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Things the first NHL 15 screen taught us: next-gen helmets are mad shiny

NHL 15's first screenshot is here, and although we have no comment regarding next-generation beards, skin sub-surface scattering and fabric rendering, we can certainly spot a shiny helmet.


The screen shows San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton, and is taken from the PS4 and Xbox One version of the game. Open in a new tab to see it full size.

NHL 15 is just the latest of EA Sports' Ignite engine games to be revealed, and this first screenshot isn't as impressive as I'd expected from seeing UFC in action. That said, a game of ice hockey involves so many more foreground characters on screen at once that it's no wonder the faces aren't quite as realistic as UFC's full 3D scans.

What is kind of cool is the out of focus crowd in the background; there's quite a lot of variation there. It's not essential to gameplay but a good crowd is a great touch in a sport game, and early next-gen releases from EA and 2K have really upped the ante in that regard.

And yes, the lighting on the helmet is pretty rad; take a look at it shining off both their wee bobbinses there. Real-time lighting is awesome, and I can't wait to see this in motion. I'll take shiny helmets over realistic stubble any day.

NHL 15 is now available for pre-order on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One ahead of September launch; check out the various incentives offered by North American retailers on the EA Sports blog.

Thanks, Polygon.

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