'NHL 13' delivers enhanced skating, IQ

Promising major innovations that will change the way you play hockey video games, EA Sports announced Friday the “NHL 13” feature set, including a special “NHL 13 Stanley Cup Collector’s Edition.”

It’s that feature set that should attract the most attention, as it's highlighted by four major franchise advancements.

Here are the details straight from EA Sports.

True Performance Skating: A game-changing innovation for the franchise that adds physics-driven skating and over 1,000 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 video game.

EA Sports Hockey IQ: An innovative, new artificial intelligence 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 IQ, 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.

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 hard-core sports gamer or a hockey fan who 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 their team’s legacy. GMs can also take their experience with them with a mobile companion app, ensuring that they never miss a single moment.

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.

In addition, the “NHL 13 Stanley Cup Collector’s Edition," priced at $79.99, will include two Stanley Cup-themed Hockey Ultimate Team packs, featuring randomized player items from the Western and Eastern conference champions; a gold, jumbo Hockey Ultimate Team pack, featuring 24 randomized items, including an exclusive Wayne Gretzky legend and six other rare items; a CCM boost pack featuring the new CCM RBZ stick for use in Be a Pro and the EA Sports Hockey League; and a collectible Stanley Cup tin, featuring an embossed Stanley Cup image and a 10 percent discount on a one-time purchase at the NHL's online store