The mighty ice hockey sim returns, and this time it's spoiling for a fight. But that's not the only change...
Smoother than a molten milkshake, EA Sports' ice hockey series always delivers a good, playable game. The 2004 iteration is no different, and there are a couple of additions and tweaks to make it worth a good look for hockey fans. Chief among these is a new focus on the rougher side of the game. All players, even goalies, have access to the red mist - and when the game boils over into violence, a new fighting system makes for enhanced scrapping.
The simplistic face-punching of most hockey games is replaced by a system that revolves around grappling, making for a bit more strategy. And the hockey itself is made more physical by new moves on the right stick, allowing for directional shoving.
This all makes quite a difference to the action, as stringing passes together is made tougher by the ferocity of the tackling. But it's still as playable as ever.
- New fighting system allows for convincing encounters
- Use the right analog stick to expertly direct your aggression
- Take control of the team as manager of the club