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The newest game in the NHL franchise has just been released! These yearly installments bring a myriad of big and small changes. Along with updated graphics, animations, rosters, and presentation, there is plenty to get excited for this year's installment! What are the big changes to expect in this new version?

The two biggest updates are the True Performance Skating and the EA Sports Hockey IQ.

The True Performance Skating, as described by EA:

True Performance Skating – A game-changing innovation for the franchise that adds physics-driven skating and over 1000 new animations. True Performance Skating authentically replicates the explosiveness, momentum and top end speed displayed by today’s NHL players. True Performance Skating combined with the Skill Stick, finally gives gamers access to the entire toolset of an NHL player, delivering unprecedented control and unlocking a level of creativity never before possible in a hockey videogame.

True Performance Skating allows for players to fully control the speed of their skater. The speed changes are immense from between NHL 12 and 13, and those who are used to the older versions will have plenty to adjust to in this new system. Not only is the engine for this game brand new, but a physics component has been implemented that completely changes momentum, top speed, and explosiveness of each player's on-ice movement. Not only do players move differently, but they also think different.

And with that, comes the Hockey IQ feature, as described by EA:

Hockey I.Q. –An innovative new A.I. system that governs the behaviors of players, goalies and team systems. In previous NHL games, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate proximity and goalies could only react to the player in control of the puck. With EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q., all players are now fully aware of every other player on the ice, resulting in quicker, smarter and more true-to-life decision-making. EA SPORTS Hockey IQ also delivers the deepest and most customizable set of real-world hockey systems and strategies ever for the franchise.

No longer can players break into full speed from one end of the ice to the other and hope to breakneck turn at the slot. Your character will lose balance and fall. These skating changes will most likely increase goal scoring, with players making more judgement mistakes on the fly without realizing these new physics changes. The new Performance Skating also is equipped with an overhaul in hockey strategy.

Most AI players in previous installments would stare at the puck constantly, not being aware of their surroundings which would often lead to frequent goals. However, these players are now more in-tuned to the actions on the ice.

Players are now much more aware of others along with them on the ice, and this can bring more strategic elements into view by having players focus more intently on playing their position within a system of organized attacks and coordinated moves. Not only that, but goalies can now actually move all four limbs to make saves!

With these two major overhauls, there comes some smaller additions, such as the GM Connected and NHL Moments modes.

According to EA:

GM Connected – The ultimate fantasy league with friends. GM Connected takes the franchise’s most popular offline mode, Be a GM, and allows you to play with and against your friends in your own 30-team NHL. Whether you are a hardcore sports gamer or a hockey fan that moonlights as an armchair general manager, the mode offers unrivaled accessibility and depth by allowing players to manage, play or coach on the road to building your team’s legacy. GM’s can also take their experience with them with a mobile companion app, ensuring that they never miss a single moment.

GM Connnected is a massive overhaul of the dynasty mode is now an online mode that allows up to 750 people play in a single, united league online. Players can coaches can both be controlled. Up to 30 user managed teams, and that can be stacked with as many online friends as you'd like. If you want to be a manager in a fantasy style and simply coach your team while a buddy plays against you. There are five ways to play, human vs computer, head-to-head, co-op online games, coach your team, set up the AI and simply sim matches too. All of these components come together in a single mode.

According to EA:

NHL Moments Live – Rewrite or relive history as you replay some of the most thrilling moments from today’s NHL. NHL 13 evolves the concept introduced by other sports games, introducing each scenario with real-world NHL footage to bring players closer to the intensity of the moment. Moments from the 2011-12 NHL season will ship on disc and new moments from the 2012-13 NHL season will be added as and when available throughout the season.

Was there a moment in past season that was a huge, huge game, but came with an outcome that you were disatisfied with? Now comes the brand new NHL moments Live mode. Which allows users to replay several events that occured during the last real season of NHL hockey (2012-13 season). What's exciting about this mode is that it will be live updated, with events from the most current season becoming linked in automatically.

Was there a moment in past season that was a huge, huge game, but came with an outcome that you were dissatisfied with? Now comes the brand new NHL moments Live mode. Which allows users to replay several events that occurred during the last real season of NHL hockey (2012-13 season). What's exciting about this mode is that it will be live updated, with events from the most current season becoming linked in automatically.

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