On one hand, the game looks exceptional -- especially the PlayStation 4 version -- from the player models and movement to the realistic crowds (supporting up to 9,000 individual spectator models) and broadcast-style replays. It also feels pretty good with the new control scheme, smarter AI players, and puck physics. But, although the next-generation versions benefit from added realism and presentation, the PS4 and Xbox One versions lack many of the modes found in the PS3 and Xbox 360 games, features that have been standard in previous versions.
In a blog post just before the game's release, EA Sports said that, in addition to the roster and ratings updates, free content will be added, including a Playoff Mode (allowing players to create a custom offline tournament bracket with up to 16 teams), Be A Pro - Coach Feedback (get the coach’s feedback while you're on the bench), 3 Stars of the Game (applied to every game mode), Online Team Play, GM Draft mode, and more. Hopefully bugs will be fixed, too, such as commentators saying the wrong thing and AI glitches. But, even with these shortcomings, NHL 15 surely will satiate hockey fans -- especially after the free updates are available this fall (UPDATE: EA Sports has since released two updates to address issues and add new features; details can be found here and here). It's just too bad EA Sports didn't have them ready when the game skated onto store shelves.