Top Critic Average
Publisher: Electronic Arts
RPM Tech-powered gameplay introduces Signature Shots that replicate your favorite NHL players’ real-world shot styles. Over 45 new shot animations make every attack a threat, and new passing and puck pick-ups create faster, fluid gameplay executed at full speed.
A revamped broadcast package delivers all-new visuals and commentary. Combined with over 1,100 new customization items for your club and character, your biggest goals look incredible during the action and in the highlight reel.
Finally, NHL 20 adds three new game modes. HUT Squad Battles features weekly teams, built by athletes and artists, to challenge for unique rewards. The fan-favorite ONES can now be played with friends on the couch, and the all-new Eliminator mode in World of CHEL introduces winner-take-all competition where you and your friends compete to be the best in the barn.
NHL 20 | Franchise Mode Trailer
NHL 20 | What’s New in CHEL Trailer
NHL 20 | Official Gameplay Trailer
Having said that, I've once again spent the bulk of my time playing World of Chel. That's because my favorite mode, offline Be a Pro, hasn't changed since NHL 19 (and it's not like EA Vancouver gave the mode much love last year, mind you). I understand the realities of making these multifaceted games on an annual schedule — resources are limited, and it's simply not possible for the developers to overhaul everything every year. However, Be a Pro has been sidelined for ages, and it looks even more stale in light of the experimentation we've seen recently in single-player career modes from Madden, FIFA, and NBA 2K.
NHL 20 isn't a huge update over last year's version, and its graphics continue to lag behind the competition. Still, it brings with it plenty of solid refinements, and its franchise mode continues to stand out as a strength. Returning players may be disappointed by this year's features, but if you're a hockey fan who hasn't picked up the series in a while, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.