One thing that's always bugged me about NHL video games is the invincibility of the goalie. He's out on the ice diving and making crazy saves with no threat of virtual violence or retaliation. Meanwhile, his teammates are getting face washed, flying face first into the glass, and throwing down all around him in brutal first-person fights.
But in "NHL 12," not only can I rush the goalie and even dislodge the net, I can entice the goalie to fight one of my goons, or better yet, watch as my own goalie skates to center ice and challenges his rival to leave the net and catch a beat down.
"This is something we've wanted in the game for years," explains "NHL 12" producer Sean Ramjagsingh, "and goalie fights is probably the most requested feature we got after last year's game. It's pretty cool being able to fight with the goalies. Our biggest concern coming in was that there just haven't been that many goalie fights over the last five years, but sure enough, this year we had a few in the real NHL. And it's cool to fight as the goalies, because if you run the goalie, your D-Men will take notice of it and go after that guy."
That's right, you'll see players stand up for each other, just like they did last year for their superstar, but push the goalie too far, and he'll decide to handle his business on his own.
If only they'd add the ability to knock out some virtual teeth.
But this year's game isn't just about goalie's beating the saves out of each other. I sat down with Ramjagsingh to get a detailed look at three key areas the "NHL" team has focused on for "12."
1. Don't just be a pro, be a legend
Be a Pro mode was introduced back in "NHL 09" and became an instant hit with gamers. But since then, the feature really hasn't seen much improvement. "Our fans have been asking for more," says Ramjagsingh. "So this year, our motto was 'Become the Next Legend.' This year it's all about you and your character becoming the next great legend, and we've included some presentation elements that capture these legendary moments."