The NHL 17 beta went live yesterday and I got my hands on a code (thank you Electronic Arts, I’ve almost forgiven you for putting Vladimir Tarasenko on the cover) — here are my preliminary thoughts on the new game.
All of the modes available in the beta are part of the online package, a part of NHL 16 I haven’t messed around with much. As such, the biggest difference in the game so far (other than a cleaned up look and a slightly more responsive menu system) is the ability to create your own franchise.
I figure the best way to show you what you can customize is to show you what my brother and I spent ... too long working on last night. Meet the Fresno Whalers.
You can use current, vintage and EA-created logos for your made up team as well as a handful of different fonts for the lettermark. There’s no wordmark logo available, unfortunately, but customizing the colors of your team and logo is a lot of fun. Here’s what we did in terms of jerseys...
I think they look pretty slick. I don’t have the patience to write up the significance of the font and color scheme, so let’s just say these are colors I like and that’s about all the depth that went into it.
You can also customize the look of your arena down to the seat colors, stair colors and goal horn. A bevvy of goal songs are available, and if you want your team to skate out through the Shark head ... you’re in luck.
If you’re a bit of a jersey dork like me you could spend hours (and I do mean hours) customizing everything about your team from the nickname to the sock colors. This mode of the game is awesome and a great addition to a game that I feel needs a little more depth.
I didn’t notice any major changes in terms of gameplay, and I play NHL 16 five times a week. I also haven’t done a deep dive through player ratings, but since this is only the beta I figure I’ll hold off judgment until the game officially drops on September 13.