NHL 18 Is Out, But Is It Worth Buying?

While the release of the new Madden games in August marks the beginning of the fall video game season, most sports games don’t start coming out until September. Among the sports gaming franchises with a new release this month is EA’s NHL, with the latest installment of NHL 18. Let’s take a look and see what’s new and if it’s even worth spending the $60 on.

No Frostbite Engine

FIFA 17 was the first EA Sports game to move to DICE’s Frostbite engine and Madden 18 followed it this year, but EA has decided to hold back on implementing the engine with the NHL franchise until next year. What does that mean for gamers? Well, it means NHL 18 doesn’t really look any different than NHL 17.

3-on-3 Hockey Mode Introduced

While there might not be anything new in NHL 18 in terms of graphics, EA did introduce the new 3-on-3 hockey mode. As the name suggests, the mode has two teams of 3 playing a fast-paced, arcade-style game of hockey. After playing this mode extensively in the Beta and on the actual game after release, I have to say it was a ton of fun.

New Expansion Mode

With the NHL adding a 31st team in the Vegas Golden Knights, EA decided to add a new Expansion mode into NHL 18. The mode allows you to play as a current team, the new Golden Knights, or start your own new franchise to bring the league to 32 teams and then go through the expansion draft process. The mode may not be as expansive, or allow as many creative options, as some would like, but it is still fun and worth checking out.

Verdict: Wait

Unless you are a diehard hockey fan, there is really no need to rush and buy the latest version at full price. The game is NHL 17 with updated rosters and a few new game modes, but overall EA appears to be ignoring the NHL franchise compared to the attention they give Madden and FIFA. While the game is not terrible, it just isn’t worth the $60.