Before the release of NHL 2005, fans were wondering if the game would even be released due to the NHL lockout that was occurring the same year. EA decided to still put out the game and to add focus to a new game mode called "World Cup Mode." This focused on the annually held World Cup of Hockey tournament which would now be more of a focus in real life as it would be the only place that the pros would be able to be seen playing during the year.
This game was the first game to Include Open Ice Control, which enabled the user to control players without the puck to provide a more fluid and hockey style performance. NHL 2005 also featured a World Cup mode which allowed players to play as international teams in the World Cup of Hockey. This game was the first NHL game to retain the rights from the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) to allow the game to include models of all the real life national team jerseys. The mode also allowed you to create/modify your own version of each international team before playing the tournament exactly was it was scheduled in 2004. Unfortunately the game did not feature create a player mode.
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