With a staggering 19 sports game of the year awards over the past two years, the NHL franchise boasts some serious credentials.

Anyone who played its predecessor will have already sampled the bone-crunchingly realistic recreation of hockey on the ice and in the arena.

Of course, the challenge from 09 is to refine and tweak to a degree that loyal fans can’t live without the latest version, and newcomers are instantly converted into hardcore fans.

Well, more than 200 gameplay enhancements, including a new first-person fighting engine that enables you to trade punches with a tough guy, all move the experience on a notch.

The core gameplay mechanics are just as fresh and responsive as they ever were.