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Jan 4, 2006
NHL 2K7 - Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
23/3/2007Take Two2K SportsKush Games
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-42-8$119.95
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The ice looks very impressive.
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Players also look wonderful.

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Preparing to block the shot.
Ice Hockey is a sport which I've always loved. No I've never played it, but I love watching it, and certainly love playing the video game versions. Ever since I first owned Ice Hockey on the Atari 2600 it has been a favourite of mine. While Electronic Arts continues to push their NHL titles - and this is one sport they haven't managed to secure as 'their own' unlike NFL - 2K Sports' titles have for the last four years had a higher average review score according to GameRankings. Now that's saying something - so when it comes to NHL branded titles we seem to have a clear winner. Unlike Electronic Arts though 2K Sports aren't letting their series stagnate but are, year upon year, making big improvements to stay ahead of the game.

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The crowds are pretty nice.
The meat of this game can be found in the Franchise Mode which allows you to take full control of your team including team lineups, trading players, managing fatigue, handling contracts and much more. During the matches players will chat to each other for added realism. Multi-player is also a feature in the game with 4-players able to play on a single console while online gameplay will reportedly feature up to 8-players in total.

The developers are making use of the PS3's tilt mechanism which allows you to take over in net with the crease control - which essentially means that by pressing the R3 button you then get an over the shoulder viewpoint of the goalie, and can them control him with the tilt mechanism. It's also possible to use the tilt functionality to lay down the big hits (or checks as they're called in the sport) on the opposition. The developers will also be incorporating online leagues, tournaments, mini-games, leader boards as well as some other options.

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The graphics are sensational.
Graphics in the game look pretty sharp. While not quite up there with 2k Sports' NBA 2K7 their Ice Hockey title is impressive nonetheless. Animation on the players is quite sublime with the smallest nuances being carried into the game while the rinks and stadiums looks sensational as well. NHL 2K7 on the PS3 includes all-new turning, crossover, gliding, and puck handling animations.

Music is being provided by a range of bands - who admittedly we haven't heard of - including Mudhoney, Hot Hot Heat, The Postal Service, The Thermals, Nebula, Kinski, Arlo, Band of Horses, The Constantines, Seaweed, Sleater-Kinney among others. Impressively the developers let gamers choose between a cinematic score or commentary by Bob Cole and Harry Neale during the matches!

NHL 2K7 looks like the best NHL based game of all time. With this version being the second next-generation title (NHL 2K6 was released on the XBox 360) we should have the most polished, and visually stunning version ever seen. This game will be a launch title in Europe and Australia when the PS3 hits this March.