Flushed from their success with the rather fabby Manchester United Europe, Krisalis have taken a bold leap into the lion's den (or should that be the elephant's graveyard?) of sporting game history and given the same slick treatment to the ice hockey sim.
The gameplay in Face Off amounts to working out which player is actually in possession (not easy), belting the puck up the rink (one good whack usually covers the whole length), hitting it straight at the goalkeeper (the relative dimensions of the 'keeper and the goal making it hard to do anything else), then invariably scoring from the rebound. This pattern is repeated with suspicious regularity at both ends throughout the entire game, and rapidly consigns the whole thing to that other sin bin, the one where all the games you'll never play more than twice go.
Still, you have to give it some brownie points for the cute way the players' skates all leave tracks on the ice. Don't you?
The Bottom Line
Barring a stroke of unimaginable genius, ice hocket is a game destined never to really work as a computer game. This only succeeds in capturing the impossibleness of it all.