SSX is just over a month away, and we’re excited to give our PS3 fans in North America some exclusive content to keep you busy on the slopes. Mt. Fuji, the legendary Japanese mountain will only available on PS3 in North America. The mountain that owns the horizon in Tokyo is packed with six unique event drops. Three race drops and three trick drops will have PS3 players carving down and in the majestic landmark in true SSX fashion – with a complete disregard for the laws of physics. From racing through cherry blossoms to tricking off Torii gates, North American Playstation gamers will have something unique to look forward to when SSX arrives on Feb 28th.
Now a few words from the creative director on bringing back SSX from Creative Director Todd Batty:
“Extreme Sports is a dead genre.” Over the past three years I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this. As a gamer who has been playing for more than 20 years and, as a huge fan of games like SSX and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, it is also something that I refuse to believe.
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy blowing things up and shooting people in the face as much as the next guy! But spending hundreds of hours with my friends stringing together endless combos in search of the ‘perfect run’ in SSX and THPS is easily some of my fondest gaming memories.
Fast forward nearly a decade and our team is hoping to not only re-launch one of the greatest IP franchises in EA Sports history, but to bring this type of experience back to the forefront of gaming. SSX is a game for gamers.
Arcade games are challenging to design. On one hand, many players expect instant gratification from an arcade title and have little tolerance for an overly steep learning curve. This is actually true of most games today, but is even more important in this type of game. On the other hand, with a shallow learning curve and instant gratification comes the perception (which is often true) that the game lacks depth and is therefore only going to be enjoyable for a short time.
Embracing this challenge from the onset, our team adopted a motto for SSX: “make awesome easy, and make oh-my-god really hard.” Rather than following a more traditional zero-to-hero learning curve, SSX lets you feel like a hero from the first time you pick up the controller. And from there, with a little practice, or in some cases a LOT of practice, you can start to perform like a superhero.
We had three major goals for SSX. The first goal, and where we spent the majority of time and effort with this reboot, was to recapture that core gameplay magic across Race, Trick and Survival events. The second was to build a massive world for players to explore. The third goal was to redefine social gaming on a console with something we call RiderNet.
Race it, Trick It, Survive It
There are three ways to compete in SSX.
Race it is all about bombing down the mountain at insane speeds and trying to find the fastest path down our huge open mountains. Think: Burnout on snow. Beyond that, racing in SSX has always had its own game-changer as doing tricks gives you boost. Your reaction time needs to be lightning quick as youtry to decide whether or not to jump off a huge kickers to earn some valuable boost, or avoid them altogether and stick to the ground so that you don’t lose your speed. When you factor in the coolest new gameplay addition to SSX – a wingsuit that lets you glide high above the terrain for short stints – the level of depth gets even greater.
Trick it has always been the heart and soul of SSX, and this version is no exception. Trick it is all about style and flow, and trying to string together the perfect top-to-bottom combo in order to max your score. In this SSX you can ride everything in the world. Literally. if you can see it, you can ride it. The freedom of trying to grind, backflip, and vault off any piece of terrain means that you’re constantly discovering new tricks and lines on the mountain, even some stuff that we never designed or intended. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that you can make almost any line work if you can find the right angles.
Survive it is something completely new to the SSX franchise. These levels act like mini “boss battles’ where we challenge you to simply make it to the bottom of the mountain in one piece. In game design terms these are referred to as “exciters and delighters” – not meant to be a core part of the experience but something unique and fun to discover hidden among the many awesome race and trick events. Here you will battle different environmental challenges on nine of the most iconic mountains in the world. These challenges range from outrunning and jumping over massive avalanches on Denali in Alaska to riding through perfect darkness in the depths of Kilimanjaro with only a headlamp strapped to your head. Each of these “deadly descents” offers a fresh, and often harrowing, new gameplay experience.
The Massive World of SSX
The new SSX has more mountains than all of the previous versions of SSX combined. The massive world you will explore spans the entire globe and includes nine different regions, 29 unique mountains and over 150 different event drops, each unique in their own way and each offering tons of replayability. If you want to earn a gold medal on every drop in the main mode of SSX (named simply, “Explore”) you will find more than 50-100 hours of fun. And once you start chasing your friend’s records on your favorite drops that number will grow even larger. Much larger.
Finally, we wanted to put competition with friends at the absolute heart of the SSX experience, and we do that with something we call RiderNet. Inspired by Criterion’s awesome Autolog feature from NFSHP, RiderNet allows you to compete against ghosts of your friends best runs, points you to drops where your friends are dominating you, recommends drops based on what you and others like, allows you to share and collect something we call “geotags,” which are user-created collectibles found throughout our massive world, and so much more. We even have a mobile RiderNet application in development that lets you see what your friends are up to when you are away from your console and send them messages, letting you congratulate them or talk a little trash…This SSX was built from the ground up for the connected generation.
We think this game represents the beginnings of a new franchise and the return of an almost-forgotten genre, and we hope that after you get your hands on it you will agree.
SSX lands on the PS3 February 28 in North America and March 2 in the rest of the world. In addition, Sony gamers in North America will be treated to an exclusive mountain that is only available on the PS3 – the legendary Mt. Fuji in Japan. Look forward to seeing you all on the slopes!