NHL Hitz 20-02 is very similar in style to Midway's other arcade sports entries. Gameplay is focused on three against three ice hockey in small arenas, where hard, over-the-top hits are common. The game is notable for the extreme speed at which it plays compared to most simulation hockey games, as well as scores that can run well into double-digit territory. The cover athlete for this entry in the series is New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens who was known throughout his career for his devastating open-ice hitting style.
Players select from the complete set of 30 NHL teams and compete in either a single-player series of games culminating in the winning of the Stanley Cup, or compete against each other in multiplayer. After selecting a team, players choose three NHL players from a small pool of athletes from their team to start the game. On-ice action is true to the general spirit of NHL hockey, with expected over-the-top arcade twists. Hits are very powerful and easy to perform, often sending players flying through the glass surrounding the ice. Goals are primarily scored via the one-timer, a maneuver involving a pass and shot in quick succession. An interesting twist is introduced in that each team has a specific spot on the ice in their opponent's zone from which all one-timers unleashed will be extremely powerful.
Defenseman Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils.