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  • Threes is splashy fun, out of step with all the series' dedication to simulation style play. Surprisingly, it's also thick when it comes to attributes to get a side mode. A belting PA announcer spouts off buzzwords in a mimic of NBA Jam's Tim Kitzrow, unlockables stream in consistently, mascots join in to play, and unique stadiums add a unique vibe. There is extra than adequate to give Threes its own identity. The heavier hits capture burly NHL hut legacy coins - with far more honesty towards the sport than Madden does with NFL football - within the vein on the classic Avalanche/Red Wings rivalry.

    Threes adds necessary life, though the rest of NHL 18 passes by with no additions. The presentation, slipping away from EA Canada in recent years, continues to slide. Between-period interludes provide absolutely nothing - no highlights, no replays, just a menu. Shots in the crowd replay the exact same six or so scenes. Between-play bits cut away rapidly. Organic commentary from Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk weaves within the NHL on NBC production package, but even this bit has started to feel thin just after a couple of years of repetitive exposure.

    If there's an escape in the presentation's repetition, it is Be A Pro, the single player profession. The only sounds come from sliding skates and slapshots, as if reside around the ice; there's no Emerick or Olczyk to fill in blank space. On the other hand, even in its ideal moments, Be a Pro feels outmoded inside the era of sports game narratives - see Madden 18's largely profitable "Longshot" campaign. Given EA Vancouver's lack of adjustments here also, it's as if Be A Pro is being pushed away toward irrelevance. If not a complete storyline, NHL 19 at the very least must enhance this mode in some way if it is going to Buy HUT 18 Coins feel necessary.