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NHL 2005 features Open Ice Control, which according to EA allows better control, including moving players without the puck and also a complete World Cup mode where each team can be created from scratch. For the first time, the user was allowed to import digitized home arenas for the scratchbuilt teams (the 30 NHL arenas plus Nuremberg Arena, Kölnarena, Stockholm Globe Arena, Helsinki Hartwall Areena and Prague Sazka Arena were available). Additional NHL jerseys and logos were also available including those of the defunct Atlanta Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Rockies (NHL), Quebec Nordiques as well as the old style Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks uniforms of the 1970s and '80s.
The IIHF license which granted the World Cup mode also allowed EA to use real-life international jerseys for the only time (previously released games used unique jerseys designed by the game's staff which only bore a passing similarity to their real life counterparts, so the jersey shows their flag.) The PC version of the game was stripped down to the bare essentials, including the omitting of the create-a-player feature. These omissions were possibly due to the labour dispute that season, but EA explained that they hadn't perfected the new create-a-player interface, which would have allowed for far greater customizability that what was previously available. The game also suffered from overly-aggressive AI and was generally seen negatively.[ ]
NHL 2005 is also the only EA's NHL PC game that lacks the ability to view league wide statistics when playing in season mode. Vancouver Canucks captain Markus Naslund is featured on the cover, except in Finland where Olli Jokinen is on the cover. NHL 2005 is also the first EA Sports NHL title to be online enabled for the Xbox system.
- Tagline: "Create Open Ice"
- Covers: Markus Naslund (main)
- Olli Jokinen (Finland)
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||6.3 out of 10|
|Game Informer||8.5 out of 10|
|GameSpot||7.9 out of 10|
|IGN||8.3 out of 10|
|NHL 2005 Soundtrack|
|Burning Brides||"Heart Full of Black"|
|Dropkick Murphys||"Time To Go"|
|Faith No More||"From out of Nowhere"|
|Franz Ferdinand||"Take Me Out"|
|Hazen Street||"Fool the World"|
|Letter Kills||"Radio Up"|
|Lola Ray||"Automatic Girl"|
|Papa Roach||"Not Listening"|
|The F-Ups||"Lazy Generation"|
|The Soundtrack of Our Lives||"Karmageddon"|