'NHL 13' gameplay footage shows off skating, goalie, and AI enhancements

EA Sports has released the first gameplay footage of NHL 13, demonstrating the suite of gameplay improvements coming in this year's hockey title.

EA Sports has released the first gameplay footage of NHL 13, demonstrating the suite of gameplay improvements coming in this year's hockey title.

The footage itself is revelatory to those who are familiar with the series, but EA Canada gameplay producer Ben Ross narrates the proceedings to point out what's new.

First up is the revamped skating system, True Performance Skating, which delivers physics-based skating with the help of new animations. Because skating now takes momentum into account, you're bound to get caught out of position if you play too aggressively. The new user-initiated backskate mechanic also makes it easier for teams to cycle the puck and maintain possession. EA Canada also added a "chop" move this year, in which players can take a whack at the puck to chip it along.

The developers have also spent a lot of time making goalies better this year, giving them independent limb movement so they can make desperation saves even when their momentum is carrying them in a different direction. They're also aware of all the players on the ice, and of the scoring threats they represent.

Finally, Ross discusses EA Sports Hockey IQ, the collection of artificial-intelligence improvements that makes skaters play together as a team. NHL 13 players will be forced to change up their strategies if they want to succeed.

For a more in-depth exploration of the features the video touches on, check out our full NHL 13 preview. NHL 13 will launch on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America on September 11th.

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