That’s a funny credit crunch joke right there. By downsize, we don’t mean the nasty piece of US lingo that tries to sugar-coat job losses. No, no, no. We mean that EA Sports Freestyle is developing a 3-on-3 version of NHL hockey. Not something we’ve not seen before from Midway, but who the hell cares about that?
Touted as an “all new downloadable experience”, 3-on-3 NHL Arcade (3o3NHLA) is in development at EA Canada by the same team that worked on NHL 09. The new game is essentially a “no rules” take on hockey, which hopefully should see it being more immediately accessible and violent than its grown up older brother.
I think that “no rules” should really be “there are rules, like scoring goals and stuff, but the really boring rules, like not being able to legally maim or kill opposing players, have been done away with to speed up the game”. On-ice power-ups will also feature at various times helping you to power down the ice and shove your stick right down the goalies throat so he literally does have a stick up his arse the po-faced nutter. Or perhaps just making it easier to pass and score.
In a somewhat odd move for a game of this ilk there will be two control schemes: the arcade version that uses button presses, and the hardcore LEET – Is that right, I never get this stuff right? – version that mimics the Skill Stick controls from NHL 09.
The online boasts the ability for two teams of three players – one team on each PS3 – to compete against each other over the PSN. Sounds awful. Other people in my house? Urgh.
It’s scheduled for release in February 2009 and will be available via the PlayStation Store for the lovely price of $9.99. Presumably when it arrives in Europe in 2012, it’ll be £99.99, but we can’t confirm that.