The EA Sports Hockey League beta for NHL 16 that had been scheduled to end has been extended until Monday morning. Feedback to the beta has already been applied in the form of a gameplay tuner, and the extra few days will allow for more evaluation of the mode in general but also the changes that have now been made.
Adjustments to gameplay include tweaking and balancing of the various player classes, faceoff success, goalie play, and much more. Read more
A while back three new historic teams were announced for NBA 2K16. Now 2K Sports has confirmed there will be a total of 12 classic teams added withÂ the upcoming game. Two of the remaining nine teams wereÂ revealed today.
The 1999-00 Portland Trail Blazers and 2002-03 Dallas Mavericks join the 1999-00 Toronto Raptors, 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers, and 2007-08 Boston Celtics.Â 2K will be unveiling two teams every Thursday, filling out the unknown sevenÂ over the next five weeks.
The ’99 Blazers team lost the Western Conference Finals in 7 games to the eventual champion Lakers. The roster features Damon Stoudemire, Steve Smith, Scottie Pippen, Rasheed Wallace,Â Arvydas Sabonis, andÂ Detlef Schrempf.
The ’02 Mavericks team lost in the Western Conference Finals in 6 games to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs. The roster features Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Nick Van Exel,Â Raef LaFrentz, and Shawn Bradley.
The NHL 16 EA Sports Hockey League beta has now been open for a week – and it remains so through tomorrow – providing an unprecedented (for the sports gaming genre) glimpse at the game which isn’t due out until mid-September.
EASHL was a mode that I found very compelling when it launched in NHL 09, and played heavily that year and a few that followed. However beyond then interest waned as it went largely unchanged and took on a microtransaction slant in the upgrading of player ratings.
Despite that it was immediately evident the error in judgment EA made by not having the mode in NHL 15, or at least properly setting expectations it would not be there. Predictably there was a mass exodus of the consumers who had supported the game over the years, with the absence of EASHL having easily the most influence over potential purchase decisions.
The new EASHL brings back the base structure of the mode but has a fundamental new approach. Player progression has been replaced by “Player Classes”. That evens the playing field while also introducing unique strategies in forming teams to play to strengths or by counteracting an opponent’s selections.Â Read more
Konami today officially announced that they have acquired the license to next year’s UEFA Euro tournament. This is a license that had been held by EA Sports since 2000, with the publisher having released a game on the every-four-year schedule with the last being in 2012.
While the first three UEFA Euro games from EA were standalone retail products, the 2012 edition was an attempt at turning it into an expansion pack sold digitally through the FIFA of that year. It sold for $20 and was treated very much as a “discount” game/add-on, as it featured only 24 licensed nations – the other 29 were generic representations.
In the release sent out by Konami they were definitive in statingÂ UEFA Euro 2016 is not included in Pro Evolution Soccer 2016, which is due out in mid-September. It’s unclear what their plans are for the tournament, whether they’ll be adding it as DLC down the line, or releasing a standalone title. The company won’t be discussing plans for it until early next year.
The new FIFA Ultimate Team Draft ModeÂ wasn’t the only news to come out of Gamescom this morning related to FIFA 16. EA Sports also detailed some of the improvements that have been made to presentation for the game.
The most significant is an authentic presentation package forÂ Bundesliga, similar to the treatment Premier League got last year. The game will also include updated likenesses, new crowd chants, sideline celebrations, and vanishing spray. Read more
Early this morning, out of Gamescom, EA Sports announced a new mode for FIFA 16 that is similar in nature to Draft Champions mode being introduced in Madden NFL 16.
FIFA Ultimate Team Draft will involve a process of team-building that has players selected through a draft format where five options are given to choose from at each turn. The team is then taken online or against the CPU for a series of up to four matches. After completion it’s back to starting from scratch with a new draft though there is a buy-in each time.Â Read more
With two consecutive titles getting 10 hours of early playtime through EA Access (Rory McIlroy PGA Tour and Battlefield: Hardline) it began to look like that could be a new standard through the Xbox One subscription service. All new titles prior to that, since EA Access launched last summer, had been limited to 6 hours.
Now EA has confirmed that the trial period for Madden NFL 16 will also be 10 hours. The game will open up for subscribers on Thursday, August 20. EA Access is $30 for a year, or $5 for a single month, and offers up a Vault of almost every EA game on Xbox One to date plus 10% off any digital purchases, in addition to the early trials for upcoming games.
That’s a significant chunk of time, clearly sufficient to judge whether the game is worthy of a purchase or not, but there’s still the “clock ticking down” in the back of one’s mindÂ that can affect enjoyment of the game. It definitely had an impact on me last year playing Madden NFL 15, in having to decide how that time would be spent, and the most jarring moment when it just cut off without warning and shut down late in the fourth quarter of an intense and thoroughly enjoyable game. The extra hours however should really help in that regard.
While EA Sports appears to be moving away from offering traditional demos, and the likes of 2K Sports and SCEA abandoned them years ago, there is one upcoming sports game that has confirmed a demo is on the way and it’ll be out a full month before the game releases. A demo for Pro Evolution Soccer 2016Â will be made available to download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, 360, and PS3 on Thursday, August 13.
What the demo will offer up remains unclear, though Konami did state that it will include both club and national teams. Last year’s demo featured only a simple exhibition game 7-10 minutes in length, with seven clubs to choose from and the match played in Konami Stadium.
It’s not yet known whether direct competitor FIFA 16 will have a demo go out pre-release (it did last year two weeks in advance) though it will definitely be playable through EA Access on Xbox One five days prior to release for 10 hours. The demo for PES will get to make a first impression on the market however and will reach consumersÂ on all systems.