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SSX: 11 things you don't know yet (but need to)

7. The old SSX look is back, but it%26rsquo;s also brand new

With more wilderness-based environments, there will be no grandstands or fireworks this time around, but this SSX is in no way going to be a bleak, empty game. The devs are working diligently to make sure that the colour-bursting gratification of the old games remains; they’re just doing it in different ways.

For example, filling your Tricky bar by pulling off successive stunts now results in a burst of colour and a temporary change of the world’s pallet, and landing a big Uber Trick sends a snow-rattling shockwave through the whole world. The latter is currently just an aesthetic addition, but as Sean says in our video interview, the team is currently looking into making it more of a dynamic game mechanic, perhaps able to trigger or stop avalanches, or blast trees out of the way. Tactical use of big tricks to trigger new paths and set-pieces? I’m all over that.

8. Chopper pilots are people too

Those drop-choppers you’ve seen in the trailers are a bigger element than you think. With no ski lifts present this time around, they’re the primary way of getting onto the mountain, and because you’ll be seeing a lot of them they’re going to evolve into characters in their own right. There will be multiple pilots, all with their own personalised helicopters, and while the one you’ve seen so far is a bit bare-bones, I’m told it’s only place-holder, and that the final vehicles in-game will have much more personality, including a lot of shout-outs to previous games.

DJ Atomika might not be around any more (Unless he’s quit his job as a Paradise City radio to take flying lessons. We can but hope), but these guys should hopefully make a great voice-in-your-ear replacement.

9. The new physics are going to be a riot

While on the surface of it this game plays just like the SSX of old, eagle-eyed observation reveals that the deeper new physics are definitely going to open things right up. With a greater focus on weighting and momentum, more versatility definitely seems possible. I spotted a couple of insanely sharp inclines which would have resulted in a dead stop in the old games being launched off for near-vertical air, and taking a tumble seems to be a much less prescribed event now too. I saw a couple of spills that would have resulted in a straight reset in the old games being recovered and surfed straight out of. It’s still SSX, but it’s a more organic SSX. And I like the sound of that.

10.It's keeping up with the real snowboarding game

While the tricks in the game are staying resolutely SSX, ie. huge, sexy and insane, the devs are using their promiximity to real-life snowboarding locations like Whistler Mountain to keep up with current boarding innovations and stunts. Expect fresh, modern boarding cranked up to 43.

11. Expect some really cool online functions

Multi-player hasn’t been shown off yet, but the dev team seems very excited about the reveal it’s going to be making at Gamescom in August. Our current speculation? Given the way importance EA placed on the friend-baiting Autolog system with the release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit,.I wouldn’t be surprised to see some version of it implemented. And if it turns up, that’ll be a fine fit for time trials and stunt-runs alike.

July 15, 2011

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.