NHL 22 Review

Shawn Levine '23

In an age of copy and paste sports games where there’s very little variation between yearly releases, NHL 22 came as a pleasant surprise. While there weren’t many huge changes from previous years, it’s definitely an improvement over past games. 

The first (and biggest) change to discuss is the addition of X-factor player abilities, which give the league’s biggest stars competitive advantages in certain situations. For example, a player with the “Wheels” ability won’t lose any speed or agility while skating with the puck, and a goalie with the “Post to Post” ability will have quicker reaction time if they have to switch from one side of the net to the other. X factor abilities have already been a thing in Madden games for the past couple of years, and I think they were a good addition that really highlights some of the most talented players in the NHL. 

Another noticeable improvement is the graphics. The NHL series has finally made the switch to the frostbite graphics engine, and it has made a noticeable difference. Player models look better and act more realistic, and it gives the ice a fantastic shine under the arena lights.

As far as mechanics go, it’s relatively similar to other NHL titles. One thing I’ve definitely noticed is the change in passing. In previous games, locking onto the teammate you want to pass to has been very automatic, but it takes more effort in 22. Rather than just locking onto one of the other guys on the ice, the player has more responsibility when it comes to aiming. Whether or not you’re a fan of this will probably vary from person to person, but I personally enjoy it. 

My biggest criticism from NHL 22 honestly comes from the lack of single-player content. The career mode is alright, but pretty much exactly what you’d expect from any other sports game. Quick-play against the computer gets boring after about 2 matches, so I would definitely recommend playing online or having someone else in your house willing to play against you. 

The improved graphics, changed mechanics, and overall fun factor makes this game a good pick-up for hockey fans, and I would most certainly recommend giving NHL 22 a try.