NHL 2001 Preview
Madden NFL 2001 has casted a shadow over Sega's NFL 2K1, NBA Live 2001 is doing the same thing with NBA 2K1, and the same goes for NHL 2001. EA's strong support for Sony is really showing, the visual feats that we have been seeing with EA Sports' first PS2 titles are truly remarkable. Madden 2001 completely made my jaw drop, NBA Live 2001 made me think that Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett were actually playing one another and now with NHL 2001 I feel as if I can re-live the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals. Over the past years, hockey's popularity has risen and with the increase in popularity comes the increase in sales for hockey games (well, sort of). 989 Studios usually has the upper edge with their FaceOff series and honestly both games in terms of play and quality are neck and neck. NHL 2001 is getting a PS2 face-lift, check out first screens along with the rest of our preview.
NBA Live 2001 looks great, so does Madden 2001 and I'm happy to report that NHL 2001 looks devilishly realistic as well. Facial expressions have always been remarkable with EA titles, and NHL 2001 is no exception. Check out the screenshot where an Avalanche player is getting checked into the glass, notice the face and notice how you can already feel the pain. The backgrounds such as the audience are the same as usual, you have about thirty different faces repeated over and over again in the whole arena but who cares! What matters is the killer looking character detail that EA has been able to cram into these early screenshots. The player detail is great thus far, but the PC version doesn't look so much different. So far at the early rate we are seeing great stuff let's just hope that EA improves upon finalizing development.
A hockey game is a hockey game, but with NHL 2001 EA Sports will be adding a few new extras to spice things up. First of all, the 30 NHL teams will be available, not only that but 20 International teams are playable as well. There are more camera angles, so when gamers check out a replay they can get extremely precise and see a certain action from many angles. Thanks to the awesome power of the PS2, AI has been increased for much more smarter cyber athletes. And finally the icing on the cake is the commentary of Bill Clement and joining him will be Jim Hughson. NHL 2001 will be available around the launch of the PS2. EA is currently planning to have this game available at PS2 launch along with many other EA sports titles. Stay tuned for more coverage on these next-gen sports titles.