Firstly, the demo is available right now, for those who don’t have it already, and after downloading the file which is bigger than a gigabyte we will be greeted with the same EA Sports intro that we have all come to love. The demo features three different modes, including Play Now, Hockey Ultimate Team and Be A Pro. The mode that players will go to first is Play Now, which features a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup finals featuring the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. You start out by picking whichever team you want and you get to play the third period of the game. Since I played usually on Superstar on NHL 11, I decided to play at the same difficulty so I could gage how much the game has changed.
For the most part the game feels like NHL 11, which don’t get me wrong is not bad in any way. It’s just that the changes that have been made in NHL 12 are a lot more subtle. The skating has been improved a bit, but the game still doesn’t feel like real skating, the players still “float” around the rink a little too much for my liking. As for the AI, the game has improved a bit with your teammates heading more towards the net and not going off-side for dumb reasons. Last year the playing crashing the net would just go in front and would end up being human targets getting all the shots straight on them. In NHL 12 the players actually try to screen the goalie and attempt to tip the puck when you take a shot from the point. After finishing up my game, which I lost 3-2 in a shootout, I felt like the game was not NHL 12, but more like NHL 11.5. The changes are very subtle and the game feels mostly the same. The two other modes that are in the demo don’t really give us anything to be ecstatic about.
In the end, if you wanted to play the demo before the game came out to make your decision on whether or not to buy the game; I don’t think the demo really does anything to make you want to spend your hard earned money on it. Be sure to check out our review of the full game, when it hits store shelves on September 13th. Abdul will have all the things you want to know about the game.
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Additionally, Abdul Ahmad did his own NHL 12 Demo Impressions in video form with commentary here: