The NHL 13 demo released Tuesday for Xbox 360 and PSN, and I've got one word for you: challenging.
But I mean that in a good way. Many of the pet plays that gamers would use to score easy goal after easy goal are gone.
The goalies react as if they have a pulse, and defenders get back and take the appropriate angles to stop your rush. All this, and the demo was being played on the pro skill level.
Particularly damaging to my attacks were the sticks of the goalies as I attempted cross-crease passes. Martin Brodeur and Jonathan Quick were having none of it.
Part of this is because they are two of the better men in goal in the NHL. But the other side of the coin is that the enhancements to A.I. can be seen and felt.
It's called Hockey I.Q., and I hate to love it.
It's ultra realistic, but it requires you to rethink your strategies—especially if you're primarily an offline player like myself.
The physics engine can be seen and felt from the moment you pick up the controller. You can feel the weight differences of the players, and the skating is awesome.
The demo allows you to experience four different modes.
One cool thing is that the score is different every time you play, so it adds some freshness to each experience.
There is also a complimentary Hockey Ultimate Team pack included. The fantasy draft via hockey cards is a blast, and yes, you can save the team you've started for the retail version.
There is also NHL Moments Live, and that places you in familiar situations from last season and historic moments from the past.
The NHL Moments available in the demo has you attempting to send the L.A. Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in Game 5 vs. the Phoenix Coyotes.
Finally, there is a mode called Free Skate. I highly recommend you check this mode out. It gives an opportunity to get the hang of beating the goalie in scoring opportunities and practicing dekes, etc.
Definitely download the demo of NHL 13. If you'll excuse me, I have to practice my dekes.
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