NHL 24 brings overhauled physics and animations to consoles this October

Bearing Colorado Avalanche superstar defenceman, Cale Makar, on its cover, NHL 24 will bring “the most intense NHL game yet” to consoles in early October.

Officially revealed today, despite news of its cover athlete having leaked days prior, NHL 24 is targeting an October 6th release. Powered by Frostbite, it will feature an all new Exhaust Engine, as well as more lifelike animations. This, plus more realistic Sustained Pressure and Goalie Fatigue systems.

Through the Sustained Pressure System, offensive players who keep pressure on in the attack zone are rewarded and will trigger the Sustained Pressure perk, lowering their opponent’s attributes for a limited time and creating more space for movement and setting up plays.

With the Goalie Fatigue System, the more pucks you put on net, the more fatigue the opponent’s goalie will experience. This will affect the netminder’s ability to react to shots as they wear down over time and upwards of 75 new goalie animations will help bring this in-game storyline to life.

Thanks to overhauled physics and animations, and what they call Physics-Based Contact, the game will deliver more physical and true-to-life hits, as well as contact itself.

“This is a game made by hockey fans, for hockey fans, and bringing the full intensity of hockey to our gameplay was a major focus for us this year in NHL 24,” said Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at EA Vancouver. “With the new Exhaust Engine system and gameplay features that really capture the physical nature of hockey, NHL 24 delivers realistic body checks and a deeper defensive toolbox full of more choice and tactics that bring a whole new level of immersion to the franchise.”

Cale Makar also had this to say about being named NHL 24’s cover athlete.

“I am honored to be on the cover of EA SPORTS NHL,” said Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. “NHL 24 represents everything I love about hockey – it is fast-paced, physical and a lot of fun. I can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the game to feel the intensity of NHL 24 for themselves.”

Moving on, crossplay will be available for the first time, allowing players to compete with, or against, friends on different consoles. Cheryl Pounder will also be replacing Ray Ferraro as colour commentator this time around, joining the play-by-play voice of James Cybulski.

Here’s a detailed list of some new features:

With the new Exhaust Engine, players can experience a complete revamp of the EA SPORTS NHL gameplay experience that rewards extended offensive events and attack zone time, adding a dynamic new layer of authenticity and excitement to the game. Once the in-game Sustained Pressure System is triggered, a visual meter will indicate that Full Pressure is active resulting in the beneficial Adrenaline effect for the offensive team and the challenging Pinned effect for the defending team. The new Goalie Fatigue System affects the netminder’s ability to react to shots as they get worn down over time, which encourages players to constantly keep up the pressure and get more pucks on the net. Total Control Skill Moves completely refresh the control setup and make highlight-reel moves more intuitive and accessible, while the Vision Passing System remaps face buttons to teammates, allowing for more direct passing and the ability to pass anywhere at any time on the ice.

Updated Human Goalie Controls make playing in goal more accessible and intuitive, with features such as the new Tethered Control System allowing players to slide back and forth to make saves and then auto-returning back to a centered position. Additionally, the new Instinct System gives players the opportunity to guess the location of the shot for a bonus on their save attempt.

Hockey Ultimate Team™: EA SPORTS NHL 24 has introduced the all-new HUT Moments, which lets players recreate and share classic moments in hockey history and today’s biggest plays. NHL 24 also introduces a new real-time objective-tracking system based on item types, teams, players, and on-ice actions, all while updating player progress in-game. The new system will enable players to keep active track of their tasks and objectives, allowing them to stay focused on the exciting on-ice action.

World of Chel: This latest iteration of the EA SPORTS NHL franchise also delivers the most dynamic Word of Chel yet, with enhanced cross-play giving players more ways for players to connect, better matchmaking and improvements to Creation Zone to give players more customization. An update to EASHL Playoffs introduces an authentic, streamlined do-or-die 16-game path to the title, allowing players to earn Ranking Points as they make their way through the bracket. NHL 24 introduces the WOC Battle Pass, which lets players play their way through action-packed seasons at free and premium levels, and WOC Storefront updates give players even more items to outfit their character with as well as access to exclusive new premium bundles of custom characters, player banners and more.

Modernized Presentation: With all-new presentation updates, players will feel more immersed than ever in the game of hockey. This year’s presentation introduces Flex Moments, a broadcast that feels more alive than ever with over 75 new goal celebration animations, camera angles, lighting effects and the ability for players to map their celebration to their controller so they can flex how they want when they want. New waves of event reactions support significant stoppages, rushes down the ice, Exhaust Engine peaks and dramatic comeback moments, making this by far the most energetic Chel crowd to date. Plus, Dynamic Rink Boards expand the augmented reality broadcast and communicate key on-ice moments, from delayed penalties, goal summaries, stat milestones and vanity backdrops to accentuate those big Flex Moments.

Lastly, there’s this from EA:

Fans that pre-order NHL 24 will get a variety of bonus in-game content. The EA SPORTS NHL 24 X-Factor Edition includes the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 or Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game, three days of early access, 4600 NHL Points, exclusive Cale Makar player item, HUT Power-Up Icon of choice and WOC Battle Pass XP Modifier x5. Players can also get a pre-order loyalty offer to receive a 10% off pre-order of the NHL 24 X-Factor Edition.