Tetris has a battle royale mode; Fallout 76 battle royale mode, and now NHL 20 of all games is getting a battle royale mode too.
NHL 20's battle royale mode will come in two flavors: Ones Eliminator and Threes Eliminator. Ones Elminator will be an 81-player survival bracket, while Threes Eliminator will let players squad up with friends in an attempt to "win back-to-back rounds against increasingly competitive opponents." It's not exactly Fornite, but NHL still gets the distinction of being the first sports game to jump on the genre inspired by PUBG.
In addition to the updated modes, NHL 20 is getting major improvements to its gameplay. "Signature Shots" will replicate the shot styles for players like PK Subban and Alex Ovechkin, and goaltenders will be getting an A.I. update. If I'm getting honest, I won't miss all those times I saw a goaltender juggle a puck and knock it into their own net.
A few more updates of note:
- Mike Emrick is mercifully on the way out. He may be one of the best commentators on TV, but he never quite translated to NHL. His departure is part of a revamped broadcast package that the NHL team hopes will fit better with streaming services like Twitch. It will even have an Overwatch-style "Play of the Game" highlight.
- World of Chel returns with weekly in-game events called "Chel Challenges." Completing these challenges will enable players to unlock unique customiation awards.
- Two years after its introduction in FIFA, NHL 20 is adding Squad Battles to Hockey Ultimate Team. This popular mode lets you earn rewards by defeating CPU-controlled squads drawn from the cloud.
- Auston Matthews will be on the cover, which is about the biggest win for the Toronto Maple Leafs since they last won a playoff series (2004). Don't worry Leafs fans, I cheer for the Wild. The Leafs will definitely have another Stanley Cup under their belt before Minnesota gets out of the first round again.
Last year's version focused on adding World of Chel—an online world with outdoor rinks, customizable players, and cosmetics. Its gameplay improvements, which included much-improved skating, went over very well with fans until subsequent updates accidentally broke the pace of play. Hopefully this year's version will be a bit more consistent after release.
NHL 20 will be out September 13 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Those who preorder the NHL 20 Deluxe Edition will be able to play on September 10, which is a solid three days earlier. EA Access players will be able to play starting September 5.