2K Sports brings us their new Ice Hockey game, the newest addition to there NHL 2K series NHL 2K7. The 2K Sports series started on the SEGA DreamCast, released on February 9th, 2000, as part of an exclusive line-up of sports titles and to become a main competitor to the Electronic Arts Sports titles. After releasing the first of the NHL 2K series the 2K Sports team didn’t release NHL 2K1 instead they took to making NHL 2K2. By spending more time on just one game they created a well presented title, trying to get one over on the EA Sports team. NHL 2K2 was the last of the 2K Sports titles to be played on the DreamCast, but as the console Market changed so did the 2K Sports team, wanting what most of us do, to make it big time and make loads of money, and so the company expanded, and released more games, such as the NBA 2K series. Hitting the market with better, or at least, the same quality of game as any Electronic Arts Sports title, 2K Sports added variety to the industry in an area which had previously been under a strict monopoly.
In NHL 2K7, it’s time to become one of the world famous Ice Hockey teams ranging from the Ducks to the Capitals and loads more. The game not only allows you to play as a world famous team, but now also as a new feature you can also tell your team what you want them to do with simple button commands, during a Match. A variety of new manoeuvres have also been included, such as when you have the puck, you can now move your player and your stick separately to avoid any checking of your players. The 2K Sports team have also introduced a Pressure System so depending on how hard you press any button the power of the shot will vary in distance and speed. There’s also a selection of Mini-Games and other things to do, thrown-in for good measure. Air Hockey and some other Arcade games appear in the title, offering a slight distraction from the main game.
There are a variety of gameplay options, including Franchise, Season, Tournament, Pound Hockey and many more. In Season Mode you can play as your team, or play as a manager, similar to the General Manager Mode in WWE SmackDown! Vs. Raw 2007, but fairly far removed from the likes of Football Manager 2006 or LMA Manager.
NHL 2K7 features new groundbreaking dynamic cameras that improve your vision of the ice and bring you closer to the action like never before, while the legendary broadcast team of Bob Cole and Harry Neale call all the shots. This title hosts songs by Mudhoney, Hot Hot Heat, The Postal Service, Band of Horses and many more. There is no cheesy music in this body slamming, puck thrashing Ice Hockey game, and there is simply no room for it. This is probably the best looking NHL game released yet and is an ample contender to the annually-tagged NHL games by EA. Although both series have the support of NHLPA and the NHL itself, there is more respect for the 2K Sports team as they have now a new and unique Control System which allows the player to control more than just one player at a time.
NHL 2K7 demonstrates 2K Sports’ ambitions to excel their series ahead of every other Ice Hockey title. There is an incredible array of manoeuvres to perform, and yet there is little evidence of this taking toll on the presentation – NHL 2K7 can be accredited with a tagline that may seem rather hum-drum, yet is often overlooked in today’s mass market products; NHL 2K7 is a nice clean game. There are no faults or bugs in the graphics and, as you would expect, but it looks like 2K Sports have done something EA have never done, and that’s take the time to make a better game.
NHL 2K7 brought to us by the 2K Sports team is hands down the best Ice Hockey game ever to have hit the shelves, the team have worked so hard to achieve in their field, and this game is their reward. 2K Sports have spent loads of time, money and effort developing a game that overcomes all of their competitors Ice Hockey titles, and gives the player the chance to perform bigger-and-better things – the ability to make the A.I. players do what you want them to do, with just one button, dodge attacks by moving your Analogue Stick, and spinning-and-ducking around, moving to the goal while getting your team-mates to check the other players, and score. Definitely a good Sports game even for people that don’t like sports-orientated games.