SSX Updated Hands-On Preview - Mind the Gap

We try out Moby and hit the slopes of Siberia in our latest hands-on session with SSX.

SSX has never taken itself too seriously. With its outrageous cast and arsenal of over-the-top, spin-the-board-around-your-body tricks, the series has always placed fun above realism on its slopes. While the initial trailer had some people worried that this formula might get flipped on its head, you can rest assured that the madness is still intact. At this year's Electronic Arts Vegas Game Show, we caught up with art director Geoff Coates and got our hands on the latest version of the game.

Since the game's announcement, the SSX roster has now grown from the original trio of Mac, Elise, and Kaori to include veterans Moby, Psymon, Zoe, Griff, and Eddie (as a preorder bonus). In addition, supermodel Alex, surfer dude Tane, and snowboarding legend Ty are some of the new faces you can expect to find on the slopes.

In terms of playable characters, Moby was the only new arrival. With him selected, we headed to Siberia, where we were able to grind on another wide-open track with plenty of half-buried power plants and exposed cables. While the tracks are nonlinear, it does help to know the general routes through them. In our initial run of Siberia, we constantly missed jumps and wasted time shifting left or right across the track as we switched lanes.

You won't be able to throw haymakers at your fellow boarders like you did in SSX Tricky.

Inevitably, we would tumble off a cliffside or wipe out after a jump. At first, we just had to live with the shame until we discovered we could rewind time. With the press of a button, our character would zip back into pre-crash position and allow us to take another pass. In the demo, we could rewind as long as we liked without consequence, but the final release will not be so forgiving. While the specific details aren't set, there will be a limit to and penalty for rewind use.

For the Patagonia survival track, we had to relinquish control to one of the EA representatives because it wasn't quite finished. Unlike the previous survival track we saw, which had Elise attempting to outrun a roaring avalanche, this one focused on jumping gaps. You make these jumps using the wingsuit, which imbues your boarder with all the aerial grace of a flying squirrel. However, using the wingsuit meant our character couldn't perform tricks, so if you want to get the highest score, you'll want to use it as little as possible.

The Explore and Global Event online modes, detailed at Gamecom, were not on display. Explore is all about setting records, uploading ghost data, and competing with your friends. Global Events are also about competing with your friends, and strangers, in massive global tournaments that boast more than "100,000 players" at once. When asked to clarify this, Coates said you'll be racing against groups composed of other players with times near your own. As you defeat them, new groups are generated for you.

Psymon may have a new look, but he's still a wild man at heart.

We also learned that the extra-long alpine boards seen in SSX Tricky won't be making a return, though the remaining boards will still vary wildly in performance. Further details about the game's copious amounts of gear are still under wraps, but we'll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more. SSX will be released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2012.

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Discussion

44 comments
dvlboi43
dvlboi43

SO pumped for this game. @Tanares they do have online 8 player racing, you can set up custom events and restrict the number of players and all that. And what do you mean by "collect the damn money?" This is looking a lot like ssx 3, especially the peak 3 parts, that had man made objects within the mountain environment. My favorite racing track was definitely gravitron, so I'm glad to be seeing a similar feel. But my GOD that wingsuit stuff is just so damn cool! can't wait. I played the hell out of ssx3 (all my characters were at 11.0 stats) and I can't wait to play the hell out of this reboot. That is, if it turns out being as good as it looks now, but the SSX franchise has been very consistently excellent, I haven't played the Wii one so I can't say anything about it. But all the ps2 ones (yes, even On Tour) were fun to play. now to wait until january...

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Gelugon_baat I wasn't saying you were being rude :/ And now it appears you're taking this off on completely the wrong track.. Argh.. Nevermind. Stick to your quotes and links mate, go for it.

QWERTYCommander
QWERTYCommander

@Thisnames I'm pretty sure that technical limitations wouldn't allow them to do it. Seriously with the snow physics in this game, I'd be surprised if they could get FPS above the early teens by rendering it twice, let alone 4 times. Split-screen tech hasn't evolved in sync with console tech at all.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Gelugon_baat Well no that's the whole point, by all means state your opinion, but possibly just tone it down a bit. Generally speaking most articles on this website end up having a comment by yourself towards another user where you specifically state exact facts - it's fine, but it gets rather tiresome after a while.. For example you could have just said... "It is Crevasse, it's in the video above. It's also on the official website". All the 'you said' *insert here* and web links just get a tad tedious.. It's probably for those reasons why people get annoyed from time to time, hence the guy last week genuinely believing you work for Gamespot :P

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Gelugon_baat Dude to be fair you do sometimes come across as a bit of an ass. That's not me directly insulting you mate I'm just saying.. What with all the 'quotes' and links to web pages.. It's a tad extreme..

X-RS
X-RS

Still worried about: -Psymon -Wingsuit -Rewind -Coming out so soon!

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

@CcYungin Split screen is not so easy, I think if you had 4 screens of a physic driven avalanche going at once. The game would be running at like 4 FPS lol. 2 players maybe.

CcYungin
CcYungin

you know what? it woulda been great and i woulda bought it if it had 4 player split screen.....i dont understand why halo and COD are the only people with sense enough to know people have friends who dont have XBL or just wanna play in the same household...duh!!! MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Leftel
Leftel

I hope it will be a good game :D

Maddogtaylor
Maddogtaylor

marty is my favourite hes a tricksy fellow :P 5 360's in 1 go

Tanares
Tanares

Dear EA: While I love the fact SSX is coming back, if you want to make money do the following: 1) Remake Tricky in HD 2) Include online 8 player racing 3) Collect the damn money SSX Tricky is one of the best psuedo sports games ever, just like Mutant League Football (ANOTHER game that deserves a remake).

grim0187
grim0187

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

gorezombiez
gorezombiez

Psymon is my fav. I remember when I used to have SSX 3, his stats were all at the highest they could be, 11.0.

khimeron13
khimeron13

Also, I used to play Mac all the time. He was my favorite.

Chaozi
Chaozi

This is a sort of game I'd want to have a character Create. Then again, I recall each character was pretty awesome on their own... still...

zpluffy
zpluffy

I hope thid game turn out well; i enjoy ssx, idk which one, but the one for gamecube very much

Pete5506
Pete5506

So glad to see a great series make a come back

stEElyDaN909
stEElyDaN909

Been waiting a LOOOONG time for SSX to make a comeback.

wilmepe
wilmepe

I can't wait! Hopefully it will still have the half pipe too.

kubb724
kubb724

@Gelugon_baat Nobody cares.

MADdog999999
MADdog999999

I own ssx 3 and its fun but this looks way better.

J-007
J-007

My favorite sporting game franchise!!! Its almost time for the ultimate snowboarding game after coolboarders. It ain't over till its over. Thank you EA

GonnaDie4TheGov
GonnaDie4TheGov

as long as they got rid of that stupid ripple effect, im def getting this.

PSYCLOWN185
PSYCLOWN185

this will be the first good snowboarding game in years

Juxhe1
Juxhe1

Have been waiting for a new SSX for so long now. It looks great, gotta preorder this one.

Byaku524
Byaku524

Eddie is a preorder bonus!? They got my money hands down!

driton
driton

This is a sign that winter is near so prepare your snowboards :)

diesil
diesil

i didnt know lil jon could snow board :)

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Sounds pretty good. Think this will be my first dip into the franchise!

Thisnames
Thisnames

I was really hyped for this game but I learned that there will not be any split screen local multiplayer. "Staying true to the franchise" my a$$.

khimeron13
khimeron13

I just hope its still 4 player :D!!!

nini200
nini200

I'd totally buy this on the Wii or WiiU. Blur was Super fun, simple controls (Minus the Ubers but with Motion+, that shouldn't be an issue) and seriously fun. Also, Waiting for Maya's Confirmation. I NEED MAYA IN SSX

holtrocks
holtrocks

Cannot wait def gonna pre order this bad boy.

jmallen99
jmallen99

Hey EA, how about for the Wii!?! (SSX Blur was difficult to control and was basically just SSX3 renewed.)

LAnoirFAN
LAnoirFAN

I AM TOTALLY GONNA BUY THIS GAME

Grim_Reaper007
Grim_Reaper007

Looks neat... though i still prefer the SSX Tricky wild over the top wacky style, unfortunately I doubt I'll see a snowboarding game like that for a long time. I want to board on completely unrealistic levels, not just basic mountains.

Peazo
Peazo

Awesome. I'm more of a pc gamer and usually just use my Xbox for dvd's.....but....looks like I'll be buying my first XBox game in ages. Huge fan of the series and this looks just as mental as it's previous games. Hope the soundtrack is pumping as has always had fun tunes on the radio to wipeout to :)

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

Oh man, I just got board wax on my crotch... ; )

GONtheSKYLORD
GONtheSKYLORD

This is gonna be a tricky holiday season with all these games.

MrSwift
MrSwift

Looks very good! I've missed the SSX series!

Nathalmighty1
Nathalmighty1

Sounds fantastic! I'm keeping a close eye on this one.