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Previews

NHL 07

Puck-er-up for a new control method and plenty of other fresh features. N-ice!

We all know rugby borders on sponsored rioting, but it's got nothing on ice hockey, where gloves-off face breaking is actively encouraged. How more fingers aren't lost as players roll about on the ice among those razor sharp skates remains a mystery.

There's no mystery about how NHL '07 is shaping up, though. As you can plainly see it's looking stunning, with a level of detail and realism that's frankly astounding.

Elsewhere, NHL '07 is packed out with new features big and small. The new 'Player Specific Behaviour' system ensures players have a speciality on the ice, be it defending, bursting through defenders or sniping at the goal from distance, while you'll also be able to manage your favourite team off the ice - the improved Dynasty mode giving greater control over budgets and squad line-ups to stave off the chairman's nagging.

Zoom

The biggest surprise, though, is the new control method. The left stick now controls a player's lower half, dictating which direction he'll go in, while the right acts as the player's actual stick, so jabbing upwards produces a snapshot, while pulling back makes you ramp up the power. It should make for an even more intuitive means of playing.

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