I’ve bought every NHL game since 1998 and always nerd out over the new features. The most exciting, this year? PLAYOFF BEARDS!

From Sportsnet, here’s what to expect in NHL 16:


Online play overhauled: The popular EA Sports Hockey League returns. 6 vs. 6 Online Team Play will also be included and an Online Couch Co-op option will be available for fans who prefer more face-to-face play with friends.

Be A GM changes: Via EA Sports: Each player on your NHL and AHL team has a different personality that you will have to manage. Deal with trade demands, teammate relationships, and much more by calling team meetings or adjusting your roster to directly affect your team’s on-ice performance.

Be A Pro fixes: ‘Be A Pro’ will allow players to simulate to their next shift in the game’s single-player career mode rather than watching the game from the bench while awaiting your next opportunity to hit the ice. You will also have the opportunity to work their way through the junior ranks in the CHL, like in last-gen incarnations, with dreams of going first overall in the NHL Entry Draft.

Gameplay: A precision skating engine and seamless puck pickups promise to create an even more fluid gameplay experience. Tweaks individual arena atmospheres and story-driven commentary should inject the franchise with some life, especially if the latter can avoid monotonous repetition.

Playoff beards: NHL 16 promises to offer more authenticity with enhanced facial features and custom equipment options with the league’s biggest superstars.

It will also feature EA Sports’ first foray into the realm of playoff beards. The defunct 2K Sports NHL series implemented playoff beards with its NHL 2K9 release, but attention to facial hair detail has since fallen by the wayside on the console circuit.

There will be “accurate representations of beard patterns, length, thickness, and growth rates for individual players,” so there’s that.

Full article here