It has been a long time since I was looking forward to the release on an action sports game. Sure, I played plenty of Tony Hawk 2 when it released, but over the years skating and snowboarding games got more and more realistic, and for me less fun. SSX is looking to change this and having played it today at E3 2011 I think they are on the right track. The game was in pre-alpha phase so it was no where near complete, but even in its current state it was a lot of fun to bust out a completely unrealistic trick while hurting down a mountain.
SSX is staying true to its roots with break neck speeds and huge tricks. However, being added to the racing and tricking are survival events. In these you start at the top of the mountain and have to make it to the bottom without getting crushed by an avalanche. The physics engine in SSX controls the slow of the snow in a realistic manner so no two runs down the mountain will ever be the same.
Visually, the game looks good at this early stage and shows a lot of potential. The developers are taking time to get the little details right. Instead of having a traditional menu you start with a Google Earth style view where you can move around and find a mountain range you want to ride. Selecting that shows the individual mountains and their various runs for you to pick from. Personally, I can’t wait to give Mount Everest a run.
I was able to get a few trick runs in during the time I had with SSX. The controls can either be used with both thumb sticks or using the button for tricks. I was able to get some great tricks in and get a silver medal in my best run. What really was exciting was that I could see better runs to try later what would allow for even greater tricks being strung together. It is the potential in all areas of the game that has me excited to see the completed version.