Viewed from high above the ice using that traditional vertical camera angle hockey games are known for, NHL 19 looks stunning. Lighting gleams off the top off helmets, the ice itself is slick and glossy, and fans in the stands punch the air in delight, frustration or both during big plays. It all falls down a bit up close.
NHL, for all its graphical prowess from a distance, is a choppy affair when the cameras zoom in. There's no Frostbite engine, making the series one of the few EA IPs that hasn't switched over to DICE's creation. That, at times, can leave faces waxy, eyes glazed and give things a decidedly low-res handicap.
Does it stop the game from being enjoyable? Absolutely not, but Frostbite has become a buzzword of the modern gaming age, and it's expected.
Frame rates struggle a bit too. During penalties or when players skate leisurely in between plays, it's not uncommon for the game to stutter. This has been a problem for years now, and it's clear that NHL games need to get with the program and update the overall engine.