NHL 22 gameplay makes a generational leap with Frostbite Engine

EA Sports
EA Sports /

When NHL 22 was announced, it was confirmed that the series would be making the generational leap forward with Frostbite engine. But we didn’t really know what that would mean in terms of gameplay.

Today, EA gave us an idea by releasing the NHL 22 gameplay trailer. The lengthy trailer focuses largely on the visual improvements made possible by the EA’s Frostbite engine and next-gen hardware. While the last-gen version of NHL 22 on PS4 and Xbox One will see plenty of visual upgrades, it’s clear that this game is meant to be the first true next-gen hockey experience.

Aesthetic upgrades, Superstar X-Factor abilities, Augmented reality UI, and enhanced stick physics are just some of the improvements coming with NHL 22.

By moving to the Frostbite, we’re getting massive aesthetic upgrades with improvements on a macro and micro level: atmospheric elements such as flares and snow, upgraded facial animations and likeness, facial expressions that actually react to the change in environment and events, and detailed enhancements on player models and game environments. Other improvements include micro details on uniforms, higher resolution ice and 3D ice spray effects, dynamic lighting for arenas that result in proper and more realistic reflections for the various materials.

More from App and Gaming News

Another big feature highlighted is the new Superstar X-Factors, a feature borrowed from the Madden franchise to make the league’s elite players stand out. The new feature assigns special abilities to the league’s star players. There are a total of 29 Superstar X-Factor abilities divided into six categories (shooting, passing, skating, hockey IQ, defense and goaltending). They are assigned to players in two tiers; premiere zone abilities and secondary superstar abilities.

Stick physics have been enhanced to realistically simulate stick-on-stick and stick-on-body collision. The end result are more realistic puck battles.

The gameplay trailer ends with a look at the new Augmented Reality UI broadcast system. Information is injected into the game seamlessly and in real-time to help elevate the broadcast quality while not disrupting gameplay.

NHL 22 hits the ice on on October 15, 2021. It will be available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.