EA Sports' NHL 10 adds first-person fighting, 200+ other 'refinements'

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Along with the promise of “over 200 gameplay refinements,” EA Sports will be adding first person fighting to NHL 10, due later this year. Other enhancements include players being able to “one-time loose pucks, score from their knees, knock pucks out of the air and lift a leg to fake a shot on goal.”

You’ll also see post-whistle scuffles, fans that bang on the glass, an “all-new board physics engine,” kick-passes, fore-checking, enforcers, and a myriad of other additions. You won’t, however, see the game on the PC or PS2. This year’s version marks the first time that the game will only be available on the PS3 and Xbox 360 — it’s looking like there won’t be a Wii version, either. Again.

EA’s reasoning behind the decision, according to a March article from Blend Games, is “due to the current economic climate and the continuing decline in the sports PC market,” although I’d guess that piracy might have something to do with the non-existant PC version.

Here’s the full press release about the new features:

19-TIME SPORTS GAME OF THE YEAR FRANCHISE DELIVERS NEW STANDARD FOR PHYSICAL PLAY IN EA SPORTS NHL10

Platinum-Selling* Franchise Authentically Replicates Emotion and Intensity of Playoff Hockey

GUILDFORD, UK. – May 14, 2009 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that EA SPORTS™ has innovated a new, physical brand of hockey that includes first-person fighting in NHL® 10 to match the toughness and emotional intensity real-world NHL players endure in pursuit of a Stanley Cup™ Championship.

The franchise that has won 19 sports game of the year awards over the past two years begins a new era with gameplay innovations that deliver a new standard of toughness, the emotion of playoff hockey on the ice and in the arena, and over 200 gameplay refinements that replicate the skill and finesse that every fan sees throughout the NHL playoffs.

A new first-person fighting engine enables players to trade punches with an NHL tough guy. Feel what it’s like to be on the ice in the skates of an NHL player to throw and dodge punches. Grab and tug an opponent’s jersey to land a punch that ignites the fans and sparks your team to victory. Challenge a skill player and an opposing team tough guy will step in to settle the score.

On ice toughness and intimidation is taken to a new level in NHL 10 where winning one-on-one battles for possession of the puck along the boards becomes a test of will and skill. Utilizing an all-new board physics engine, players can use their body to shield the puck on the boards and then kick-pass it to teammates. Bigger, stronger players pin opponents to the boards while fanatical fans bang on the glass, just like real life. Fore-check defenders, pressure the puck and finish checks to intimidate your opponent into mistakes. Players fatigue, bobble passes, and avoid collisions under threat of constant physical pressure. Inspire teammates, ignite the fans and change the momentum of a game by instigating scrums, drawing penalties, and mixing it up — all after the referee blows the whistle!

“This is the most authentic simulation of hockey we have ever created,” said Producer David Littman, a former NHL and minor league goaltender now in his eighth year working on the NHL franchise. “The Stanley Cup is the most difficult trophy in all of sports to win and NHL 10 replicates the emotion, intensity and toughness players require to win the Cup.”

NHL 10 features more than 200 gameplay refinements that replicate the skill and finesse of hockey and deliver the most responsive and authentic action ever for the series. Players can one-time loose pucks, score from their knees, knock pucks out of the air and lift a leg to fake a shot on goal. A new 360° precision passing mechanic delivers control over the speed and direction of passes so players can bank passes off the boards or play the puck into space for teammates to skate on to it. Plus, all-new interactive crowds bring the emotion of playoff hockey to life with towel-waving fans, glass bangers and crowds that react to the action on the ice.

Prove you are tough enough to quiet the crowd, silence the opposition and survive a playoff run to lift the Stanley Cup in NHL 10.

Screenshots of the NHL 10 are available at http://www.easports.co.uk/press.

NHL 10 will be available in stores this Autumn for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system. It is developed under the EA SPORTS brand by EA Canada in Burnaby, B.C. The game has not been rated.

EA SPORTS™ is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world, with top-selling titles and franchises including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football, and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®.

*Based on total sales in 2008 according to the NPD.

[via Joystiq]

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