NHL 2007

By on November 30, 2006

Not as good as its console counterpart.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

NHL 07 is an ice-hockey simulator from EA Sports. Unfortunately, this game isn’t as much fun as its consoles version.

The Skill Stick system was what set this game different from it’s predecessors. However, you will not take advantage of this system using a mouse and keyboard, as an analog controller is advisable for using this revolutionary system.

Gameplay wise, NHL 07 is the best (and probably the only) ice hockey game for the PC. The season and Dynasty modes are deep and multi-seasonal. Sticking to the true nature of ice- hockey, the game is lightning fast and quite fun. However, much of your enjoyment will be determined by whether or not you have an analog controller. When you play NHL 07 on a keyboard, the gameplay is, at best, mediocre. When you play it on an analog controller, the gameplay’s potential will be fully realized, and NHL 07 will end up being a very fun game, with the Skill Stick system allowing you to make pinpoint passes and lots more.

 The game is at the correct level- neither being too simple, like an arcade game, or too complicated. However, it will be unforgiving for beginners as there is no tutorial.

 All the controls and tips explained in the manual are for the PS2, just like the controls and tips explained for NBA Live 07, and this is quite frustrating.

There are a variety of game modes in the single-player mode, but all of these are mere variations from the main game, and do not offer any depth. The six players in your team are categorized according to their main strengths, like snipers who shoot the puck from a long distance, forwards, who basically are the ones near the opposing goal, and strike the ball from a short distance, defenders, and the goaltender. Mostly, you will be using your forwards on the offensive, and will be rarely using your snipers. In any way, scoring with a sniper is a tough task. Some improvement could have been made in this regard. The AI is good, and quite challenging even on normal difficulty. This is what makes the single-player mode fun and addictive.

The online play in NHL 07 is good, but also lacks depth. There are very few game modes, and only the traditional six-on-six mode is well developed.

Visually, the game looks very good. The TV-style presentation has been captured from real life, and recreated to perfection. The player models are great, too, and the animation is good. The ice looks real, and the marks left by your players look realistic. However, when the graphics zoom one a particular player, the frame rate drops a bit. Overall, you would feel that the graphics could have been top-notch, but aren’t.

The overall audio of the game is quite good. The commentary is good, but not great. The collision sounds are wincingly good. It’s quite pleasing to hear the “thud!” the opposing player creates, as your player tackles or pushes him. The crowd sounds are good, with them booing your player as he commits a foul, or enthusiastically cheering when he scores.

All in all, the PC version of NHL 07 is a good game, and is fun to play, but it somehow feels that EA Sports could have done a better job on developing the PC version of the game and brought it to a level of giving strong competition to its console versions.

The Scorecard
Online play good, single-player solid, but could have used more depth.
Good looking player models, player animation is very good, ice realistic.
Commentary is good, crowd sounds are good.
If you have a console, don’t buy this game, otherwise, this game is your only option.
New Skill Stick system adds more flair and fun to the game.
A pretty solid, challenging ice hockey game.


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