I love the NHL. I’ve been a dedicated supporter of the Chicago Blackhawks for some time now.
That love, I have to admit, started out with I first picked up a copy of 2K Sports’ NHL 2K8. I’d seen The Mighty Ducks films before, sure, and was vaguely aware of ice hockey as a sport. By playing 2K8, though, 12-year-old me began to understand the game and learn the rules. From that, I’d always asked for hockey games whenever I came across them.
My love for the Blackhawks came when I first saw the Chief Blackhawk-clad jersey and just knew I had to play as that team. Nothing compares to the joy I felt when I started actually watching the Blackhawks during their 2014-2015 campaign, no mean feat when you live in the UK and your networks don’t typically air the NHL… and they only went and won the Stanley Cup that year, didn’t they? Legends.
Anywho, the EA Sports NHL games were where I really began to enjoy playing video game hockey. I’ve followed the series since about 2008, and stopped buying them in 2016, because, you know, EA.
I recently bought an Xbox One, to explore the other side of the console war, and have been exploring the awesome Games With Gold feature. I was pretty surprised to see NHL19 on there, this month. It didn’t take me long to get stuck back into it, let me tell you.
The overhauled game is certainly a step in the right direction. No longer are EA repackaging the same game and selling it on with another year plastered on its cover. My time away from NHL allowed me to really appreciate this new incarnation of the game: with Threes taking precedence, World of CHEL and, my favourite, the Be A Pro, mode taking centre stage (for once!).
If you haven’t downloaded it already, give it a shot.
If you’re new to hockey, there’s a great training package set up with Team Canada at the start of the game so you’ll be gliding around the ice with confidence in no time.
If you’re a fan? Skate right back where you left off, NHL 19 is actually worth your time, plus, it’s free with Gold!