There is more responsibility on the user to recognize a team who is being too aggressive or too passive. If you want the upper hand in NHL 13, you need to familiarize yourself with what a strong fore-check looks like and use that to potentially expose a team who is simply pushing up too far. The flip side of that is you also need to be cognizant of what lines you have on the ice and which players thrive under certain offensive and defensive strategies. With the new skating system, you’ll find yourself in tough if you’ve got your defenseman pinching quite often and they’re not the most agile or speediest skaters. If your breakout is defensive you will under-utilize a player like Marion Gaborik – forcing him to navigate through a potential 1-3-1 defensive setup and not gaining the speed he would with a more aggressive offensive rush.
The possibilities are endless – and on top of all of this there is also the option to customize your A.I. for your team. Although I can’t get into specifics yet, this feature allows the user full control and plenty of creativity in order to have an effective plan while heading into battle on the frozen surface. When tied into the new ‘coach mode’ – this really gives users something that’s been asked for since the series turned a corner into the simulation market – actually being able to be a coach for an NHL team. Setting strategies, changing lines and even having the ability to call for shots on the ice. Combined with the new True Broadcast Camera angle – it really feels like EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. has helped evolve a new way of playing EA SPORTS NHL 13.