NHL 2K11 In Review – 2K Shoot! they Score!

I’ve admitted it before and I’ll admit it again: I am Canadian. And yes, I love hockey. With the preseason just weeks away, I’m like a kid on Christmas eve. Coinciding perfectly with the upcoming season is the latest on ice offering from 2K Sports. Their NHL 2K series has been a favourite of mine from the start. That said, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of the recently released NHL 2K11. Read on to see if their efforts get them the cup, or time in the box.

One thing I love about franchises is consistency. Rather than reinventing the wheel every year, the folks at 2K take their tried and true formula and just improve it a little bit more every time. Now some people would see that as dull, but  I love it. After all these years of enhancements and improvements you end up with a solid GUI that looks amazing and functions exactly how you would expect. It’s very user friendly and intuitive.

Now when it comes to in game graphics, results are about as good as they can get with all the action on the ice. Up close the faces of the players may not be entirely distinguishable but they did try to keep consistent with regards to the numbered jerseys. My only concern with that is I don’t understand why they would go to the trouble of making sure all the jerseys were numbered right but then not include the names on the back as well. Now you do see the players name/position when they are selected and/or controlling the puck.  I will commend them on the instant replays though. They look great and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love taking a second look at their own handy work?

Menus and navigation are very close to their console cousins. I especially liked the help menus. Rather than cramming everything into one page, or one long continous scrolling list they broke it down into mini cheat sheets. You just swipe your way through each one and there’s just enough info in each without making you feel overwhelmed. There are 4 game modes available to you: a quick game option, free (practice) skate, shootout and season. I’m loving the quick game mode as it allows me to jump right in and hit the ice. Although a close second is definitely season mode. I know I’m not the only one that loves to play their favourite teams’ season right along with watching the real games to see who does better.

Controls in game are great. Following the familiar console setup you use a d-pad to move and the have your dual-role buttons (e.g. Button 1 = shoot/check). They’re well placed on the screen and are easy enough to execute your favorite moves or team strategies. The only thing that may take some getting used to is the camera angles. I had to cycle through a few ofthem and play a few games to decide which I liked the most and would recommend you do the same. There are 4 offered so there is no reason for you to just settle on the default.

I guess the only thing I was really hoping to see but didn’t was some online integration. I realise that online multiplayer would be a bit of a hassle (and probably lag like hell) but I’m thinking more along the lines of leaderboards and achievements. A game like this would lend real well to any of the current social platform integrations or any variation thereof. I know I would love to be able to brag about how well my team did. Another possible social integration could have been fantasy teams. Many of us do it already on various websites. It would be awesome to be able to combine the fun of playing with the skill and creativity of creating fantasy teams.  All in all though I just love NHL 2K11. I haven’t stopped playing it since I downloaded it and with the season just getting ready to start, I probably won’t be stopping till next spring. I have to recommend this title to all hockey fans. You will definitely enjoy NHL 2K11.

App Summary
Title: 2K Sports NHL 2K11 Developer: 2K Sports
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.2 Min OS Req: 3.1.2
Price: $1.99 App Size: 188 MB
  • Great graphics/design
  • Familiar 2K look & feel
  • Excellent help/menu structure
  • Love the instant replay
  • Camera angles take some getting used to
  • Could use some more social integration (see post for examples)


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