With the exception of basketball, EA Sports pretty much has a stranglehold on the sports genre of video games. However, many alternate games are popping up to appease fans who don’t like the EA games, the company’s attempts of monetization, or want a different way to play. Football Manager makes waves every year with its soccer simulation, and in the world of hockey, a simulation game has gone from strength to the point where it now offers a bigger – and some say better – experience than the latest EA Sports hockey game, NHL 19.
It’s fair to say, as usgamer.net did, that the NHL games have not fared well on this generation of console. Despite NHL 19 looking to turn things around with many improvements in some key areas, it may be too far back to regain its loyal, cult following that it seemed to shed in the renditions after NHL 12. Sales have been falling on the new consoles, meaning that people have either given up on hockey games or are feeding their craving elsewhere.
— Xbox (@Xbox) November 18, 2018
In 2013, Out of the Park Developments launched Franchise Hockey Manager 2014. While it was somewhat of a crude game, it gave players a great new way to manage their team, build a dynasty and win championships. Each year, the developers added new elements, improved gameplay and even obtained an NHL license. Now, Franchise Manager 5 looks to be a very well polished game that can build its own fan base despite the dominance of EA Sports.
Franchise Hockey Manager 5 Deeper Than NHL 19
Being a PC simulation game, Franchise Hockey Manager doesn’t have to worry so much about the physics and facial details of players that EA Sports does, allowing the developers to create a much larger game that appeals to all ice hockey fans.
— Franchise Hockey Manager (@FranchiseHockey) October 5, 2018
But, to appeal to the biggest fan base and rival EA Sports, FHM5 had to nail the NHL. Having obtained the NHL license, the computer game is now filled with the team and league logos to make the game feel even more authentic. They’ve also been able to apply a rating system that delivers realistic players and teams. For example, right now the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning lead in the odds to win the Stanley Cup at +400 and +500, respectively according to moplay.co.uk, and they are also two of the very best teams in the game as well.
With NHL optimized and dusted off, FHM5 has also added a huge range of features and leagues which make it the perfect game for any ice hockey fan. The game has gone big on allowing for historical gameplay, with game modes that allow you to play from as far back as 1917/18, per ootpdevelopments.com, and even change history by moving iconic players to different eras. Outside of North America, FHM 5 has 29 playable domestic leagues – an element that’s all but absent in the EA Sports games – as well as international tournaments.
Along with incredible stat tracking and numerous customization options, the latest Franchise Hockey Manager game has also included a new tactics mechanism, a much sleeker interface, player and staff personalities, and online leagues which allow you to challenge your friends in the same league to battle for the championship.