Commentary

'NHL 10': Five Things to Know

First-person fighting, intimidation and tough guys take center ice as ESPN Video Games' Jon Robinson breaks down the five things you need to know about "NHL 10."

Updated: May 14, 2009, 12:58 PM ET
By Jon Robinson

[Continued]

"There are reasons to fight and reasons not to fight in hockey [and the game]," Littman says. "It's stupid to fight if you have a 2-0 lead in the third period of a playoff game. It doesn't make any sense. So in our game, we reward you if you fight at the right times and we won't reward you -- we'll even penalize you -- if you fight at the wrong times. So if you're down 3-0 in a playoff series and you're getting killed, or if your team isn't playing well, you can start a fight and it gets all the energy back for your team. Your team's energy goes back to 100 percent. But if you fight at the wrong times, you won't get that bonus.

We just want to emulate real life and show what a fight means. And you don't even necessarily need to win the fight. Winning the fight is better, but just showing up and fighting is usually enough to get your team going.

-- "NHL 10" producer David Littman

"We just want to emulate real life and show what a fight means. And you don't even necessarily need to win the fight. Winning the fight is better, but just showing up and fighting is usually enough to get your team going. The idea is that, not only are you getting your team going with some fatigue boost, but you're getting your home crowd going. And this year, with our interactive crowds, getting them going is really important. So if you're in the playoffs and you fight, the home crowd is going to be waving towels and going nuts and if you fight near the boards you're going to see people banging on the glass trying to pump you up. How many sports do you have people banging on the outer edge of the surface? So whenever the puck is near the boards or there is a fight, you're going to see people banging on the glass. Even when the puck goes behind the net to setup for a breakout, there is always that one guy who slams against the glass at the visiting player, and we have that as well.

"We're trying to be as authentic as possible to what you're watching in the playoffs right now. Look at the crowd and everyone in Washington is in red, everyone in Pittsburgh is in white, and we're going to have that in the game where people in the stands are going to be wearing the jerseys of the home teams. Again, being authentic and drawing people in to what makes a hockey game so different than any other sport. And the most important thing to remember about the interactive arena is that you're controlling it. If you get into a fight, you get the crowd going. If you're lackluster and boring, they're going to boo you. If you score goals and make a bunch of saves, you're going to get your home crowd going. And another thing is, when you're in an opposing building and you have a star like Pronger or somebody who has been a thorn in your side, your home crowd will boo every time that player touches the puck.

"The fans are really smart in hockey, and the AI we've added will really drive home that home-ice advantage."

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