NHL 15 Review

"Amazing Graphics for a Garbage Shell"


NHL is a sports franchise which I play each year and buy every other year or so. I was really looking forward to NHL 15 as the first version of the series on new generations is usually stellar. Oh it certainly looks beautiful, but plays like garbage. The presentation has been overhauled with new commentary and even great looking before game video. Once you first see the players they also look great with the new designs, though once that puck drops you can immediately see the issues.

The new jersey system looks terrible with players practically having capes flying from behind them. Even more weird is that dekes now slide your character far out of the way instead of being focused, very sloppy. Every interaction is awkward in transition between plays and fights are just a joke. No one actually fights like that and flips about on the ice like a fish. Even the AI which I have been complaining about for years is more stupid along with completely unaware of where they should be.

Oh; we're on the attack, let my skate away on defense instead of curling with you forward on offensive. Also no one wants to pick-up the puck, someone gets hit and every player just looks at it or skates away. From there the AI is also ridiculous to the point it's just unrealistic at how easy they can score. In the past games it felt even and well played, but here every team just has the golden touch. I was up 5-1 with forty-five seconds left in the third and they won in regulation, I just gave up hope. There was some point of yelling at the game and playing online where I felt this was a lost cause, for the lolz I'll list every feature taken out of the game below as there was a ton taken out of the game.

-No NHL 94 Mode
-There are no offline seasons in HUT
-There are no tournaments in HUT
-You cannot play a friend in HUT
-No Winter Classic (The Hell!)
-No GM Connected
-No Shootout
-No Live the Life
-No be a CHL Pro
-No be a NHL Pro
-Being drafted is random, no influence from the player
-You cannot draft players in Be A GM Mode
-No fantasy draft in Be A GM Mode
-No be a Legend Mode
-No Season Mode
-No Tournament Mode
-No Playoff Mode
-No Battle For The Cup
-No Creation Zone
-No Edit Team
-No Edit Player
-No Customize AI
-No Build Your AI
-No Create A Play
-No Custom Music
-No simming between shifts in Be A Pro Mode
No Custom Cameras
-You cannot create a team
-No soundtrack like previous years

I mean, just look at this list. It's almost as if every basic mode in NHL was removed and we were left with barebone remains. Tragic almost.
NHL 15 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot


Multiplayer has been shelled down to the point that we're better of playing NHL 07 for a similar experience if those servers were still up. Quite frankly it's a joke, though basic play against a friend still exists here. Other modes are promised to be added after, but that's just going to take too long for me to care. After all these years of adding content to play with others it's shocking that so much is gone in the next generation jump, especially with the additional year to refine play.


NHL 15 looks sharp, it looks great and the original trailer blew me away. The actual game is rough with terrible animations and stupid AI. The crowds and arenas look fantastic with some great minor celebrations with so many unique fans. To be brutally honest I'd prefer that the time spent making this crowd went to actually making the playable game better. It's basically the same game you've been playing for years with better graphics and hashed up features.

NHL 15 Screenshot

The Conclusion

NHL 15 is terrible, an awful tragic release that I warn you against buying. I'm on edge as I love playing it, but this sort of treatment should not be allowed to customers. How does a franchise fall from grace of being a top notch sports series, well you basically bastardize it to the point it's a barebone experience.

If you like to just play and don't care about this then it will just play. I expect better as a fan of hockey and these games that I've been playing for years. This is not a next gen title despite looking the part.

NHL 15 Review on Xbox One

Rating Overall: 3.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner