NHL 12 was not with out its flaws. Physics wise it suffered from many of the issues that plagued the new FIFA physics engine (although guys doing triple axels over a slight push seems a bit more believable in FIFA). But any man who thought that EA was just going to seamlessly integrate a new physics engine in the first year was being a bit naive, I fully expect NHL13 to be much more balance and believable. What I'm really looking for in NHL 13 is a little imagination.
What I mean when I say imagination is that feature wise NHL has grown stagnant which is disappointing because fundamentally the gameplay continues to surpass expectations. One of the best examples of this is NHL Be a Pro, the mode (that is now a standard in all sports games) allows players to take the role of just one hockey player and bring him up through the ranks of the Canadian Junior system, the NHL draft, the AHL, and ultimately the NHL. And while the gameplay in this mode is awesome and so easy to lose hours of ones life to, the features the mode offers hasn't changed too much in 3-4 years. This past year added a full Canadian Junior season prior to the draft, which was awesome, but the mode is lack so much more to really drag the player in to feeling like they're a hockey play, so here's my suggestions...
- Expanded off ice features- Now I'm not suggesting they go all hokey like NCAA did a few years back and give you tests on whether you want to enter a wing eating contest or not, but they should present you with a more realistic idea of what issues players deal with. Media for instance is a huge thing, from the constant spot light of being a top rated prospect to just trying to get some attention by being a lowly rated one. On the NHL level media is huge, they make or break a players perception in a city, they can glorify him into a hero or villainize him and run him out of town. A player should certainly be aware of how he's being perceived.
- Deeper contractual aspects- I want to know what's going on with my players contract. As it stands once you resign with a team that's the last you hear of your contract until the next resigning. I want to be able to hold out, I want, to be able to demand a trade, I want to be able to hear the teams reasoning for why they're doing what. One of the coolest moments I had in NHL gaming history was NHL 09. My player was crushing the Art Ross race with the Flyers, we were in first place and then for some reason I was traded. It was wild, but I was left to use my imagination as to why it happened.
- International play/The inclusion of other leagues- This one is so simple because all the necessary components are already there. We already have international teams, we already have alternative Euro leagues, include them in BAP. International hockey is so important in hockey, it's a shame it's under utilized.