NHL 16 Is Going to Have Playoff Beards and That’s Amazing

Now the Flyers just have to make the playoffs so it can be "in the game." Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Now the Flyers just have to make the playoffs so it can be “in the game.” Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Remember last year when everyone FREAKED OUT because the pretty great NHL 15 on PS4 and Xbox One shipped without many of its assumed game modes thanks to the port over to the new systems? Well, hoo boy, has EA Sports made up for it– this year announcing the full slew of game modes and features, like, three months early.

You can see them all after the jump – there are a lot – but the standout seemed like almost a throwaway at the end:

Playoff Beards

One of the oldest and most iconic traditions in hockey has arrived. With accurate representations of beard patterns, length, thickness, and growth rates for individual players, the road to the Stanley Cup just got hairier.


Look, I hate a gimmicks as much as the next guy, but you’d have to be the type of heartless mongrel who roots for Sid Phillips in Toy Story to not be tempted to throw down a (completely useless*) $5 deposit on this bad boy based on that one feature-add alone.

*Unless you play Ultimate Team and want the free packs and all. In which case… well played, planner.

Full disclosure: This is not an ad, it’s just that EA’s hockey series allows me to reach back into my childhood and pull that little skinny bastard into the future and warn, “You’re still going to be doing the exact same thing with your free time in two decades, so don’t you be in any rush to grow up, ya big dweeb!” 31, 13. What’s the difference, Jennifer Garner?

Full feature set after the jump.

Hockey is a sport that comes to life in a competitive team-based gameplay experience. Whether it’s through speed, skill, or physicality, every player makes an impact on the ice no matter what position they play or their role on the team. So grab some friends and jump into either 6 v. 6 Online Team Play, Online Couch Co-op, or the re-imagined EA SPORTS Hockey League and prove that great individuals can’t beat a great team.

Sharpen those skates and grab your buddies because the EA SPORTS Hockey League is back! This fan-favorite online team mode has been reimagined and lets you choose specialized player classes to deliver a balanced competitive experience on the ice. Player skill and your ability to play as a team will now be the determining factor in who wins and loses hockey games.

6 v. 6 Online Team Play
Play online with up to twelve skaters including user controlled goalies. Using real-world NHL rosters you can compete in ranked drop-in games against players from around the world or invite your friends to a private OTP session before you step into EA SPORTS Hockey League.

Online Couch Co-op
The perfect way to play when you and your friends want to jump on the couch, join forces and play some drop-in hockey online. It’s the best place to practice your team play skills before playing OTP or EASHL.

Whether you’re an armchair GM, want to live out your NHL pro fantasy, or build your ultimate dream team, NHL 16 will deliver a single-player game mode for every type of hockey fan – each with new features that you’ve never seen in EA SPORTS NHL.

Be a GM: Player Morale
Being a GM is about more than just getting the best players, it’s about getting the right players to play well together. Each player on your NHL and AHL team has a different personality that you will have to manage. Deal with trade demands, teammate relationships, and much more by calling team meetings or adjusting your roster to directly affect your team’s on-ice performance.

Be a Pro: Shape Your Legacy
The way you play dictates the type of player you will become in an all-new Be a Pro progression system. On-ice actions directly influence attributes earned, ensuring that your Pro will reflect the way you play. Sim to your next shift and the ability to work your way up from CHL rookie to an NHL Superstar also make a return in NHL 16.

Hockey Ultimate Team: Single Player Seasons
The most played mode in the NHL series gets even better. Improved player management and the introduction of HUT Single Player Seasons gives you another way to hone your skills before jumping online with Online Seasons or challenging friends with the Play a Friend feature.

Visual On-Ice Training
Whether you’re new to the NHL series and looking for pointers or are a grizzled veteran trying to perfect your game, this new training tool will help sharpen your offensive and defensive skills no matter your talent level. Visual aids project shooting targets, passing lanes, open teammates, and more.

Whether you play as a forward, defenseman or goalie, NHL 16 delivers a balanced gameplay experience that makes every position on the ice meaningful to team success. With gameplay innovation on offense and defense, players have new tools to not only score goals, but to prevent them as well.

Precision Skating
Utilize a new skating tool that allows you to make refined movements with your skater in any situation. On defense quickly jump into passing lanes and intercept the puck, or walk the blueline on the power play and open yourself up for that one-timer in the offensive zone.

Seamless Puck Pickups
The ability to quickly control a pass or corral a loose puck can be the difference between generating a scoring chance and getting leveled. New puck pickups result in smoother transitions when receiving the puck no matter what your position, giving you more time and control to make your next move.

NHL 16 brings the game to life with distinct arena atmospheres, the most realistic players yet, and story-driven commentary to pull you into the energy of the game like never before.

Distinct Team Arena Atmosphere
Best in class arena authenticity gets even better with the inclusion of authentic arena effects and props including team specific celebrations, mascots, chants, and even signature props like the Lighthouse at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.

Story Driven Commentary
Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Ray Ferraro are back and now call the game with even more emotion. Hear Doc’s voice rise and fall with the action on the ice and get analysis from Eddie & Ray on the peaks and valleys of a NHL season. An expanded NBC SPORTS broadcast package and new pre-game intros brings the drama to life in more ways than ever before.

Superstar Authenticity
Enhanced facial features and new equipment details synonymous with the league’s top players adds another layer of player authenticity. Use these new equipment elements to customize your own created character giving them a unique look, from custom stick tape, colored skate laces, tinted visors, and more.

Playoff Beards
One of the oldest and most iconic traditions in hockey has arrived. With accurate representations of beard patterns, length, thickness, and growth rates for individual players, the road to the Stanley Cup just got hairier.


10 Responses

  1. I cannot stand people who take the Stanley Cup champions when they play online mode…. reminds me of a certain blogger that cannot beat me in sports games….

  2. “I hate a gimmicks as much as the next guy”

    Your shitty tee-shirts say otherwise

      1. “In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something “stand out” from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.”

        Kyle could just sell tee-shirts, but he adds shitty images as a special feature that has little relevance or use (or general appeal to anyone).

  3. Great idea. They should have post game interviews in the locker room too. Make it really authentic

  4. After the steaming pile of dogshit that NHL 15 was, I will pick it up used for $20 two months after release.

    1. Cheap-ass Pussy! What’s the matter, you can’t collect enough bottles and cans to cash in to buy it new? Go put on your Cowboy Panties and put your hair into that pretty beehive, you great Jessie!!

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