Catching Frostbite with NHL 22 - Launching October 15th (XB1, XSX, XSS)

Launching October 15th for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Hockey is (almost) back! After two shortened seasons, it’s looking like the league will be returning to its regular start time this October, giving us a full season of glorious NHL action along with the exciting debut of the Seattle Kraken.

Hot on the heels with the start of the season will be the newest entry in the acclaimed EA Sports series with NHL 22 , bringing with it a new Frostbite-powered engine. We recently got our first look at these exciting features, like the debut of Superstar X-Factors and the return of one of the game’s premiere stars on its cover, but it’s the next-gen treatment we’re really excited for.

The Move to Frostbite

As a long-time fan of the series, it was grueling to have to see the other EA Sports titles get the Frostbite engine upgrade for next-gen. Now that time is finally here, I think we’re all in for a real treat. Features like differed lighting, rebuilt (and relit) stadiums, and improved shadows and reflections make NHL 22 look that much closer to real-life hockey than ever before. Oh, and the ice looks slick as heck, with reflecting light sources giving it that smooth glossy look instead of a cloudy layer of ice. I’m looking forward to seeing how it transforms throughout the course of the game, from a freshly Zamboni-polished coat to the chipped and skate-worn ice at the end of each period.

Also, the player models look significantly improved, with skin and eye shading and dynamic lighting ensuring appropriate depth for all characters. This goes all the way through to the stiches on player uniforms along with appropriate cloth movement that will make this look even closer to a true-to-life NHL game. I can’t wait. There will also be the debut of a new in-game presentation featuring AR-like affects that give up-to-date stats on the ice throughout the course of the game.


Matthews being on the cover again is laughably ridiculous.

The other thing is that I wished they use photogrammetry and laser scanning at this point. I guess it’s time for a competitor when it comes to making NHL games.


Any idea, what is the contract situation generally for these sports games? The last time something major happened was 2k buying NBA rights for 1.1 bn (not sure for how long).

Last November EA announced a “multi-year renewal” with the NHL.

EA also announced a “multi-year renewal” with the NFL in 2020.

UFC was also renewed by EA last November until 2030.

EA renewed its FIFA licence in 2013 until 2022.

2K’s new deal with NBA is valid until 2026.


These are mammoth contracts that EA is bidding for. That FIFA license is worth watching. I won’t be surprised if Take2 is also in the fray.

An update on the game centered around the World of Chel feature.

A technical test will be available tomorrow for anyone that registered. IIRC you register on EA’s website and the link was given on the EA NHL Twitter account a while ago.

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I really wish they could drop UFC and go back to boxing because I can never fully get into the UFC games

NHL2K was the tits back in the day.


There was so much criticism of EA for prematurely using the Frostbite engine for Anthem, and rightly so. But sticking to their guns seems to be paying off in all of their major sports titles.

I wonder whether Ubisoft will go with the engine monoculture too and adopt Snowdrop all round.

I would correct thread title from XB1 to XO (because the console is named as Xbox One, not XBox 1) and XSX, XSS to just XSX|S :slightly_smiling_face:

The Hockey Writers covers this topic well, by going over the cover’s history and it gives a few suggestions as well.

I wasn’t able to try the beta, but from the sounds of it, things like passing is far more realistic and I love the sound of that. In games like Rocket League, passing is a skill and in the NHL series you take it for granted with tape to tape passes from even the worst passers in the league. I also like the idea of gamer skill being involved with having to lead passes to skating players and so on.

Hopefully this means forechecking and forward pressure means bad outlet passes and so on.