EA has brought back the SSX series from the grave. Can this one reach the heights of the old games? Find out in our SSX (2012) Review!
|Release Date||February 28, 2012|
Every once in a while, there comes a game that’s remembered for years to come. SSX was one of those games when it debuted in 2000. The game developed a cult-like following in the gaming community for being fun and different in an industry where games were starting to lean towards realism. Can the SSX of 2012 reclaim the glory of the originals or will it get buried in the snow?
SSX: Deadly Descents was announced back at the Spike Video Game awards in 2010, the trailer featured a much darker turn and was met with a bit of criticism. A drop of the subtitle and a return to the lighter tone of the past games turned the skepticism of the game to excitement. The SSX series debuted 12 years ago and is one of the most beloved franchises out there. Admittedly, I had never tried an SSX game before and I was curious as to whether it would appeal to me because I had never been much of a fan of snowboarding games. To put it simply, you don’t need to be a fan, this is pure fun.
SSX revolves around a central plot point for the World Tour mode (although I doubt you’ll pay much attention to it). Team SSX is going to attempt to master the nine Deadly Descents, each more difficult than the last. However their former team member, Griff wants to be the one to do it first. The story is simple enough.
SSX really puts you into the settings that it’s trying to convey. There are so many different settings in this game that really take you out of your own reality and into the game. The nine Deadly Descents are based on nine real-life mountain ranges from all over the world. Whether you’re dodging trees in the Rockies, gasping for air in the Himalayas, or shredding in the darkness of Africa, there’s something different in every destination that you visit. Every level, no matter how tough the task is an exciting run through some amazing drops.
The gameplay is as stellar as you could possibly imagine. The one thing I noticed after about 5 hours of playing this game is that not one time did I feel as if I wasn’t in complete control of my character. The movement is so fluid and the player moves with pinpoint accuracy. This is an important factor in a good snowboarding game, a slight miscue could mean the death of your character and that’s a problem that you don’t get with SSX. There is a classic control scheme for the old-school fans of the series. I played with both and found that I liked the modern controls a lot better, the option is nice to have though.
There are three game types in the World Tour game mode: Race It, Trick It, and Survive It. As you can expect, all of these game modes still somewhat require you to pull off some tricks and that is where SSX shines. There’s nothing better than cruising through an entire level on one combo and watching the multiplier climb higher and higher as you’re doing tricks off everything from helicopters to tree branches. Races do make you think a little bit harder about the route you take, there are just so many ways to get to the finish line and so many ways to perish.
And then there’s Survive It.
Get ready for the ride of your life because that’s what you’re going to get each time you take on any one of the Deadly Descents. Each of these nine powerhouses requires that you have special gear equipped to even attempt it (you can go in without it but, it’s a tough task for even the best players). It’s here where you get to use things like a wingsuit which is just brilliant and some of the most fun I’ve had in the game. Most of the other equipment is a lot less exhilarating with such things as a headlamp, oxygen tank, and armor. The point of all this isn’t so much to add excitement as much as to add difficulty. The Deadly Descents are no walk in the park and test your precision as you fly down the hill faster than most vehicles. Oh yeah, did I mention the avalanche?!
RiderNet keeps track of all your progress throughout the game as well as your friends’ progress. Inspired by the Autolog from Need for Speed, RiderNet keeps you connected from the moment you log in to the game. For all of the players who are in constant competition with their friends, this is right up your alley as the game will set challenges up for you with the information compiled from your friends who have the game. Multi-player isn’t included in the most traditional form in SSX. Global Events are constantly being updated by EA allowing you to pop in whenever you like and post a high score. The cool thing about that is anyone else who’s doing the same challenge will pop up on the mountain with you. You can still get all your buddies together for a custom event so, it’s not like SSX is really missing anything. In fact for a snowboarding game, I like the way this multiplayer works better than the traditional sense.
The music in one word is awesome. There are so many different genres represented and it’s just a great mix. There’s also a nice feature that isn’t very widely publicized is the auto-remix feature which remixes songs as you play the game and it even works with your own custom soundtracks which is amazing.
SSX is a great experience and I encourage anybody who is on the bubble about it to go out and buy it. You will not regret it. The game is something you can load up on your console and just have fun with. The tricks, the mountains, the characters, the gear, and the music create a wonderful game. If you want to have a good time, play this game.