Though this game looks like nothing More
than a souped-up version of its PS One cousin--there's very little that separates the visuals in this game from the previous playstation
versions--NHL FaceOff 2001 does reliably score in most other categories.
The game has all of the usual bells and whistles associated with a big-time interactive hockey simulation, as well as a few new ones such as the puck halo, which makes the puck easier to see when it's in the corners or in front of the net. Gamers can take to the ice against a team of all-time hockey legends
, including Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, and Marcel Dionne. They can also draft and build their own teams from scratch.
For those new to the series, FaceOff's all-new practice mode allows you to get a feel for the game in all aspects, including passing, checking, and scoring, before going up against any one of the NHL's 30 different teams.
To make up for the game's disappointing graphics, 989 made the gameplay blazingly fast, and its smooth animation is one area where the game surpasses its PlayStation cousin. The sounds of the game, like players' skates cutting through the ice as they stride toward the net or turn quickly to cut off another player, are perfectly represented. Even crowd noises above the action and hard hits against the boards are perfectly echoed. These little things help make this game a contender for the Interactive Stanley Cup.