We investigate whether or not 2K Sports slipped up in the icy world of PS3 conversions.
PS3, Xbox 360
Ah, the next-generation. Well, the now-generation. Whatever. We're supposed to have hovering consoles made of tinfoil, powered by happy thoughts and made of recycled WMDs, and all the games are supposed to be original IP made of pure joy. I think the PS3 hype machine got a bit carried away with that scenario, mind, and NHL 2K7 is a prime example as to why - it's just another addition to another franchise.
"As much as this may shock even the most unflappable of you, if you've played a previous NHL 2K game before then you'll probably know what to expect."
As a game, NHL 2K7 plays seemingly exactly as all ice hockey games have over the last thousand years, and it's a format that works. Just as every other sports has a formula that it sticks to, rarely deviating a great deal from the prescribed course, 2K7 is unspectacular in that regard. There are some funny little features - commentary can be substituted for dynamic music, accompanied by 'movie-like' scenes. This apparently adds a new emotional level to the game, or something. It doesn't, like, it's just a bit daft. Harmless, but daft. To be fair, the rousing orchestral score that kicks in when you're clawing back from three down can be quite inspirational, and it is a nice thought, but in the end it's just a throwaway addition put in to add some NEXT-GEN pizzazz, and feels more shoehorned than anything else.
"The core gameplay is solid and the system is deep enough for long term players while easy enough to pick up for beginners."
It really is quite a factor in the quality of the game - the publishers have acknowledged that it isn't anything more than a re-release of an Xbox 360 game (which is exactly the same, bar some Sixaxis crap thrown in for no reason other than it being there), and the price reflects this. As a £50 release, 2K7 would be worthless, but easily purchasable for around £15 makes it far more tempting, and is sure to push sales up (it already has, as the game has been out an age now. Shhh!).
Presentation is what one would expect - it's all there, from the shiny graphics and nice animation to the reasonable commentary and authentic hoots'n'hollers. The music selection on offer isn't perfect, but it does contain The Postal Service, which frankly shits on most of the stuff EA put on their games, so that's nice. Game modes are as they always have been, with a decent online mode - though no one seems to play - and a nice party mode with a number of distracting minigames. It's solid, and again, unspectacular.
Anywho, there isn't much else that can be said - it's another ice hockey game, it's solid enough and plays well, but if you have played or you do own a previous 2K Sports hockey title then there isn't much more in the game to recommend it. Those looking for any game at all for their shiny new PS3, however, are sure to be tempted by the budget price, and as a budget release it comes recommended.