NHL 2K10: Stumble Shots, Gold Laces, and More

First things first: Check out the first trailer of 2K Sports' latest hockey game, NHL 2K10:As you puck fans will recognize, the above trailer features a pretty spot-on recreation of Alexander Ovechkin's ridiculous goal scored against the Phoenix Coyotes back in 2006--a once-in-a-decade shot that...

First things first: Check out the first trailer of 2K Sports' latest hockey game, NHL 2K10:

As you puck fans will recognize, the above trailer features a pretty spot-on recreation of Alexander Ovechkin's ridiculous goal scored against the Phoenix Coyotes back in 2006--a once-in-a-decade shot that seems comprised of equal parts amazing skill, blind luck, and the blessings of the Benevolent Hockey Gods. As it turns out, however, you just might be able to recreate Ovy's goal, or at least come up with one close to it, in NHL 2K10. And you won't even need to dedicate an offering to the spirit of Maurice Richard to do it.

A new animation feature in the game, known simply as stumble shots, will assist you on creating your own spectacular highlights. As 2K10 producer Ben Bishop told me earlier today, the idea of stumble shots came directly out of fan frustration with last year's game. "One of the things that came up last year is that some people would get frustrated when they were trying to take a shot [while] getting bumped or checked. A lot of times that would end up cancelling you out of that action, so you'd be pressing the "shoot" button and wondering why you didn't get a shot off."

Stumble shots, as a result, let your player take a shot even when he's being jostled, pushed, checked, or--like Ovechkin--put on his back. "If you're getting bumped or pushed or checked and you're in the midst of taking a shot, then your player will perform a stumble shot animation," Bishop said.

No, this doesn't mean that you'll be scoring eighty goals a season while sliding towards the boards on your rear end. And, no, it doesn't mean that your third-line defenseman is going to be putting slapshots in the twine while standing on his head. In fact, as Bishop put it, the stumble shot animations have been designed to be infrequent and available only to players with a high enough skill level. As he put it, "It's not like [stumble shots are] happening five or ten times per game. It's a little bit more of a rare type of thing. It's not something you're going to see all of the time, and it definitely depends on the skill of the player taking the shot, but it's something that adds a fun extra twist to gameplay."

Speaking of player skill, there is no "stumble shot" player rating to determine who will excel at these kinds of off-kilter shots--instead a player's success rating depends on several factors, including player ratings like creativity and agility, his position on the ice and speed of approach, and of course, the position of the defenders in his way.

Players can expect more contact in NHL 2K10--in addition to the stumble shots, Bishop said the development team has worked on improving incidental contact between players--so if you've got two players chasing down a puck in the corner, they'll be bumping and jostling trying to gain position on one another. Bishop said the team has also focused on making backwards skating more precise and smooth, as well as giving players better stick-handling options. All in all, there's several hundred new animations in the game, according to Bishop, and all of them are aimed at making 2K10 a more complete hockey experience.

"It adds a little bit more of an organic feel to the game; I know our NBA game is very good at that, making little things happen sometimes in the background, not necessarily right on the [ball]. Just having guys interact more and you know feel like they are more part of the environment."

Graphical improvements, like new player models with better hair and facial features will complement the smaller details such as authentic equipment--look closely at the trailer and you'll see the gold laces on Ovechkin's skates.

While the 360 and PS3 version will be the home for many hockey fans, 2K doesn't want fans to forget about the Wii version of NHL 2K10 as well. Last year's debut on the Wii managed to sell more copies than the 360, PS3, PS2 versions combined, despite not having features like online play. That's set to change this year--the game will not only include improved character models and animation upgrades (like stumble shots and incidental contact), but will also include a full suite of online options as well, allowing players to participate in online leagues and tournaments as well as take their created teams online.

Most importantly, NHL 2K10's more superficial upgrades will be accompanied by AI improvements; Bishop specifically mentioned things like better positioning, players looking for open space to make passes, and better puck movement all around. As Bishop puts it, NHL 2K10 represents a return what made older version of the NHL 2K series so successful. "We really wanted to go back to our simulation roots. Last year, we had more of an easy pick-up and-play control scheme and we really wanted to make the game fun and accessible to any type of user. We certainly don't want to move away from that goal this year but… we've spent a lot of time making sure it plays a better game of hockey."

There's still more to learn about NHL 2K10 and, next Friday, I'll be bringing you an exclusive hands-on with all versions of the game, so stay tuned.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

124 comments
hockeydude152
hockeydude152

i was an ea fan for a while but then learned the games are not consistent AT ALL like a normal hockey game. once they score one against you they keep scoring millions of times. its like the goalies give up once the red light behind them turns on once. and on NHL 09 for ps2 all the good goalies suck and the bad ones are good. i recently bought NHL 2K3 at gamestop for a dollar and those goalies rock!!! i wish they could have just a little better stick handling but i am sure thats improved for 2K10.. if i had an Xbox or ps3 i would stick with ea but for ps2 its 2K all the way

greyghost33
greyghost33

the control of the game wouldnt of been different if i played it for a month.again the way the skaters moved was horrible!that would of never changed no matter how long i played it.

savoie10
savoie10

greyghost33 Posted Aug 6, 2009 12:50 am GMT "i can tell how a game is in the first 5 minutes i play it." Good thing I don't let you tell me what's good or bad. I could get a more informed opinion from my 8 year old son.

greyghost33
greyghost33

i can tell how a game is in the first 5 minutes i play it.i couldnt deal with that for a whole season but again i look forward to getting it for the wii.it looks like it will have all the online options and mics.love it!

savoie10
savoie10

"i turned the game off in the matter of 2 or 3 minutes and traded the game in." Nevermind, there is nothing to even debate here, you've barely played 2K9. In any case, I'll say from having more playing time than you had with the game, that YES it was flawed. However, saying NHL2K10 will be bad because 2K9 was, is like saying your next girlfriend is gonna be a b***h because you ex was. NHL 07 was very far from perfect, but that didn't stop people from eating up NHL 08. As I've already said, don't judge the game before you play it and for longer than 5 minutes.

greyghost33
greyghost33

i think with seeing what 2k became last yr,its hard not to dismiss 2k10.i honestly couldnt even get passed how bad the way the skaters moved.it disgusted me and i turned the game off in the matter of 2 or 3 minutes and traded the game in.and remember this is after the fact that i owned and loved 2k5-2k9 on the ps2.and by the way thats sorry to say when the ps2 version was better than the ps3 version.i trully hope its better this year cause i will get it for the wii and then i can ply both hockey games this yr.

savoie10
savoie10

Hey Bacon, first off, "Better" is a subjective term. Just because you like or dislike something, doesn't mean I'm going to. As far as NHL EA and 2K goes, I like both and have for many years now. Also what hockey video game you play says NOTHING about what you know about hockey. I don't claim to be the all knowing when it comes to hockey what so ever. The only thing I'm saying is people are wrong to dismiss 2K10 before even playing it. I know NHL10 is going to be an awesome game trust me. I know it will look prettier than NHL2K10, but so what. I'm no more wrong for being optimistic for NHL2K10 than you are for being optimistic about NHL10.

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

@savoie10 You don't know anything about hockey if you think 2K is the better hockey game franchise. What are you like 6? Do you even play hockey? I know your not Canadian. I dislike EA as much as the next guy but the NHL franchise has been gold since the first one in '92. Call me when 2K10 is named sports game of the year by anyone but you. Quit giving yourself thumbs up too.

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

Ovechkin looked like such a moron when he put on that whole 'my stick's too hot' bs. I think it's hilarious they put that garbage in an absolute garbage hockey game. Any real hockey fan will be playing NHL10 not waving their hands over their stick like the supreme douche Ovechkin is.

alriteFLY
alriteFLY

the wii is terrible! why do ppl still like it, the first two years it was fun, but its soo stupid now

Egatti
Egatti

The Wii is a money printing machine. It was fun for a while and every once in a blue moon they actual make a good game. But the majority of their games are for CASUAL GAMERS who IMO are boosting their sales. You pick up a game and it's fun for about half an hour or until your buzz wears off. It WAS innovative and now it is just sad and graphically it looks pathetic.

savoie10
savoie10

Egatti, apparently alot of people take the Wii seriously, it has sold more units than the PS3 and 360. It's a fun system, but isn't that what gaming is about anyways?

savoie10
savoie10

Greyghost, maybe you should read my post again. I never said anything about the goalies in 2K9 being better than those in 09. I said the goalies in 2K8. I do know what I'm talking about. I've played EA 07,08,and 09 extensively, as well as 2K6,2K7,2K8, and 2K9. I know the strengths and weaknesses quite well for each. The controls were definately smoother for 09 than 2K9, but I could tolerate 2K9's using the hybrid controls. Egatti, 2K is the one revamping and it started with 2K9. That is why the game was so flawed and incomplete, much like EA's 07 when they started their revamping.

Egatti
Egatti

Don't fix something that ain't broke. It seams to me that the 2K series is the one that needs a total revamp. All NHL 10 needs is a couple of new features and people will shell out the 60 bucks. And BTW who takes the Wii seriously?

greyghost33
greyghost33

the goalies in 2k are far worse than the ea goalies ive seen both.theres a goal where its hits the shoulder of the goalie then goes in in 2k.that goal goes in ten times more 2k over ea.2k goalies allow a goal go in from almost behind the net.the goalie does not protect the post on the play.skating is so bad in 2k9 for ps3.savoie u have no idea what ur talking about i have played both and yes 2k prolly does have stronger points...but are u gonna buy a game that has board play and puck grabbing but horrible control.2k fans are warped badly by real bad controls of the skaters.then u wonder why it got a 6 for a rating.ea to 2k is like disney golf to tiger woods,not even in the same ball park.but hey trade in one dumb game and u can get 2k for 15 bucks.

SupahShnipa
SupahShnipa

Finally, another developer who takes the Wii seriously.

bizuit
bizuit

This is the only EA game I can remember in the past decade that is going to be full price when the next years game comes out, Madden and NCAA are usually cut in price within the first 4 months and NBA live is usually cut in price within a week.

savoie10
savoie10

Haha, NHL Hitz Pro was definately a killer hockey game and it could play both an arcade and a realistic game of hockey. I wish there was a next gen version of that game.

zerfxx
zerfxx

screw both of these nhl franchises...bring back Hitz! i'd rather play Hitz Pro for the original XBox than either of these NHL 2K or EA's '0x whatevers...i've played them all and go back to Hitz every time

chubby90
chubby90

no, rclen33, the guy said 2k was the king from 2000 to 2007. No one ever said that ea was not the pioneer of hockey or any other sports games. But, obviously, the turn of the century brought new technology which 2k sports offered. The only reason you talk now is because last years 2k was going through major shakeups.

chubby90
chubby90

"parhar67 Perhaps you cannot fully comprehend what I wrote. As I stated. When you claim to have an innovative and 'new' idea, but it's really a relabeled version of a mode from a different game, then that can be construed as 'THEFT' of an idea. Especially when you claim it as NEW. When you claim something is 'ADOPTED' that is not new, just REVAMPED for the current game, then that is not theft." why even say anything it seems like this guy just don't get it. He thinks everyone is out to bash the game and in his mind has always been better than 2k, which is far from the truth. No wonder why he keeps on referring back to 2k9. Why? because before 2k9, the 2k series has always had a fanbase. Now that 2k has had its ups and downs in the past two years and NHL has brought some good features, 2k now has always been trash and the graphics are "lightyears" behind NHL. Not too long ago it was NHL2k with the hot espn presentation, cool gaming and graphics that crushed NHL. Now that 2k had an off year, 2k9, NHL has always been better? C'mon, dude! But obviously you are a main stream, sticker on the cover, award NHL fein who feels that NHL has always been better. What do you expect, ea is a juggonaut in gaming, 2k still can't get respect from gaming websites. Remember, didn't have a lot in terms of marketing and timely promo and still in the minds of gamers since its enception in '99.

bballshawn
bballshawn

u kno ur not goin to be able to make that goal he did

savoie10
savoie10

"name one thing about the gameplay 2k has over ea....they have NOTHING 2k sucks " Really? NHL 2K8 has better faceoffs, better goalies, better board play, better puck physics, better passing, and better skating than NHL 09 does by far. Heck even the fighting in 2K8 is better than 09's miserable 3 second fights. I expect most of these things to be better in 2K10 as well, though I give NHL10 credit for finally adding boardplay and precision passing looks nice as well.

savoie10
savoie10

"2k will always be crap compared to EA.i can see 2k just vanishing off the market,its that bad!" Gotta love that fanboyish comments! 2K9 was the worst overall offering, but it was also a rebuild. Just like real life sports teams, both EA and 2K have taken the time to rebuild. EA did it first with NHL 07, which was terrible by the way. 2K/VC with 2K9, which was also terrible. Now take a look at EA and how they have turned their series around. You can't possibly say VC/2K won't be there 2 years from now. Nobody is GREAT all the time. Yes 2K was much better than EA from 2K3 to 2K7. 2K8 and 08 were about even in my book.

greyghost33
greyghost33

savoie this better be the best one yet last yr was the worst one yet.nhl07 online for the psp was better than 2k9 for ps3.thats really sad cause 07 was terrible for psp online.2k will always be crap compared to EA.i can see 2k just vanishing off the market,its that bad!

savoie10
savoie10

Tribemaster that remains to be seen. Honestly I could live without the first person gimmick aspect of it. It will definately be better than 09's, but that isn't saying much. 2K9's fighting was the best fighting I've seen for a hockey game. Yes better than NHL 04's.

savoie10
savoie10

Ok, admittedly 2K has yet to release a stellar game for the 360/PS3. The've released some solid games(2K6-2K8), but some reason none of them looked next gen and had bugs that plagued last 2K games. With 2K9, Visual Concepts took over and decided to rebuild the game. Think of it as 2K's NHL 07. The ending result is similar to that of NHL 07, a game that laid the foundation to build onto, but was flawed and incomplete. 2K10, I believe is going to be the best 2K Hockey game yet. Strong words for some, but VC has already done something Kush couldn't and that's make the graphics look next gen. That along with the features and improvements talked about, I believe VC is gonna deliver the goods this year. Now, all this they had it first BS is just that...BS. It doesn't matter folks. That is why having competition is good, so they can inspire one another. No matter how many features these two games share, you know they will be implemented differently and featires like the Skill Stick and Stick Lift aren't gonna feel the same or have the same results in either game. So leave it alone already. Oh and EA was the top hockey game from 92-2000 because they didn't have competition then, with the exception of the breif Faceoff series. They were hardly competition though.

alriteFLY
alriteFLY

@mont345: the past doesnt matter u sped. u can say u have been 'the king' longer but if u dont change ur gunna stay left behind. why wuld i buy a game that used to be great wen i culd buy a game with 12 game of the year awards nd is obviously better. btw u sound like the biggest ****** wen u said e.a. fan boys u ******* *****

muppen
muppen

"There's still more to learn about NHL 2K10..." No need for that because EA is about to release another award-winning hockey game called NHL 10.

Bdrrob
Bdrrob

parhar67 Perhaps you cannot fully comprehend what I wrote. As I stated. When you claim to have an innovative and 'new' idea, but it's really a relabeled version of a mode from a different game, then that can be construed as 'THEFT' of an idea. Especially when you claim it as NEW. When you claim something is 'ADOPTED' that is not new, just REVAMPED for the current game, then that is not theft. And if it's the 'same damn company' then why weren't such things implemented so long ago? The good things about those other sports games that made them so popular? Why weren't all the modes that were truly successful in other games shared before? I'm not saying 2k is going to be a great game. I'm simply saying people are discounting it before it even comes out, and in turn PRAISING NHL 10 before it even comes out. Personally I'm not excited for NHL 10. Battle for the Cup is just, to me, re-labeling Tournament Mode. GM Mode is just a relabeling of Manager Mode I've seen in FIFA 08. Be-A-Pro Mode was the main reason I bought NHL 09 and played it to death, but I was disappointed with it's depth. I found Superstar Mode from Madden 06 had more depth. You could be right though, it might not be best to say 'ripped off' considering it's the same company. Personally though, I can't get excited about game modes that are just slightly re-tooled versions I played in other EA Sports Games.

parhar67
parhar67

bdrrob Ripping off other ea games.....considering its the same damn company thats called ripping them off? 2K hockey is unplayable its not fun at all and the graphics for 2k9 are horrible, Personally if i 2k9 looked like nhl 94 but played a million times better than nhl 09 then i would play it. Evreyone that plays NHL 09 and NHL 2k9 know that the gameplay does not even compare to nhl 09. Again your saying a company is ripping it self off lol. Hockey is argubly the least popular sport in the big 4 (others being NBA NFL and MLB) so ofcourse now nhl is getting so much attention not only video game wise but world wide they will ADOPT game modes from other like EA franchises. Not rip them off like you say so. I guess i could say 2k hockey ripped off season mode from nhl 94 because nhl 94 did it first. Does that make sense. No it does not. 2K hockey hasnt impressed anyone since 2k6 and they havent done anything exciting since then (oh wait i frogot about zamboni driving lol) You 2k fanatics have to give it up only good sports game 2k makes is NBA they cant make a football game and their MLB franchise is just way too horrible (except the bigs 2 which is a million times better than MLB 2K) I think they should not make hockey and focus on their basball games since they have no other competition in baseball games for the xbox platform.

rclen33
rclen33

you morons who are saying that 2k was king of hockey longer than ea, and i know there are only a couple of you but anyways, what about the years from 92-93 until 2000, who was king then? ea, thats right.

Bdrrob
Bdrrob

Amazing how people are dismissive of NHL 2K10 already. Citing Graphics, and Stumble Shot as not being that great. Funny how people are already praising EA's NHL 2010 and all the game modes when they're really not that innovative and EA's NHL department has spent years ripping off other EA sports game modes, and if you need proof of that, I'll be happy to oblige. Don't get me wrong. I loved NHL 09, but I recognized that a lot of modes in NHL 09, and the upcoming NHL 2010, are simply newly wrapped versions of modes I've played in other EA sports games like Madden and FIFA. Also, when you release a game yearly(EA NHL series)...and you have to release a major patch 6 months later(NHL 09) to address as many issues as it did? Yeah, your game isn't that great.

Hybrid_Theory
Hybrid_Theory

The 2k hockey series was far and away better than the EA series from 2000-06, Since 07 though EA has taken hockey back and I'm not sure if 2k will get it back. Perhaps a few years down the road if/when EA gets sloppy.

chubby90
chubby90

And I suck at 09 that's why I say that? Why because someone is actually saying that 09 isn't "great". You need to read comments instead of picking out certain statements to start conflicts. 2k games has it flaws which we already know. So does NHL. Start reading comments better and stop overreacting.

chubby90
chubby90

Parhar67 look at the key words you used: NHL 07 and the wii. the wii was introduced to us last year, the same year 2k9 regressed dramatically. '07 introduced the skill stick...' 07? How many years have people supported NHL2k? Since, what, the first back in 2000? You trying to tell me from the first 2k in 2000 to 2006, 2k sucked? That's what I'm talking about. If you were a fan of 2k at one point in time, stop pretending that 2k hockey wasn't relevant. Becuase before there was a "skill stick" or dump in chase, 2k games change the way people saw sports games. period. Did 2k have bad years? Of course. Look at 2k9 and maybe 2k8. madden 05 received more industry acclaim than NFL2k5, but asked people what game was the best and overwhelmingly they would say 2k5. Didn'tMaden have more awards than 2k when it was around? but how many people wish they had NFL2k game more than madden? a lot. C'mon, dude, stop acting like nhl is bringing boat loads of ideas, when they should of implement those things years ago. All they are doing is changing angles in cut scenes and adding a dump in chase or so on. It isn't spectacular, like they are revolutionising anything. You sound like a guy that has NHL on his mind all day, acting like a real groupie. Just think NHL is the best thing since slice bread.

mont345
mont345

i read some of these e.a fan boys comments and you just have to laugh at them , talking about eas nhl is light years a head of 2k, ea just started makin a decent hockey title don't forget all the years when ea couldn't seem to get a hockey game right and 2k was the best, now yous are act n like ea is some hockey god, a few years ago ea hockey was like live sucking big time compared to nba 2k, 2k sports owned hockey way longer then 2 years so dont forget 2k has been king in hockey way longer than ea, like i said e.a just started makin a descent hockey game!!!

slabbe
slabbe

Nhl 10 is better then this and so was NHL 09. You dont even have to play them to know. just putt the discs side by side and EA takes the win again. and for ever so

savoie10
savoie10

. NHL09, which apparently alot of you EA buttkissers forget was majoryly flawed upon release, Lack Of Penalties, Injuries, Dirty Disc Errors, and crap goalies plagued this game. Not to mention the countless glitch goals online. Thankfully EA released two patches before it was all said and done and made the game much more tolerable in the end. Still the game is far from the perfection that most of you claim. The AI learning hardly learns much and when it does it forget within a play or two. Not to mention that your teammate AI is utter crapola. Standing around letting passes go to the player RIGHT in front of the net, then letting him SHOOT. BAP is a great idea, but once again, your teammate are complete tards and can't do anything unless you tell them. Not to mention the grading system is slightly flawed. It doesn't take much to figure out the Cpu either. Their offense consists of skating down one side to the end boards and trying to pass it to the slot for a one timer. Stick Lift, another cool feature that was terribly flawed. It was not only too effective, but often resulted in automatic loss of the puck, and your player stopped skating for some unexlpained reason. Oh and did I mention all the glitching and stick lift abuse online. There was outright checking a player without the puck until EA actually added Interference.

parhar67
parhar67

Chubby 90 are you serious they have added so much to the game this generation since nhl 07 07 introduced the skill stick 08 introduced the AI learning your evrey move and the gameplay way more realistic 09 introduced be a pro mode online hockey leagues If you think the gameplay for NHL sucks then i think you suck at nhl name one thing about the gameplay 2k has over ea....they have NOTHING 2k sucks thats why the wii version sold more copies than the ps3 and 360 combined because those people had nothing else to choose from while us 360 and ps3 users had the greatest hockey game ever made nhl 09 WINNER OF 12 SPORTS GAME OF THE YEAR AWARDS....how many awards did 2k win....0....because it sucks and i think you suck at 09 thats why you say they dont change nothing when in fact they changed the way we play video hockey today.

georgeorjose
georgeorjose

i have never owned a hockey game, i think this will be my first hockey game. im so nervous for the akward moment :p

SophaerLam
SophaerLam

Im a 2k sports fan and cant wait to try it, but im still sad they're not teaming up like before with sega and espn

savoie10
savoie10

People, you're making a bigger deal out of Zamboni races than necessary really. It's purely optional in 2K9, not really a big thing. Not to mention it has NO effect on the gameplay. Again wait for some gameplay footage or the demo at least. Preferably just rent the full game before judging it. It's a trailer, that's all.

romeii
romeii

usually the 1st trailer a game puts out is suppose to make the game look good but from this trailer the skating animations is still far from EA's NHL franchise (at least since 08 ). I personally never played 2K, except once back in the ESPN days, but they've got a lot of the little things right, like the 4 officials, they just need to get away from the gimmicky things like the zamboni races, pond hockey, and try to re-invent their gameplay.

savoie10
savoie10

Some, in fact alot of you people need to stop posting. You base your shallow opinion of a game on a trailer. A game you have not played yet. You are so convinced that NHL10 is going to be the game of all hockey games, yet you haven't even played that yet. Sure you've seen more info and videos on it, but really it's when you actually play the game that matters. Talking how 2K should stop making hockey games. Pull your heads out of your arses already. Look at what Madden HASN'T accomplished since 2K lost the NFL license. Don't forget about losing 2K College Hoops and MVP Baseball and now you want 2KHockey to disappear. Grow up already. The competition is good for not only the developers but us as consumers because we actually have a choice. I always thought having choices was a good thing.

muppen
muppen

2K should stop making hockey games. EA are just light years ahead in terms of both graphics and gameplay in their hockey games. And you know it.