NHL 2002

  • Developer: Electronic Arts Canada
  • Genre: Sport
  • Originally on: Windows (2001)
  • Works on: PC, Windows
  • Editor Rating:
    NHL 2002 Rating
  • User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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Game Overview

There is no sport simulation that can accurately represent the real thing, the actual physical experience of playing. This is partly because most of the sports are team efforts, while their game versions require you to control the whole group instead of participating as an individual. But it's mostly because they're third-person abstractions that simulate watching the sport on TV rather than playing it. You can recreate the Normandy landing in an FPS with a remarkable degree of immersion, but everyone knows playing FIFA has nothing to do with having a kick-around in the park. Perversely, this problem works in favour of NHL At its heart, the series isn't much more than a sophisticated and beautiful version of Pong. And as most of you won't give a toss about the real sport of ice hockey, that's exactly how you should think of it.


But the Pong theory only works if you play it in beginner or easy mode. As soon as you jump up to medium, the gameplay is so fast and bewildering you're reduced to a painful wreck of sore buttonpressing thumbs. Sure, there are tactics you can put in use, fancy stick-work with which to dazzle the opposition and a few special moves, but the pace is too frenetic for anything so subtle. You might be able to stop and think in NBA Live, but there is no such luxury here. Stand still for a microsecond and you'll be thumped into the middle of next week. If you play it in easy mode, or happen to have lightning fast reactions and steel reinforced thumbs there is a good game here. Presentation is second to none and the graphics are phenomenal. If you have a good enough graphics card, the detail on the players, their reflection on the ice and the slick animation will leave you stunned enough to forget about playing for a while. Add to this loads of options, some decent tunes and even beginner's commentary that acts as a tutorial and you can see what a well-presented package this is. Another nice touch is the designation of heroes among your team, so, even though you don't recognise any names and they all get confused in the scrap of the match, you know who your best hitters are.

The biggest problem, as with any EA Sports title, is that it's not really that different from NHL 2001. Okay, so now there is crowd involvement and a new player card feature, but it's not enough to warrant spending another $30. Still, if it's been a few years since you last bought a hockey game, this is undoubtedly the best.

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System Requirements

Processor: PC compatible, SystemP-100

OS: Win9xWindows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game Features:NHL 2002 supports single modeSingle game mode

NHL 2002 Screenshots

Windows Screenshots

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