Previews

SSX: Is it as over-the-top as ever?

Snow limits...

Continuing on from their efforts at the recent E3 expo, SSX producer Sean Smillie arrived at our offices to help once and for all dispel the feelings that the long-running snowboarding series had gone all 'Modern Snowfare'.

Although he admits that putting emphasis on the 'survive' aspect of the new SSX (which also includes the other aspects 'Race' and 'Trick') was misleading gamers, it hasn't damaged their new game. If anything, it has stirred up dormant SSX fans to come to the surface and remind developers EA just how revered the series is...

So, with the 'Deadly Descent' subtitle dropped we can concentrate on what SSX is apparently really about: 'making awesome easy'. Sadly, as we weren't allowed to play it, and due to Smillie's recently mended broken arm, our demo wasn't straightforward.

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Even so, a HUD that reminds us a pared-back fighter jet display and the promise of multiple controls systems means we believe it should play quite naturally to fans.

Once dropped from the Chopper (helicopters and their pilots will play a more substantial role here) the first thing you'll notice is far more boarder freedom; you can stick to the main strip, complete with more man-made jumps and grinds, or leave the beaten snow to find shortcuts, Easter eggs or opportunities to execute more spectacular tricks.

Speaking of which, the SSX team promise to incorporate new tricks they've witnessed on the mountains of Vancouver as well as returning tricks from past games. Land a particularly big one and it will send a shockwave across the course.

Although there has been speculation that the 'ripple' when you land will re-shape the mountainside, its effect is still being decided (it could trigger an avalanche or open up new routes). There's also been speculation that the multiplayer modes could incorporate an Autolog-style score comparison feature, too.

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Whether either of those features make it to the final finished game we don't yet know, but one thing is for definite: SSX is back and on top form.

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