailer can be viewed on this page. Keep coming back for more information involving EA Sports NHL 15.

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