Another year comes another NHL from Electronic Arts—and this year has a lot of improvements packed into it. From new gameplay systems and physics reworks to presentation, storefront and battle pass changes, and the introduction of EASHL playoffs. With Cale Makar front and centre on the cover and a whole host of upgrades, EA Sports’ NHL 24 is shaping up to be the best entry in the series yet.
But we’re all here for the big stuff: Gameplay changes and enhancements. Let’s check out what NHL 24 has to offer when it launches on the 6th of October for Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles.
The ‘Exhaust Engine’
Two New Gameplay Systems and Physics Changes
A new layer of intensity comes with NHL 24 thanks to the addition of two new gameplay systems: The Goalie Fatigue System and the Sustained Pressure System. These systems aim to increase the speed of the game and reward players for offensive play.
Goalie Fatigue System
This new goalie system helps change the scoring meta by impacting your goalie’s status. As they tire out, it makes future oppurtunities for playing defence that much harder, especially against heavy offense. Shots on your goal, passes around the crease, and how long they’ve been in the zone will wear out your goalie. But clearing the puch, face offs and time-outs as well as play stops will help your goalie recover from fatigue.
Sustained Pressure System
The Sustained Pressure System (“SPS”) is an all-new mechanic that rewards offensive play. The longer the attacking team spends in the attacking zone, the harder it becomes for defence to keep up with the attacking player.
Each team can build up SPS through puck possession and shots while in the offensive zone. As the offensive team builds up SPS, their players will receive the ‘Adrenaline Effect’, which increases their player’s passing speed and accuracy for up to 30 seconds. The defensive team will receive the ‘Pinned Effect’, however, which hinders their skating ability. They can counter this moment by clearing the puck for 5 continuous seconds.
Control Setup Refresh and Crossplay
NHL 24 refreshes how the player controls the goalie as well as changing how the speed and accuracy of passes works. A One Touch Passing system as well as an Instinct System that feels like a new game within the game.
Crossplay in World of Chel (“WOC”) and Hockey Ultimate Team (“HUT”) will be available for consoles in their respective generation brackets, but there will be a single leaderboard across all generations that NHL 24 will be available on.
One final change comes in the form of physics alterations. NHL 24 continues to improve how players on the field interact with each other—this time coming in the form of body contact and impacts. This change can impact how defence is played and makes the body more integral to the overall gameplay.
Battle Pass, Creation Zone, Store, and HUT
Creation Zone Changes
Creation Zone will receive an upgraded user experience, streamlining the process of navigating and equipping items as well as response times for actions completed. You can now save unique looks and quickly change your style of play to get back into the action faster than ever.
NHL 24 introduces the EASHL Playoffs, a do-or-die format for authentic EASHL play. It’s a 16-game path to playoffs, where game progression earns points and losses result in elimination. Post playoffs will award the Global Champion of the season.
This increases the player pool in online team play even when players enter this mode as a single player. Not only will this enrich competitive play, but EASHL will also feature unique commentary and leverage existing playoff presentation moments.
Battle Pass and Storefront
A battle pass will be present at free and premium levels, rewarding players for time spent playing online. Vanity items of all kinds will be made available through this battle pass, such as skates and helmets, and these items will carry over to the next NHL title.
This also applies to the storefront, where players will be able to purchase thousands of pieces of legacy gear with grind currency they can earn through play. There will also be premium bundles featuring excluisive content such as:
- Custom Characters
- Player Banners
- Unique player classes that cannot be built within the WOC mode
HUT Moments and Objective 2.0
Updates to HUT make it easier to share your ultimate team. These updates include sharing your current lineup, season record, and highest achievements in each mode across multiple social media platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok—making it easier to flex on your next-door neighbour.
Lastly, NHL 24 gives players more control over how they can present themselves and their teams. With 75+ new goal celebrations, new camera angles and lighting effects, and player banner personalisation in the digital rink boards—you have more ways to flex your might now more than ever.
Broadcast improvements have been made as well. Enrichments to crowd atmosphere include a new wave of events and reactions to plays such as rallying a comeback or wanting their home team to shoot/score. Cheryl Pounder, the hockey colour commentator at the 2014 and ’18 Winter Olympics, will also be added as a commentator to the game.
NHL 24 is the biggest and best version of EA Sports’ hockey series to date. Players will be able to pick up the game on the 6th of October for Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles in two editions: Standard and X-Factor (Digital Only release).
The EA SPORTS NHL 24 X-Factor Edition includes the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game, three days of early access, 4600 NHL Points, an exclusive Cale Makar player item, HUT Power-Up Icon of choice, and WOC Battle Pass XP Modifier x5. Players can also get a pre-order loyalty offer to receive a 10% off pre-order of the NHL 24 X-Factor Edition.