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NHL 13 is an evolutionary release after last year's substantial improvements. The presentation is, as always, pristine, and the implementation of a new skating engine makes player movements more realistic than ever. Momentum is more important than in years past and, like Madden, there are scads of new player animations and more realistic interactions during collisions. The AI is punishingly difficult, so new players may find themselves challenged even at the easiest level. NHL Moments Live lets gamers take on key game scenarios from recent seasons and from hockey history, though the classic moments typically have stars like Gretzky sharing the ice with modern players rather than their season-appropriate teammates. The number of modes borders on the ludicrous, with the new "GM Connected" option the most prominently featured. This new mode allows up to 750 people to participate in a league, playing every type of role from a front-line player to a manager. Given the NHL's labor woes, this may be the only game in town for hockey fans for a while, but there's plenty here to make them happy. Score: 8 out of 10

Photo: Electronic Arts

Average: 5 (4 votes)