Ghraphics were not really improved but gameplay was improved.
16 April 2013
Summary: The game is fun, the rosters are updated. Gameplay has improved and has become more intricate. Graphics remain the same since 09 in my opinion. Nothing really significant to notate other than the fuller control.
It's still the best in the NHL series despite some minor annoyances
17 August 2012
Summary: Since the 2K series is no more, all we have is an EA monopoly on some sports games. Luckily they treated NHL 12 differently than Madden. We have some nice updated player and puck physics from last years. Checks look more appropriately animated as well as goalie movements.
Summary: NHL12 is a pretty good game . If you're going to buy a hockey for the roughness choose NHL12, if you want hockey for its game choose NHL11. this game has changes in goalie interactions and roughness play including shattered glass.
Fun, Entertaining, Great for groups, If you love hockey get this game.
11 May 2012
Summary: I have so far played a couple hours and I can tell you right away the controls and overall play is much better then NHL11. Much more dynamic goalie animations and play. Seems much more realistic. I am having a ton of fun, I think they did some really great tweaks.
I recommend this game for someone with experience playing the NHL series
28 April 2012
Summary: This is a lot like 2011 with a few more extras. Now you can play the Winter Classic, but it's not the current Winter Classic it's Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitols at Heinz Field. It does allow you to play as other teams in that mode.
Good game, not great. Missed the mark on a lot of specifics.
7 February 2012
Summary: I am a fan of this game. The game play and graphics are excellent. I have only played GM Mode thus far and find it to be very in depth and realistic. Here are my issues with this game...when fighting there is no blood, bruising etc..I also think the injuries in game could be a lot more realistic.