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NHL Rivals the Xbox with Live support

Jolly hockey sticks

Microsoft Game Studios has announced and released screenshots for its first hockey title on the Xbox, NHL Rivals 2004.

Some of the game's features are said to include an advanced stick-placement system with unique moves and countermoves, an in-depth Tournament Mode allowing gamers to set up an 8, 10, 12, or 16-team knockout tournament, and a Rivalry Mode that instantly puts players into a grudge match between historic rival teams.

More interestingly, the game will include unique player roles such as Snipers, Enforcers and Agitators, which offer the chance to experience different aspects of the NHL game. Additionally, each player will have special moves indicative of their role on the ice.

The Xbox Live features will include the tracking of individual and team stats, leaderboards and win/loss records as well as support for cooperative, team, ranked and non-ranked play. Players will also be able to download quarterly roster updates, All-Star game rosters and updated player ratings.

NHL Rivals 2004 is due this autumn.