I just want to preface this article by saying that I am not a diehard hockey fan. I didn’t have a poster of Joe Sakic or Mike Modano hanging up in my room growing up. In fact, I’m surprised that I remember those names from NHL 2002.
Also, shoutout to NHL 2002.
Growing up in Raleigh, N.C., I would go to a few Carolina Hurricanes games and listen to the team on the radio at night. I remember rooting for them the year they won the Stanley Cup, but that’s about it.
What I do know, however, is that no matter how much shit you know about hockey, NHL video games are exciting year after year. I remember getting NHL 2005 with my Xbox for Christmas as well as a few other sports games and remember playing the shit out of the NHL game for hours on hours. Whether it was playing the shootout mode with big heads, or trying to score 20 goals or reach 100 hits for my team in dynasty mode.
For those of you who are on the fence about buying NHL 18, I’m telling you, it’s fun even if you don’t know shit about hockey.
Suck at hockey? Don’t worry
Each new lesson was met with a video that properly explained what to do, which came in handy because some of the terms were new to me.
The game caters to you!
One of the great things about this game is that you’re able to simplify it or make it more advanced depending on your wishes. They have various options for controls and difficulty. If you want to button mash and throw it back to the arcade feel like NHL 2002, you can!
If you’re feeling confident and want to try out the advanced controls, the game will let you mix and match these settings, which is pretty cool.
There is a game mode for everyone!
Even if you’re someone who doesn't know anything about hockey, NHL 18 does its best to make a game mode for everyone. In fact, NHL 18 introduced a new game mode: 3-on-3. It reminds me of that computer game “Hockey Showdown” on Miniclip that I would play in middle school before they put the firewall up.
If you feel that the regular game mode isn't that fun or you just want to play with more space and some pretty cool arcade rules, this game mode is for you. Who knows? Maybe the mascots will show up to play you!
I’m not kidding. Mascots make appearances in this game mode, and they’re not there to make the crowd laugh. They’re trying to get this W too!
You can create yourself.
Yes, I know that putting a video game version of yourself in a game isn’t some new shit. I’ve been doing it for over a decade. It’s still cool, though.
It’s not a face scan like NBA Live or NBA 2K, but you’re wearing a helmet anyway so it's not that serious.
What’s super awesome is the fact that you can create a male or female character.
You can swag your player out and get buckets. You can customize the jersey tuck (didn’t know that was a thing):
All the way down to this whip nae-nae that looks like something your parents would do at the family reunion to show that they’re hip with the times.
They're not. They have other shit to deal with like taking you to soccer practice or deciding what do with your room now that you've moved out of the house.
They also have this awkward ass dab.
I refuse to recognize that as a dab. I don’t care.
NHL broadcasting legend Doc Emrick is in the game. For those of you who don’t know who he is, think Gus Johnson but for hockey.
Well duh. What’s the point of a hockey game if you can’t throw hands?
You can try your hand at the online modes, but I wouldn’t suggest it until you get used to playing with offline ones and learning more about hockey.
For those of us who watch no more than 10 hockey games a year, NHL 18 does an excellent job of training and accommodating those of us who can’t name 25 hockey players ... or 15. I’m still getting used to the controls, players, and trying not to get washed in the online game modes, but I like this game. There is enough variation and customization to keep me interested in hockey.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll keep up with the Carolina Hurricanes again.
Source : https://www.sbnation.com/2017/10/2/16353564/how-to-have-fun-with-nhl-18-even-if-you-dont-know-anything-about-hockey