Publisher: Electronic Arts
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3
Hockey may not be as popular as the other three professional sports, but EA's video game version of the fast-paced game just keeps getting better. In a nod to the success of NBA 2K11's inclusion of Michael Jordan in its game, NHL 12 mines hockey's golden age for the entertaining Be A Legend mode. Unlock players like Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe, then try to set their all-time career marks. You can also set up face-offs between the legends and modern day players to see who comes out on top.
Changes to the action on the ice only improve on what is EA's smoothest playing title. The Full Contact Physics engine includes new animations like shattered glass along the boards and players flipping into bench areas. Dynamic Goalies amp up the action in front of the crease, where you can distract the netminders and knock the goals off their posts.
The new Full Balance Control also puts more weight into a player's size. The big guys can handle glancing blows from smaller guys on drives towards the goal, while the little guys have much less margin for error before they're sent skidding into the corner on their backsides. Overall, this is one of the deepest and best-looking sports titles of the year.
Game Room Video Review: NHL 12
Score: 9 out of 10