Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Doug Miller on 08/13/11 at 12:59 PM ET
Via a new producer blog released by EA late yesterday, we have some more details now how the new “Legends” will be incorporated into NHL 12. Also, before that, I missed some news about the game demo, which was released on Thursday via another exclusive with Operation Sports. There has also been a new quick-clip released on the multiple EASHL player builds.
Read on, as I’ll get into all of this and begin breaking it down for further analysis.
First up, let’s look at the new Legends Integration Blog posted up by NHL 12 Producer Sean Ramjagsingh.
I’m not going to go over the whole thing, just the interesting new info, but feel free to read the entire thing at the above link.
With Legends, we chose nine of the most outstanding players in NHL history to be included in the game – Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, Chris Chelios and six additional NHL greats that we will be announcing over the course of the next week (so stay tuned!). As I mentioned, the nine NHL greats will be integrated into the game across virtually every mode, including the all-new Be A Legend mode.
Well that answers one question, we will officially find out who the other six Legends are next week. I’m betting on Wednesday and Friday respectively, as that has been their news cycle of announcements (for the most part) thus far.
Be A Legend & Be A Pro Integration: Shattering Records and Legendary Milestones
In Be A Legend, gamers will experience the glory of playing their entire Be A Pro career as one of the nine Legends. As you progress through Be A Pro this year in search of your Legend card, you will unlock access to each of the nine Legends as you move up the ranks. As you unlock each Legend, you can place them on your favorite team and attempt to shatter the most impressive records in hockey and achieve Legendary Milestones.
Very interesting… as it appears that Legends, at least for use in some modes, I’m assuming this “Be a Legend” mode, will be “locked” and you are going to have to work your way towards unlocking them as you progress through your own personal Be a Pro career.
In Be a Pro mode, gamers can strive to ‘Be the Next Great Legend’ as they attempt to reach legendary milestones and complete legends tasks throughout their Be A Pro character’s career.
Legendary Milestones– Can most easily be described as the most challenging achievements in hockey. There are game-by-game milestones, season milestones and career milestones. An example of a game-by game milestone would be “get 7 assists in one game”, something that Wayne Gretzky achieved in a night. Season milestones could be scoring 50 goals in 39 games or scoring 92 goals in a season. Now here’s where it gets really tough…career milestones. A good example would be Gretzky’s goal-scoring record of 894 goals across the course of his career. Judging by our fans that play Be a Pro, OTP and EASHL, we know this milestone isn’t impossible to do, but we also know that only the best and most dedicated players will pull it off.
After each Legendary Milestone that you complete, you will unlock an exclusive Wayne Gretzky video where he describes how it felt when he or the other Legends achieved the historic moment and talks about what it took to achieve greatness.
Okay, well that certainly gives an interesting new twist to the new “tasks” system now in Be a Pro. Although, I could only imagine you would be given a “Legendary Task” if playing as said Legend who accomplished said achievement. It should also be noted that most of these Legendary Milestones they are talking about here, are also listed as in-game achievements, but it’s also pretty cool that we’ll get a nice little hockey-history lesson and retrospective from Gretzky as well, if we should happen to accomplish one of these Legendary Milestones. Clearly that is EA’s goal here though, giving us something to work for in our pro careers, aside from our own personal interests. Also, a quick reminder, you now have to “earn” your ice-time in Be a Pro, which means no more cheating by playing every single shift, which adds considerable difficulty to these tasks.
Note that all of the in-game achievements that are tied to some of these milestones, have to be done on “Pro” difficulty or higher. Probably not the case for unlocking the Legends or earning the videos, but still worth mentioning none the less, for you casual players. Personally, I always play on All-Star, as that is what the computer AI is set at when playing online… so this is going to be an exciting challenge for me personally, especially since I prefer to play goalie, but it looks like I’ll be spending some more time up-front this year.
Ramjagsingh then went on to talk about Legends in HUT, which is nothing new compared to what I reported about with my last NHL 12 update, although he did mention the following side note: “You will also be able to add a Legend to any team roster in Be a GM mode as you chase the Stanley Cup.” Which I’m assuming (for now) that you will only be able to do so after you unlock that Legend by playing through your own Be a Pro career. Good, I hope it stays that way, as they should have to be earned, in some capacity or another, before you can unleash them into the current NHL.
Finally, gamers can square off against the Legends team in head-to-head play – within Play Now, Online and Battle for the Cup modes. You will not have to unlock this team to use them. Take your favorite team and pit them against the Legends team to find how they stack up against the all-time greats or play as the Legends team and see what it’s like to take control of the best of the best.
I know what you are thinking… “you said the ‘Legendary Team’ rumor was all but dead” and “even they just pointed out that there are only 9 Legends”. To further explain this “Team” I’ll pull a quote from EA’s NHL 12 Hockey Whiteboard.
The greatest team to ever set foot on the ice. The All-New Legend Team is made up of NHL Legends and today’s superstars. If you are feeling up to the challenge match up your favorite team against the Legends and see if you have what it takes to beat the greatest.
So there you have it, this “Legendary Team” will indeed exist, and consist of the 9 “Legends” and Nicklas Lidstrom.
Just kidding… or am I?
The first rumor that sprang up about these “Legends” in the first place was their inclusion on this team, including current superstar players. I’m not even going to start speculating about this already rumored roster list until we know who all of the 9 Legends are. Keep in mind though, at least for offline sake, you would be able to make any custom roster moves you see fit, so you can easily craft your own ideal version of this “Legendary Team”. I can already see my first line now… Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Howe (who has yet to be “officially” confirmed - but more or less so). Yes Wayne, you get relegated to the second line on my team… deal with it.
Moving on… let’s get to the NHL 12 Demo Announcement Blog posted on Operation Sports.
With launch right around the corner, the NHL 12 demo is almost here! The highly anticipated demo will be available through Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network beginning August 23. The demo will feature access to three modes: Play Now, Be A Pro, and Hockey Ultimate Team. In Play Now, relive the emotion of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals as the game inserts you into the third period of a match-up between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks—will you embrace history or rewrite it?
There we have it, a date… August 23… which is exactly what I predicted weeks ago based on EA’s news cycle and when demos normally get released. The more exciting news though, is that we won’t be stuck with having to just play the third period of the Finals again, as was the case last year. This time we get 3 modes to occupy our time with until release. Although, as noted, the Play Now mode, will be pretty much the same thing we had in last year’s demo, sadly. Thankfully… there is more than just that.
In the Revamped Be A Pro mode, play as your created pro –- earn every shift on the ice with stellar play, big hits, and spectacular goals. Simulate the action to your next shift! New to NHL 12 is the ability to sim through the time you’re on the bench. Don’t worry about missing out on the action –- the EA SPORTS Action Tracker will track and present every major event that takes place on the ice, so you know exactly what the situation is when you get back onto the ice.
My only concerns here is to what limits this might have. I’m going to assume just a single game. Although we better get the option of at least picking our position… as I really want to get my hands on the new “Goalie V-H Technique” implemented this year, among other slight changes to my favorite position.
Finally, a nice little bonus will be in this demo for those of you that really enjoy HUT.
Last but definitely not least, play Hockey Ultimate Team—the largest online dynasty ever! Earn up to two HUT card packs for NHL 12 by playing the mode, and earn an additional HUT card pack by inviting a friend to try the NHL 12 demo.
Nice… we get to earn ourselves some card packs for the actual game release. Again, I wonder to what extent the demo will go to with HUT… and really, I have no clue… looks like we will just have to wait 10 more days to see.
Also, as I mentioned, there is a new quick-clip talking about the new multiple builds feature for the EASHL this year… but as of the time of me writing this, it has yet to be posted anywhere where I can embed it into this post. However, if you really want to see this, the video is on the bottom of the page of the Demo Blog I linked to, so scroll back up there and check it out.
One last thing… for those of you readers who might be asking “Where the heck is all the other league news your blog is supposed to be covering?” - It’s coming, should nothing crazy happen in the next 24 hours, I’ll have another “Around the Leagues” post up sometime tomorrow. The only reason the blog has been so NHL 12-heavy as of late, is because unlike the rest of the hockey world, this is EA’s busiest time of year, at least when it comes to news and announcements regarding the NHL series… hence why I’ve been covering it so much. Expect that to come to a close with my eventual full-review of the game, then things will get back to some of that promised variety of CHL and NCAA Hockey coverage… among other random hockey-related things.
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