NHL 22 Moves to Frostbite, Next-Gen Upgrade Locked Behind $100 “X-Factor Edition”

Nathan Birch
NHL 22

EA’s NHL games don’t always get the same love as some of their other sports franchises. Oh, sure, the EA-Vancouver-developed NHL games are the equivalent of Madden up here in Canada, but they usually get new features on somewhat of a delay. Case in point, EA has announce NHL 22 will be the first game in the series powered by the Frostbite Engine (something that happened with FIFA in 2016 and Madden in 2017). The engine change does seem to have resulted in a pretty nice boost in visual quality – check out the first trailer for NHL 22, below.

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In addition to the engine change, EA is boasting “X-Factors,” a new series of special moves for the biggest players in the game. Here’s a rundown NHL 22’s new features

For the first time ever, the Frostbite engine comes to the EA Sports NHL franchise, making NHL 22 the biggest leap forward in graphics and game play in franchise history. Players will be brought to life via overhauled player likeness, cloth animations and uniform micro-details, all delivered in higher resolution to make every stitch visible. Alongside these advancements will come enhanced spatial awareness for players to track and react to the world around them. In addition to enhanced player detail and visual fidelity, on-ice gameplay will see an upgrade as well with new physically accurate stick interactions, just one of many gameplay improvements coming to NHL 22.

Superstars will distinctly feel like their real-life counterparts in NHL 22 with the introduction of Superstar X-Factors, a game-changing system that unleashes unique abilities for the best players in the game, with traits inspired by their individual real-world skills. Superstar X-Factors bring two key elements to help elevate hockey’s elite and break them away from the pack: Zone Abilities and Superstar Abilities. Zone Abilities bring game-breaking enhancements to the best players, while Superstar Abilities represent upper echelon skills reserved for athletes playing at the next level.

Players like Edmonton Oilers Forward Leon Draisaitl, whose “Tape to Tape” ability reflects his elite core passing; or Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s “Contortionist” X-factor that boosts his ability to make wild, body-twisting saves with ease will make a profound impact on NHL 22 gameplay. Superstar X-Factors not only bring new facets to gameplay but also add new dimensions to Franchise Mode, Be A Pro, Hockey Ultimate Team and World of Chel.

NHL 22 will also be the first game in the series on next-gen consoles, and if you’re looking for a crossgen upgrade, you’ll need to pre-order the $100 X-Factor Edition. In addition to last/current-gen “dual entitlement," the X-Factor Edition offers the following:

  • NHL 22 for older gen and current gen consoles
  • 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 10 HUT Diamond Player Choice Packs (2 per month for 5 months)
  • HUT X-Factor Player Choice Pack (2 of 25)
  • HUT X-Factor Power-Up Starter Pack
  • Up to 4 HUT X-Factor Power-Up Packs (1 per month for 4 months starting November 2021)
  • 5 Unlocked Hockey Bags
  • Be A Pro X-Factor Slot Unlocks (2), XP Boost, and Bonus Trait Points
  • 5 World of Chel X-Factor Zone Ability Unlocks
    • Bouncer
    • Heatseeker
    • Unstoppable Force
    • Elite Edges
    • Big Tipper

NHL 22 skates onto Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on October 15.

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