If you’re unfamiliar, SSX was a very big name in the world of PlayStation last generation. The franchise has moved to other platforms since, but the original title made many want the new PS2. From a visual standpoint, it proved the next generation of graphics had arrived. It was also a supremely crafted game and offered many hours of fun to awed players. SSX became a critically acclaimed series during that generation, although fans of the original will say EA never fully reclaimed the glory of the initial effort.
But thankfully, we’re gonna see a title for the current generation of consoles. It has been quite a long wait…but take heart, because EA Canada is bringing you the reboot, the reimagining, the revisiting of this snowboarder's dream. Simply titled SSX, it’s set to arrive in January (fitting, yes?) and should boast all of the over-the-top, madcap fun for which the series is well known. The original boarders (Max, Elise, and Kaori) will return, and they’ll join a beefed up cast that includes Zoe, Griff, Moby, and Eddie.
The tracks will be very open and encourage you to make difficult choices. It also means that different runs down a mountain will result in different experiences, although we’re a touch concerned about visibility. We will have an idea of where to go, despite our freedom of choice, right? Anyway, if you do happen to launch yourself off a cliff with no hope of survival, you can take advantage of a feature we remember from Prince of Persia: rewind time. It’s exactly what it sounds like; just rewind time to before your catastrophic leap.
Of course, you can’t just keep doing this over and over. That’d be like…cheating. Therefore, there will be restrictions and limitations placed upon the time rewind feature, so save it for the really hairy situations. Speaking of hairy situations, there will be plenty. At one moment, we could be trying to outrun an avalanche, at another time, we’ll be reaching safety with relative grace, thanks to the wingsuit. The wingsuit is another new addition but as is the case with rewinding time, don’t overuse it. You can’t perform tricks when gliding, ya know.
Online modes include Explore and Global Event, where you’ll be able to set score records, compete against your friends, and upload ghost data. Apparently, EA says over 100,000 players will compete at once in the Global Events, which just sounds ridiculous (but still cool). Lastly, expect very different boards that suit your trick purposes; they’ll range widely and we expect you can win and purchase them. SSX could be one of the more visually accomplished and overall thrilling titles of the generation, provided it’s done right. Cross your fingers!
10/6/2011 Ben Dutka