Fans of video-game hockey usually have a few things in common. They love hockey, they think NHL 94 for the Sega Genesis was the greatest hockey game ever created, and they believe buying any hockey game other than the best that's currently available is a waste. Blades of Steel 2000 unfortunately doesn't deliver anything that games like NHL 2000 and NHL Face Off 2000 hasn't already, so, if you're keeping up, this places Blades of Steel 2000 squarely in the waste bin.
Blades of Steel 2000 is an officially licensed product of the NHL and NHLPA, which means that it has all of the real players, teams, rinks, and even jerseys. The game has three different modes of play: exhibition, season, and playoffs. Within each mode you can change the parameters of the game, such as the rules you would like to have on or off, length of the periods, and even the general amount of fouls that you'd like to see the ref call.
The control, while tolerable, isn't nearly as responsive as it should be. Whether you're playing with a Dual Shock controller or without one, the game feels sluggish, and players just don't respond as quickly as they should. This is unfortunate, since the game certainly has all of the moves you'd want, like one-timers, shot fakes, wrist shots, flip passes, formation changes, and even the almighty give and go. Even the fighting system in Blades of Steel 2000 is surprisingly in-depth. You have the ability to throw numerous types of punches such as jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. You can even land body shots and tackle your opponent. It's really a shame that the game has all the options and features you'd want but fails to deliver solid gameplay.
Graphically, Blades of Steel 2000 is far below the standards set by any one of the other hockey games that have surfaced this year. The polygon count of the player models is really low, giving the players a blocky, unrealistic look. The designers were apparently shooting for a high frame rate, which the game totally has, giving it a fast crisp look. But such a good frame rate makes it easy to see that the animations and the player models look terrible.
In the audio department, Blades of Steel 2000 is just plain weak. The sound effects are nearly laughable: When players pass the puck, a strange whooshing sound accompanies it; when players collide, bump, or check at any velocity, you hear an odd clunking sound. The only thing the audio in the game has going for it is the play-by-play announcing by Randy Hahn. But even his dialogue gets a little stale after a few games.
In the end, Blades of Steel 2000 for the PlayStation fails to deliver a hockey experience that could be considered better than any one of its competitors. Titles like NHL 2000, NHL Face Off 2000, and Fox's NHL Championship 2000 for the PlayStation are simply much better hockey games.