It’s about time to get a little tricky.
EA Sports is bringing back their over-the-top, exhilarating and tricked-out snowboarding game Feb. 14. As many of you remember, SSX was known for the insane trick moves you could pull off while racing down a hill at blazing speeds. Though the game may look and feel slightly different, the essentials are still there to keep a smile on your face.
The three modes include Race It, Trick It and Survive It. The race and trick modes are identical to what you should expect from any SSX game, but the new survival mode adds an extra twist.
Survive It drops you in nine different regions of the world, and you are given the task of making it down the mountain without dying. When the mode was first announced, SSX gamers thought they were going to get SSX: Black Ops rather than the tricky game they were hoping for the past six years. But Todd Batty, creative director for SSX, ensures that, though the game looks new, SSX is still about doing the most outrageous tricks. Tricks equal boost, and boost equals win.
“A couple of goals we had was to add something new to the game,” said Batty. “We thought it would be awesome to make it to the end of the level without dying. We wanted to make it about survival, so we wanted to find out the craziest shit people were doing now and put that in a video game.”
Each of the nine mountain ranges has their own unique survival challenge. They will range from speeding away from an avalanche, avoiding a massive tree onslaught and flying high with a wing suit over gaps that will most certainly end you.
The graphics engine is superb as well. Thanks to Google Maps, the guys down at EA have mapped out the mountain ranges in the world. They took these mountains and added a little bit of what they like to call SSX flair. That flair comes in the form of abandon nuclear power plants, hidden tunnels and random oil pipes that scatter the peaks.
“These are real life mountains, but were going to arcade the hell out of them,” said Batty. “Were taking whatever creative liberties we want with them. The Great Wall of China isn’t really at the base of the Himalayas, but its in that same region of the world. That’s is good enough for SSX.”
Not only do the mountains look amazing, but each boarder looks pretty damn realistic as well. Fan favorites of Eddie, Psymon and Kaori make their SSX returns, but this time they look like they might actually be professional snowboarders. Batty commending the entire art team ten times over.
Another new feature added into the gameplay is similar to the Need For Speed Autolog system. RiderNet allows you to create ghosts of yourself and allowing your friends to challenge the time set. Also -- one of the more interesting add ons -- you can place tokens in hidden areas of the map. The longer those tokens last before another rider finds it, the more money you will rack up. However, if someone does find the token, they keep all the money it racks up.
All in all, SSX is looking to bring us back to the good ol' days of the powder. The game looks fantastic and plays even better. Batty claims that the team is “killing themselves to make this the best game ever.”
I’d say we’re in for one heck of a ride this Valentine’s Day.