NHL 16 brings the series back up to speed with some great modes and features, but you can't count on its online modes.
Strong on-ice gameplay and terrific multiplayer are offset by a lack of innovative modes. While this is a solid rebound from a shaky next-gen debut, NHL 16 still has work to do to regain greatness.
A competent hockey experience still looking for a game-changing feature
Outside of the fantastic in-game trainer — which, it's worth noting, is similar to what's available in EA's other sports games this year — and the revamped EA Sports Hockey League, NHL 16's updates are incremental. The issues I saw are uncharacteristic of the high EA reached on the previous consoles, and as the series is finding its footing in the new generation, NHL 16 doesn't quite reach that bar.
NHL 16 fixes the mistakes of its predecessor, bringing the NHL franchise back to form.
There's a lot to like about NHL 16. EA Canada has worked diligently to bring back almost all of the features that were missing last year, with Be a Pro and EASHL being notably improved. The presentation has also received a really nice bump, and the gameplay on the ice is smoother and more exciting than ever. While it's more ambitious than it looks, though, the next step remains elusive. For now, we'll just have to settle for a really solid hockey sim.
NHL 16 isn't perfect, but it's a substantial improvement over what released last year.
Despite the draw of the EASHL and the core gameplay in NHL 16, there's a layer of familiarity that might turn away some folks. But after the missteps of last year's series entry, NHL 16 represents a step back in the right direction for EA's virtual hockey franchise and its fanbase. Some of the game modes feel underdeveloped in key areas, namely Be a Pro, but the variety on display and the hook of online multiplayer make NHL 16 an easy recommendation.
NHL 16 not only makes strides ahead for fans of the video game adaptations, but for fans of the game of hockey as a whole. A middle ground has been reached between realism and fun that is wholly surprising. NHL 16 isn't just a step in the right direction, it's the game hockey fans have been waiting for.
While some game modes still feel like they are living in the past, the return of fan-favorites like EASHL and the improved Be A Pro make NHL 16 a power play that hockey fans are bound to love.
After a small misstep in NHL 15, NHL 16 feels like a huge apology letter to fans. Many removed features have returned, but that also means improvements are few and far between. EA Sports Hockey League features a nice shot in the arm, but the Be a GM mode seems to be taking a back seat. Be a Player has received some nice additions, but not being able to alter the period length seems absolutely asinine and ruins the mode. NHL 16 is a well-written apology letter that will bring fans back to the franchise, but if you are looking for monumental upgrades, look elsewhere.
NHL 16 is such a better effort than it was last year. The improvement upon gameplay and better attention paid to arena feel make it a great year to play.
All those stripped out game modes are back and they're just as fun as they should be. Gameplay is better than its ever been for both veterans and rookies while the presentation is spot-on and a pleasure to take in. There's no denying that the NHL franchise is back to where it should be.
When you come right down to it, NHL 16 is an improvement over last year's release in virtually every department. Unfortunately, that isn't exactly saying a lot.
NHL 16 is the type of game NHL fans wanted last year. Full access to game modes and a welcoming execution for newcomers makes NHL 16 an essential purchase for anyone interested in the game of hockey. With the small issues aside, hockey has never been better than this.
While it may not be perfect, and it still has some kinks to iron out, NHL 16 is the comeback the series needed, and it is a great title for those looking to jump back into the action.
At the same time, NHL 16 represents a nice return to form for the virtual hockey franchise. From its various modes to the more responsive gameplay, NHL 16 addresses many of the issues that scuttled last year's game. If you weighed and measured NHL 15 and it left you wanting, NHL 16 could be the game to get you back on the virtual ice once again.
After the disappointment of last season's effort, NHL 16 feels like a solid rebuilding year. It may not go all the way to the Stanley Cup, but it definitely won't miss the playoffs.
Overall, NHL 16 is a remarkably improved experience compared to last year's. With more depth and features, addictive Be A Pro and Be A GM modes, stunning visuals and an exquisite gameplay experience, NHL 16 is exactly what people hoped NHL 15 would be: a great game.
NHL 16 is definitely a return to form the NHL series, now I think I'd like to see them break that form and come up with something different. The features are there, the graphics are amazing, now the gameplay needs to catch up to the rest of the game. Hopefully they can do that next year.