NHL 21 is merely days from launch, and we've got our initial thoughts on the game together for our review in progress!
Players can hop right into NHL 21 thanks to early access from the EA Play trial as well as pre-ordering the Deluxe and Great Eight editions of the game.
Here's all the latest around EA's newest hockey sim.
Latest News - NHL 21 Review In Progress
We haven't yet had enough time with the game for our NHL 21 review to be finalized, but we have broken down how the new features feel in the game so far here!
Thus far, our perspective is limited due to servers not yet being up. But this doesn't stop us from experiencing single player HUT content, the massive Be A Pro overhaul, major Franchise mode changes, and more.
And from these game modes, we expect NHL 21 to be a great pickup for hockey fans.
Now that we've had some time to play NHL 21 via early access, we've covered how the new gameplay changes feel.
You can read over our first impressions of the game here, where we break down the new Be A Pro, Franchise Mode, HUT, World of Chel, and gameplay changes.
Those with the Early Access editions of NHL 21 can now play the game!
If you want to try it before you buy then you can play NHL 21 now via early access from the EA Play 10-hour trial!
You can get this early access by subscribing to EA Play for $4.99 a month, and the trial has no limitations outside of its 10-hour time limit.
That means players can get a head start in HUT, or their careers in Be A Pro and Franchise modes.
NHL 21 will release on Friday, 16 October, with the Deluxe and Great Eight Editions offering 3 days of early access.
READ MORE: NHL 21 pre-order now live!
EA has given us a gameplay trailer, and there is a lot of new things coming.
NOW WATCH BELOW - NHL 21 GAMEPLAY TRAILER
Be A Pro Trailer Reveals New Features
The NHL 21 Be A Pro Trailer has arrived, and with it comes several new feature announcements!
The first of these new features includes an all-new conversation system with hundreds of conversations and thousands of choices that will affect relationships with teammates, coaches, and media. These will change things like frequency your teammates pass the puck, play time, and more.
There are also new season stories which will challenge players differently depending on their trajectory.
Franchise Mode Updates Revealed
The latest NHL 21 updates from EA covered some major improvements to Franchise Mode.
We expected some big changes in the classic game mode to catch up with the rest of sports gaming, and follow through on EA's promise to focus on current-gen features over next-gen exclusives.
And while we could've gotten more, some important changes are coming.
These changes include trade deadline updates, draft class customization, better trade value assessment, stat record keeping, and more.
A lot has changed for Ovi since he was last on the cover for NHL 07, including finally bringing a Stanley Cup to Washington.
Price & Editions
The next edition available is the Deluxe Edition, listed at $79.99.
The third and final edition is the Great Eight Edition, listed at $99.99.
All of the editions come with some pre-order bonuses.
NHL 94 Rewind
EA has announced a new game mode players can hop into on 30 October by pre-ordering NHL 21, NHL 94 Rewind!
The game mode is a throwback for veteran hockey gamers, pairing the current roster with controls and graphics from 1994.
We've gotten a good amount of important NHL 21 ratings reveals so far!
These include Sydney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeni Malkin, and plenty more.
Rewards for Playing NHL 20
EA have announced a new rewards program that offer NHL 21 points and other rewards for playing NHL 20!
The first cosmetic rewards can be earned simply by logging into NHL 20, but the rest will have to be earned playing HUT.
Feature Reveal Roadmap
Thanks to a roadmap from EA, we know which NHL 21 features are coming next!
With the Be A Pro Trailer coming 1 October, we're down to just the Franchise Mode reveal left!
HUT RUSH Revealed
NHL 21 HUT RUSH is coming to shake HUT, and we now have a full list of features.
These features include new game modes, style point scoring, outdoor arenas, rankings, playable mascots, and more.
No Next-Gen Version
NHL 21 is the first EA sports title not to feature a next-gen edition.
This frees up the team to add plenty of new gameplay features for release on Xbox One and PS4.
NHL 21 will still be playable on next-gen consoles thanks to forward-compatibility, but it will not be receiving PS5 and Xbox Series X releases with next-gen exclusive features. This should emphasize the game's quality on initial release for current-gen consoles.
World of Chel
The World of Chel game mode is one of the more unique in the NHL series, and allows players to build up their very own created characters.
World of Chel has plenty of different ways to play, most involving small team games like 3v3 - which helps separate gameplay from the other modes.
A new Ranked Seasons will allow players to compete across new modes - ones, threes, drop-in or Clubs - to earn rewards and play in the new EASHL Club Finals.
Chel Notes Released
EA has released their Chel Notes for NHL 21, where you can see some of the awesome improvements they've made to the game.
Take a look at them in full right here.