Shaun White Snowboarding - first shots and info

Shaun White Snowboarding will use the Assassin's Creed engine to create an open-world semi-sandbox snowboard game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Ubisoft has revealed. The upcoming extreme sports tie-in will merge online community aspects with single-player style gameplay in an idyllic ski resort.

Like SSX 3, SWS offers open-world mountains, though with the power of next-gen consoles this promises more freedom to turn off-piste and explore the fresh snow of back country runs. But unlike any other snowboard game, you'll also be able to hop off your board and go hiking around to explore the environments.

Leaving your board behind also allows you to film friends performing their skills, or throw snowballs at them to put them off their lines. As for tricks, SWS will use both analogue sticks in an intriguing effort to broaden the opportunity for airborne acrobatics - and Ubisoft claims SWS will be built on physics, not animation, promising a weightier, more satisfying feel to the action.

As you can see fromthese first shots, the game looks stunning, and we'll be hoping that it's just as easy on the eye when in superfast motion. Especially when you hook up with your buddies on piste - environments will be accessible to several players at the same time, creating exciting busy mountain rides with friends.

And, finally, in case you're new to all this "XTREME! YEH!!" sort of sport, Shaun White himself will be on hand to guide you through the action and help develop your skills. Shaun White Snowboarding is set to launch on Xbox 360 and PS3 later this year, but we'll be going hands on in the near future to find out if Ubisoft can deliver on the game's exciting promises.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.