The biggest addition to the formula is the introduction of the fast paced, arcade-focused “NHL Threes” game mode, which is new to this year’s outing.
For hardcore hockey fans, the intricacies of shift changes and designed plays make an already strategic sport even more nuanced, but for the more casual among us, hockey is all about scoring goals and watching talented athletes skating at, and demolishing each other at high speeds.
Threes highlights that exact feeling with continuous gameplay and fast paced action, with only teams of three on the rink. There are full blown NHL teams, as well as mascot amalgamations which add a bit of variety and humor to the competition. When combined with some gameplay changes, such as no offside or icing calls, and a “MoneyPuck” that can alter the score dramatically, Threes sets the groundwork for what an arcade hockey mode can be.
While there’s no traditional franchise mode for Threes, there is an NBA Street-style campaign which sees you picking up new players as your created team travels form rink to rink across North America.
By far, this is the most refreshing addition to the series that the team has cooked up.