Hello heavy hitters, I want to give you guys my impression of NHL 11 new body checking physics.
First let me give you a brief run down:
-No animation, every hit is unique.
-More realism. (Momentum is a huge factor.)
-10 times more fun!
Much like the skill stick reinvented the why you control and shoot a puck in a hockey game. The new physics engine is reinventing hitting. With the new engine you can't simply avoid a hit by turning your puck like in NHL 10 or previous games. If you are skating full speed and hit someone in the back, say lights out.
First off if you are standing still you most likely aren't going to throw a very good hit just like in real life, but if you're moving the opposition better have their head up. The great thing about the hitting engine is there is no "magnetism" to the hit. You can skate and hit all at the same time, but you don't get pulled towards a player like in previous years. You may not always flatten a guy, you may just nudge him. These hits are good because they slow the opponent down usually enough for another player to catch them. The nudging or clipping hits are good because make like real life, you may avoid most of the hit, but it's going to slow you down. This forces more loose puck battles, and more playmaking opportunities.
The hitting isn't over powered by any means though. The lack of "magnetism" also means hitting requires more skill than previous years. (At least on default settings.) So if someone is a good offensive player and someone on the opposition team is just trying to run players all game. Well that defensive player better go pick up his jock strap. The hitting requires a little more skill than previous years, but gives a much more satisfying hockey experience. This leads me into the next topic, NHL 11 deking.
I should note that I personally never had much of an issue loose puck deking in NHL 10 or previous years. I know many gamers found it too hard, but I was never in that "boat". So now that you know where I stand let me talk about the new offensive tools you can work with.
This year there is a new variety of offensive dekes, and some are very creative and useful. Let me start off with my personal favourite Deke. Remember when that defenseman went down the block a shot or cutting you off from walking out in front? Although you could always just skate around them before, now there is an even easier way. Now you can actually flick the puck over him and jump over him as well. This Deke alone should create a lot of neat goals and good scoring plays. The dekes in general seem to be a bit more effective. I wouldn't say to the level of NHL 09 or 08, but more effective than NHL 10. So basically loose puck Deke fans, expect some cooler dekes and more effective dekes.
I don't know how else to talk about the hitting engine other than this: It's more fun, it's more realistic, and every defensive fan of hockey should be as excited for this as for the skill stick back in NHL 07. With the new dekes it should be an even more exciting battle between defence and offense.
Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the hitting physics or deking and I will do my best to answer.