NHL Legacy Edition
|a game by||Electronic Arts Canada|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.7/10 - 6 votes|
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|See also:||Hockey Games, NHL Games|
The representation of professional hockey in video game media has come a long way since the initial release of NHL Hockey in 1991. For reference, it only came out on the Sega Genesis, used only one camera angle, and looked about as good as any game could considering the hardware the developers worked with. It was a bit clunky even during that time period, but still received great reviews and set the stage for installments that we still see today, including NHL Legacy Edition.
Premiering in 2015, NHL Legacy brings together all the best aspects of the PS3/Xbox 360 era hockey games and improves upon all of them to match. Despite being nearly 30 years younger than the original, Legacy manages to preserve an arcade-like feel while looking nearly identical to a real-life hockey match.
Path to the Stanley Cup
Like most sports games, the primary modes of NHL Legacy have you build your team or your player, battle your way through lower leagues, and finally reach the majors with the hopes of bringing home the Stanley Cup. The ‘Be a Pro’ and ‘Be a GM’ modes encompass these aspects pretty well – there is a lot of replayability here since not only are there a lot of ways to rise to the top in the NHL, but also several other leagues including the AHL, CHL, and Liiga. While there are some other enjoyable game modes, like NHL Moments Live, they don’t fully support the game.
The game is clearly a feat of technological evolution, but the biggest complaint is that this is simply a copy of NHL 2014 and 2015, which is disappointing to say the least. As mentioned, the game modes provide a bit of diversity while playing, but the near identical rosters, settings, and graphics are on par with previous releases. These aspects don’t necessarily take away from the enjoyment of this Legacy Edition, but, if you do happen to have either of those past titles, this won’t be worthwhile.
Skate to Victory
The gameplay of this installment is nearly identical to every other NHL title released in the years around it. All things considered, coupled with the graphics, this makes for an impressive release for a hockey game. To add to the immersion, the commentators’ dialogue for each game has been greatly improved from previous entries, though there are still a few issues here and there concerning them saying the right team names and score. The controls are also noticeably tighter and more responsive than before. It has become easier to navigate the rink and switch perspectives than ever before. Additionally, collisions have been revamped to some extent regarding penalties – this often leads to less odd calls and more nuanced gameplay in the end.
The general gameplay is like that of FIFA titles (the sport/core gameplay are completely different, of course), though not reliant on collecting different characters through microtransactions. Finally, one of the most refined portions of the game was the NHL Moments Live game mode. It doesn’t exactly make up for all the other missteps in this game, but it was interesting to play through the greatest moments in NHL History.
NHL Legacy Edition has a lot to offer in terms of general improvements and graphical updates, but the core gameplay is similar aside from some new game modes, and the rest is basically lifted from NHL 14 and NHL 15.
This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but Legacy Edition doesn’t offer quite enough new content to purchase if you already have either of those games.
- Immersive graphics/commentary
- NHL Moments Live is a unique new game mode
- Controls greatly improved from other titles
- Improvements minimal, previous installments very similar
- Menus/UI are not confusing, but lack refinement
- Game overall lacks polish