Electronic Arts has introduced improvements to its upcoming NHL 14 game's artificial intelligence and other features of the goalies.
The independent limb movement technique in NHL 13 has been added to NHL 14 enabling the goalie to adjust his gloves and extend his arms or other limb movements to save the goal.
Goalies now have additional features such as calculating the possibility of scoring based on the approaching player's forehand or backhand shot. This feature is expected to make the scoring process authentic and realistic.
Ben Ross, NHL 14 game play producer, states on his EA sports website that the goalie's field of vision has been improved and made more realistic.
A list of features has been added under the intelligence, animations, against one-timers and rebound sections. Following are the features:
The goalie will be able to analyse the game play and can anticipate whether the player will deke, pass or shoot.
The player will get more chances to score a goal as the goalie will not pull the puck back with him. Instead, he leaves the puck open in order to face the shots by rivals.
Goalies stay in their save/position once they are able to assume whether the puck will hit them or not.
The main focus of the goalies is to cover the exposed parts of the goal area in order to save a hit.
The goalie's reaction to reflection shots applied on the puck are improved regardless of whether the goalie can see the initial shot or save the score by extending his limbs.
More realistic animations will be carried by the goalies regarding shot fakes and opening areas of the net, which would open up more scoring possibilities for the rival player.
Animations and Movements
Minor animation bugs such as faults in the goalie's movement while saving a goal in the game play have been fixed in NHL 14.
The goalie will be more conscious and alert to rival player's forehand shots as compared to backhand as the former move is considered more scoring.
More saves have been added from the vertical-horizontal and butterfly saves for better reaction towards the approaching puck.
Goalies will stay alert for the short side even if they have a defensive support and are likely to move towards the short side if the attacking player is playing forehand.
If the rival player is playing backhand, the goalie will be able to assume the pass and react in advance.
The goalie will try to cover the ground shots if the rival is close to the net as it is difficult to shoot in the air from close positions. If the shooter is at a distance from the net, the goalie will try to extend his limb movements to save a goal as the player is likely to play an air shot. This would indeed open more chances for the player to score as a large area of the net is likely to be exposed.
The number of movements and the puck sight determine the goalie's ability to save a goal. If the goalie is not able to follow the puck, he will try to slide across to steal the shooter's chance of scoring and can react accordingly when he sees the puck.
The EA website states that goalies can now recover quickly while handling a rebound even "if they lose the puck within their body equipment".
Goalies will be able to recognise ground shots more easily than air shots and kick the puck to corners more often.
NHL 14 will release on 10 September in North America and on 13 September in other countries for Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. The game can be pre-ordered on Origin, Amazon, Best Buy and Game Stop stores for £40 ($59.99 approx)
Goalie improvement video by Ben Ross can be viewed below: