Shaun White Snowboarding First Look

The Flying Tomato is finally getting a video game courtesy of Ubisoft, and we've got a first look.

A few years ago, you couldn't enter a video game store without seeing an extreme sports game plastered with the name of a semifamous snowboarder, skateboarder, or wakeboarder. With the exception of the Tony Hawk skating series, that trend seems to have diminished recently. It's not completely dead, however, as evidenced by Ubisoft's upcoming Shaun White Snowboarding. The publisher is teaming up with the Olympic and X Games gold medalist for a new snowboarding game, which is due for release later this year on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. We had a chance to see it for the first time at a recent Ubisoft press event.

Shaun White Snowboarding will let you tackle the slopes in four different locales: Japan, Europe, Park City, Utah, and Alaska. The latter was the only mountain shown during the event, which featured a mixture of huge jumps and cliffs on the upper elevations, gradually turning into more of a slalomlike course as you continued down the mountain toward the tree line.

At first blush, the game seems to provide a slightly more realistic take on snowboarding than snowboarding games in the past have done. Sure, there are still high-flying jumps and lots of tricks to pull off, but, at least in the build we saw, everything seemed to be a bit toned down from the SSX games we've all been playing for the past few years. There were neither neon signs to blast through nor any turbo boosts that we saw; it looks to play it pretty straight. That isn't to say that the game is completely free from spectacle, however. In fact, the visuals we saw in Shaun White--which is being built with the same engine used in Assassin's Creed--were impressive indeed, with big, realistic-looking player models and environments that were massive to say the least. The game will also have lots of gear and equipment to unlock from officially licensed manufacturers; some of which will affect your rider's attributes.

The surface your boarder is on looks to play a big role in how your board reacts to your input--producers told us there's been a good deal of focus during development on ensuring that different conditions will all feel unique. Riding on hard-pack snow, for example, will make carving difficult, while on power, there will be more sliding as you make your way down the mountain. And when it comes to those icy stretches, you'll be lucky if you can move your boarder at all; best to just hang on and hope for the best.

As you make your way down the slopes, you'll earn combos for pulling off tricks, and though the controls for those tricks aren't finalized yet, we do know a little bit about the combo system. As you nail successive tricks, you'll earn a combo multiplier that will earn you more points the longer you keep the multiplier alive. Should you crash, your combo will be reset and the game will keep track of statistics, such as biggest combo or longest session without bailing.

While the event shown during the Ubisoft demo required the player to follow Shaun White down the snowy slopes, there will be a number of different types in the full game, including chasm jumping, death race (where players can chuck snow balls or body-check one another while blasting downhill), and trick-based events. Better yet, the game will be online; though the developers are still trying to determine whether the game will have support for 16 or 32 players online. There are other similar design decisions still in the pipe: For example, the European and Japanese locales might be based--like the Park City course--on real locales, or they might be completely fictional.

Because we didn't get a chance to actually play the game ourselves, it's tough to get a full view of where Shaun White Snowboarding is heading. Visually, the game is looking great and the online multiplayer for possibly as many as 32 people sounds like it could be great fun. Still, the key for any sports game-- especially an extreme sports game--is the controls, and we look forward to seeing how the game progresses in the coming months.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

29 comments
slick57690
slick57690

as sick as this looks i think im gunna have to go with stoked

mcmanus108
mcmanus108

this game looks sick, i can't wait for it to come it, the only thing they didn't mention is that it doesn't say if there is freeride or not. i sure hope there is .

coin13
coin13

Sounds cool!! I want It will it be for PS3 or XBOX 360

Mr_Manikin52
Mr_Manikin52

I love Shaun White. Any there more Pros snowboarders listed in this game.

awsomeness_guy
awsomeness_guy

i cant wait for this game especially if it uses the balance board

georgiaboy329
georgiaboy329

ive been waiting for this game ever since they announced it, i would really like to see some more realistic controls though like in SKATE where you have so much more econtrol over your character

AAwiidog
AAwiidog

this game looks like it could have some potential, i'll definetly read the review before i consider buying though

otis8933
otis8933

I snowboard 6 months out of the year here in MT and by the looks of it, ubisoft is so far doing a great job making this a realistic snowboarding game. I can't wait til its out on 360.

bagelbuster02
bagelbuster02

i snowboard a lot and ive been waiting for a game like this forever, but i wasnt very impressed by the gameplay in the interview, it semmed real akward. the controls better be different from everything else, im sick of holding down B and X. ubisoft please don't screw this up.

McFruitcake
McFruitcake

the written preview sounds great but when i watched the movies i kinda missed something they just made it look way to easy i'v snowboarded in real life (not on shaun white level of course) and things like cornering and those jumps look just way different in real life and in the movie almost every time he landed a trick he slowed down way too much and i hardly saw his snowboard when he was boarding on flat snow there's no way that would happen in real life those are some points that might have to be addressed before launching this game

dragonfist101
dragonfist101

hhhhhmmmmm.... better be good gggggrrrrrgggggggrrrrrrr

tcooley
tcooley

I've been waiting for this for a long time. I too hope they make a game that's on par with skate, though obviously the controls will have to be completely different. I loved Amped 3, though I could have done without all the cutesy rainbows, etc. I have no doubt that this game will have all that crap in it too, as they build these games to appeal to a younger generation. Besides, have you seen Shaun's board graphics? Yeah. I'll still get it though...I'm jonesin to ride.

pepitko
pepitko

I am hoping they will do simple intuitive controls like EA's SKATE has, too bad EA didn't wake up and didn't do a snowboard equivalent to SKATE..

Bad_Mr_Bubbles
Bad_Mr_Bubbles

DarwinBC, I totally agree. They left out that you could get off your board and access secret areas.

diamond18
diamond18

Awesome its about time we got a decent Snowboarding game. Cant Wait!

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

nahh!!. Sometimes I'm wondering why would Ubisoft do kinda this games when they have Tom Clancy himself

DarwinBC
DarwinBC

nice. This should be cool. I have been waiting for a good snowboarding game since Transworld snowboarding came out

volcomstoner180
volcomstoner180

amped 3 sucked compared to amped 2, it was on crack with its rainbows everywhere...shawn white is a sellout but i will still get this game, and i cant wait for it

sktseany
sktseany

i am more excited for this than i was about halo 3 or cod4 as this is my fave game genre! not many snowbaording games on 360. JUST AMPED 3 which was fun. looking forward to this alot

Mbrans25den
Mbrans25den

Amped and Amped 2 were the best snowboarding games imo. They brough unpresidented realism and fun. Being a snowboarder I hope Ubisoft follows the model of Amped 2. SSX is the gayest game I have ever played its for children.

antifashion
antifashion

I'm ready for another snowboarding game, but it's not looking that good to me. Need a snowboarding equivalent to EA Skate.

Maidendude
Maidendude

Zildjian Its really hard to turn on ice especially when your flying down a mountain

AnotherKill
AnotherKill

Doesn't look as good as I expected, could be cool I guess

vix
vix

Bring on SSX, not this. Come on EA, wake up already! Depending on this reviews for this, I dunno, maybe I'll get it.

zildjian135
zildjian135

Why do you have to hang on and hope for the best when you hit ice? I mean yeah it's harder to turn on ice but not like it is impossible

Olaoye_tw
Olaoye_tw

SSX will always be the No.1 snowboarding game! But this could be good too though....