A control scheme to forget
The trouble with yearly iterations is that people expect more, and over the past few years, 2K has struggled to reinvent the series, instead opting to tweak an already successful formula. This time out, 2K has it all to do in order to compete with EA’s very impressive NHL 2008.
In an effort to breath fresh life into the series, one of the most notable changes is that of the games control scheme. It can be summed up in one word; baffling. After beginning a quick game, I found myself struggling to work out how to pass or indeed shoot. When you have to pause the game and refer to the control scheme options to see which button does what, it’s surely a clear sign that the game isn’t as intuitive as one would hope.
Players of previous NHL 2K games won’t feel at home here, the bumper buttons on the Xbox 360 controller are now used to pass and shoot. To make matters worse, a combination of buttons are required for a snap shot. As a result, it takes what seems like an eternity to get to grips with the controls and once you do, they still feel odd.
The control issues don’t end there either, enter the new “Pro-Stick” feature which allows you to use the right analog stick as a means to move the puck when on offence and to perform swipes when on defence. On paper, it sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, it’s largely unresponsive and an arduous task to perform. Or, maybe the fact that EA’s stick controls are so damn good makes 2K’s effort pale in comparison.
There are superstar moves available too if you can pull off three buttons at once and though mighty impressive to see, they too aren’t easy to achieve. Did I mention there are also two speed burst buttons? I think I’ve made it clear enough, the controls take quite some getting used to.