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EA Sports NHL11 is due for global release in September of 2010 for Xbox and PS3. A version for the Wii is also scheduled for simultaneous release - please the the VGG entry for NHL Slapshot for more details. EA's latest installment for Xbox 360 and PS3 delivers a brand new physics engine, which EA promise will ensure that every hit will be unique. Open ice hits have been improved, as well as checks from behind and against the boards. New expected clubs in the game are AIK Ishockey in Elitserien, which managed to qualify for the 2010-11 Elitserien season. This will mean that Rögle BK will be removed from the game, as they failed to qualify for the 2010-11 Elitserien season. Also included for the first time will be the sixty teams from the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). It is confirmed that CHL teams will also be a part of the Be A Pro and Be A GM modes, rather than simply being playable in "Play Now" games, like some of the European leagues
NHL11 is rated PEGI: 3+ in Europe, and is still pending ESRB rating in the US and OFLC rating in Oceania.
Faceoffs have been redesigned to allow for far more control than in NHL10. Players can now adjust their grip on their stick at the faceoff circle, and can of course attempt to take the puck in any direction, or even shield the puck from the opposing center to allow one of their wingers to come in and pick it up.
Broken sticks are a feature that EA has made a lot of noise about adding to NHL11. Along with a stick break comes the interaction between broken sticks on the ice and the other players on the ice, as well as pucks bouncing off sticks that have been left on the ice. Players without sticks can grab a new one from one of their teammates (important to make sure that the D are equipped) or of course fetch one from the bench.
The game modes of NHL11 are very similar to those from NHL10:
Be a Pro Mode: Start your player in the AHL or NHL and build them up of consecutive seasons. Your character gains XP based on their performance and the league that they play in. This XP can then be used to boost the players skills across numerous offensive, defensive and athletic attributes.
Be a GM Mode: Almost RPG like in its style and feel. You are given a 3 year contract with a team of your choice. You can be fired! Many challenges await the would be General Manager: Salary Cap compliance, roster management, trades, trade rumours, trading block (feature that lets you set open preferences so that other teams have the information they need to make offers you want to receive). Contract buy outs, re-signing players, scouting assignments, draft picks, relationship management with the other GMS and GM power rankings. You can either play or sim as many of your AHL and NHL games as you wish.
Season mode: pick your favorite NHL team and play an entire season.
Practice Mode: hone your moves and practice your set plays. Create custom plays to be triggered when you're out on the ice.
Shootout mode: As skaters or goalie.
The songs featured in NHL 11 were chosen to replicate the "feel of a live NHL experience".
1. "Here I Stand" In Whispers
2. "Bottom Of The Well" Airbourne
3. "Your Betrayal" Bullet for My Valentine
4. "Dialectic Chaos" Megadeth
5. "Walk" Pantera
6. "Full of Regret" Danko Jones
7. "Twilight Zone" 2 Unlimited
8. "Strike It Up" Black Box
9. "Mama Taught Me Better" Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
10. "¡Olé!" The Bouncing Souls
11. "Sandstorm" Darude
12. "Shipping Up To Boston (Live)" Dropkick Murphys
13. "The Final Countdown" Europe
14. "Unstoppable" Foxy Shazam
15. "Blitzkrieg Bop" Ramones
16. "Howlin' For You" The Black Keys