NHL 2001
Genre Sport -> Sport
Today's Rank 0
Homepage
USA
Date 2000-09-30
Publisher Electronic Arts
UK
Date 2000-11-24
Publisher Electronic Arts
North America Retail Box ArtEverything a hockey fan could possibly want is packed into the triumphant NHL 2001. While 2001 isn't tremendously different from previous editions, the subtle improvements are welcome. You'll get 30 NHL teams, including the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, plus 20 international teams. Of course, you'll also get all the current players and team uniforms. Desktop managers will have plenty of fun messing with player stats along with both fantasy and rookie drafts and player trades. Old-school fans will like the ability to play their favorite squads in their colors, but also in their throwback uniforms from way back in the day. Even if this is your rookie hockey season, you'll find NHL 2001 surprisingly easy to get into. You'll quickly be able to smack the puck around the ice with ease, and performing painful-looking body checks is as simple as skating into a wall. The PC generally plays a very tough game, but thanks to adjustable difficulty, fast reflexes, and a little management magic, you will soon virtually hoist the Stanley Cup over your virtual head. And that virtual head may look familiar: with some work you can import an image of your face and put yourself in the game. Always wanted to check Lemieux into his bench? Now you can. Of EA's famous sports titles this year, NHL 2001 has the most lifelike player renders and animations. Every single player is easily recognizable and shows a staggering amount of detail in both faces and gear. The on-ice action is both quick and smooth. You'll need a speedy machine with a decent video card to witness the high-quality visuals, but all hockey fans will think it's worth the investment. The computer plays a very tough game, especially on defense. On higher-difficulty settings, it's extremely tough to penetrate the PC's reactions to your every move. You'll see the defense step up its efforts whenever you have a lead and time is running out. Yet somehow it seems fairly realistic to watch a team almost panic when there's only a few ticks left on the clock. Casual and hard-core stat fanatics will find much to enjoy with NHL 2001. And even if you don't know a hockey puck from a basketball, you'll quickly learn why EA dominates PC hockey better than Hasek dominates the net. --Mark Brooks Pros: Graphics so good, the uninitiated may confuse it for a televised game Simplistic yet functional controls Many, many customization and managerial options Cons: Commentary quickly gets repetitive Not a huge gameplay leap over previous editions
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