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NHL 2K11 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Smooth gameplay
  • Staggering amount of content
  • Superb online integration
  • Uninspiring visuals
  • Controls can be frustrating
  • Terrible menus

We lost a little piece of ourselves last season when 2K Sports announced that their long-running NHL 2K series was going on hiatus. Things are tough all around for sports-minded gamers, after all, with franchises dying (March Madness, College Hoops, and NASCAR) or being put on indefinite leave (The BIGS, All Pro Football). When it turned out that NHL 2K11 would actually exist this year as a Wii exclusive, it kept our hopes alive that maybe, just maybe, the once-proud 2K pucks name will be restored to glory.

While the gang at 2K has focused solely on the Wii this year, the bulk of 2K11 will be instantly familiar to veterans of the series. For the most part, this is a good thing; the on-ice gameplay is exceptionally strong and smooth. Skaters move across the surface realistically, chasing after pucks that careen off the boards with abandon. Visually, though, NHL 2K11 looks and sounds pretty ordinary, on par with its PS2 forebears. If you’re looking for next-generation presentation, it ain’t gonna do the trick.

One of the big additions this season is the extension of Wii Motion Plus controls. To be frank, they baffled us at the beginning – to the point that we could barely fire a shot at the net. After digging through the abysmal menus, we eventually stumbled across a desperately-needed tutorial. In no time, we were juggling the puck in mid-air while faking out goaltenders (at least in the practice mode). Even so, the new control scheme takes practice to master and never feels quite natural; luckily, there are other options in case you’re not feeling very adventurous.

NHL 2K11 offers an astounding amount of content - online, offline, and cooperative. There are loads of traditional options, including seasons, franchises, tournaments, last year’s Winter Classic, online leagues, and pond hockey; we could keep going but you get the drift. In addition, there are some fun new multiplayer modes featuring Miis that combine mini-games and trivia in a cross-continental battle for the Stanley Cup. Depending on your buddies, this could be a one-time diversion or something you come back to again and again.

In many ways, NHL 2K11 is the classic “if you haven’t played the series in a couple years, it’s totally worth your while” offering. There’s a boatload of game modes to keep you busy for months, whether you’re an online guy or prefer keeping to yourself. Have no doubt, though, that it’s very similar to its predecessor in most ways. Even so, we love the fact that the NHL 2K name continues to live; here’s hoping this ain’t its swan song.

Aug 26, 2010

More Info

Release date: Aug 24 2010 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: iPad, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Genre: Sports
Published by: 2K Sports
Developed by: Visual Concepts
Franchise: NHL
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Mild Violence

9 comments

  • cristina14 - August 31, 2010 12:50 p.m.

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  • cristina14 - August 31, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone. -------- Resell Rights Products
  • fartinapot - August 28, 2010 12:03 p.m.

    @briangale EA hockey games don't play on the wii.
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  • briangale - August 26, 2010 11:15 p.m.

    Leave hockey to EA Sports
  • juicenpancakes - August 26, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    Then don't bother to read/post on the sports articles/reviews. I'm glad Richard reviews these games because he seems to have the exact same feelings about sports, video games, and sports video games that I do. I like hockey, I like Richard, and I appreciate the thought and analysis that goes into his reviews. reCAPTHCA: explaki IN-THE -- Exactly.
  • FlyinMX - August 26, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    NHK 2K11? I don't think that was intentional.
  • Redeater - August 26, 2010 9:58 p.m.

    I'm canadian and I hate hockey.
  • Dabenguin - August 26, 2010 9:41 p.m.

    I hate hockey

Showing 1-9 of 9 comments

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