The embargo is lifted and NHl 21 is officially available. We spent a considerable amount of time with the game, testing the improved Be A Pro mode, the new dekes and HUT Rush. However, we are not quite ready to provide a review due to the need for more time with online components. With such a low player pool because the game hasn’t officially released, it hasn’t been easy to always find opponents to test out these features, especially those from World of CHEL. Uncovering the strengths and weaknesses of online gameplay takes more than a few games, so we would like to spend more time on the ice before making our final decision. After putting the online modes to the test, we hope to have a full review later today. In the meantime, here are some general impressions based on our weather to help you decide if NHL 21 is right for you. NHL 21 doesn’t move the needle much compared to what it delivered last year. There are minor tweaks and additions to the modes (with varying degrees of success), but it won’t feel like a fundamentally different experience like when we experienced the new skating two years ago. In all modes, I had some frustration with the AI, whether it was their reluctance to take the puck out of the defensive zone or the defenders acting like they were attackers in EASHL. That being said, the AI seems better at checking shots, removing players from the puck, and recognizing when to come and assist in board battles. The mode that got the biggest facelift was Be A Pro, which was in desperate need of a boost after being mostly overlooked in recent years. My thoughts on my previous preview booth. It’s tough around the edges, but a good foundation for EA Vancouver to build on in the future. The dialogue choices are a bit too extreme, your ratings are sometimes inconsistent based on your contributions, and your interactions with your teammates and your agent are very dry and boring. That being said, I love how you are tasked with taking on different challenges depending on how the game plays out and making your own path to recognition on and off the ice. The new HUT Rush mode offers fast, small-scale play and rewards your prowess in achieving sophisticated and elegant moves. When you score with a fantastic roster created in Ultimate Team, you get multipliers of up to 5x on the last three skills you used, for a maximum multiplier of 15x on a goal. It’s about finding the best combos to get the highest score. This mode is more suitable for advanced players, who like to land difficult shots and can do it easily. This is not my thing, as I play a very simple hockey game, but I can see how earning rewards and adding new players to your roster to participate in a skills competition is sure to attract others . To sum it all up, what you love about previous games can be found here, but there aren’t any big, drastic changes to the formula. It comes down to whether the updated listings and a few new additions will be worth the price of admission. With the real NHL not returning until January, this may be the only way to get your hockey fix for a while.