With the summer seeming still so far away this week EA invites us to celebrate the cold weather in style as they release to us the first look gameplay trailer of the new SSX. Now coming with the tag line ‘Defy reality. Own the planet.’ this trailer shows us much more about what we can expect from our next downhill adventure. Wait though, because it does not stop there. Though this is the first official gameplay trailer to be released, we here at PlusXP have already had our own hands on experience of the game. Last year the Eurogamer expo allowed us to hit the slopes for ourselves and in the spirit of sharing we filmed it all. So join us now as we hitch a ride on the SSX helicopter and take a look at not one, but two new videos.
Though the game has lost its subtitle ‘Deadly descents’ the extreme theme still seems to be going strong. Though a lot of the stunts are little bit unrealistic I must admit that the thought of grinding a board over a power line does excite me, as does the prospect of performing tricks by off of the side of a moving helicopter. From what we have seen and played so far the theme of helicopter runs very strongly though this trailer so I expect we will be seeing a lot more chopper action on the slopes this time.
Something which also caught my eye in the trailer was the night levels. Glowing lights on the fingertips of the boarder illuminate the slopes around you giving these levels a unique rave look. I can imagine these levels would be great played with the lights turned down low. The trailer also shows players being able to rewind the last few seconds of gameplay and try again, allowing them to avoid crashing out. This time reversal is a clever feature, but one which I feel could be controversial amongst some fans.
One of the things I always loved about the SSX games were their soundtracks which always consisted of a unique mix of everything from indie, to rock and hip-hop. Its nice to have a good variety of tunes to throw yourself down a mountain too, and if this trailer is anything to go by we will not be disappointed.
So on to our own journey down the virtual mountain. The first thing we noticed upon sitting down to the new SSX was the impressive attention to detail that had been payed to the new slopes. It is easy when presented with vibrant and impressive trailer to doubt that the final game will live up to the promises, but I can assure you that with the graphics of new SSX you will not be disappointed. I was also pleased to find that though the slopes and tricks had been updated to provide new challenges the gameplay did not feel at all alien. The controls felt sharper and yet familiar making this game a good addition to the SSX family.
The level we played followed a simple time trial format, with tricks and boosts helping you to set the fastest time to the bottom of the run. In true SSX style the more awesome the trick the more boost you earn and with boosts creating impact ripples through the snow the better your tricks the faster your time and the more epic you feel. As our video coverage shows ghost players allow you to race your friends or yourself, charting your progress to help you beat your high score. This was only a taster of the full game, and we will be interested to see how the other mode will play on full release.
Though only one level appeared to be playable at the expo we also accidentally got a glimpse at the games menu system, Oops. Here we were presented with a 3d globe which we could rotate in order to browse and select from the most extreme slopes on planet. This was a nice touch as it added a sense of context to the game and gave a great visual representation of your progress.
Though overall my first impression of SSX was very good the first showing of the game was not without its glitches. At one point my character started spasming uncontrollably, which despite adding a considerable amount of points to my score did not really add much to the gameplay. Still, this was a very early version of the game so lets hope they work out the kinks before the release this March.
Until next time,