SSX is the fifth installment in the SSX series, brought to us by EA Canada and just to clear any confusion, yes, this is the SSX that was originally called ‘Deadly Descents’ – thankfully EA listened to is fans however, and changed the title to SSX.
The main story of the game is you (playing as Zoe in the single player mode) has to try and get the SSX team back together so you can all take on Griff – your nemesis and previous team member, and ‘own’ the 9 deadliest descents in the world.
The main single player mode is called ‘World Tour’ – it’s pretty much just an easy way to level up your characters and doesn’t have to be completed, you can quite easily ignore it, although it does introduce you to each of the mountains.
Then you have ‘Explore’ – 159 drops across all nine areas and has a mixture of Trick, Race and Survival runs. In each drop you can get either a bronze, silver or gold medal depending on how you’ve done (obviously the faster you are and the more tricks you do add to this). The cool thing about explore is the ghosts of your friends times and scores will be shown on each run, so if you manage to beat those you can get some bonus credits.
Lastly, there’s ‘Global Events’ which is an immensely fun multi-player mode. Basically, each area contains a number of peaks, which in turn contain a number of drops – the drops have specific timed events on them – so you may go on a trick event that lasts one hour, this means you have an hour to set a score for that drop, if you’re score is good enough, you get a share of the pot! It’s a pretty simple idea, and you’ll soon find yourself hooked on trying to improve your time or beating someone else’s score – especially since an event can last anywhere between 30 minutes to a week.
If you did want to set up a more traditional multi-player experience, there is always ‘custom events’ which allows you to set up a custom event and invite all your friends in. The options range from friends only, friends of friends and all connected friends – so you can choose the game to be as private as you want. The only problem I found with this, is that there are no permanent records of the events (via RiderNet) so it isn’t obvious when a friend has made a custom event and no history to look back on.
Gameplay wise, the game is actually pretty good! A complete stranger to the SSX series can pick up the game and start playing with ease, at the same time a veteran player can come back to it and enjoy this game as much as the last entries – there is even a ‘classic controls’ option which lays out pretty much the same controls as SSX3. The only gripe I have is that the analogue sticks are far too sensitive, I barely had to touch it and my character was doing a 90degree turn, although this is only a small problem and something that with practice anyone can get used to.
The game’s soundtrack is fairly decent too… if you like that sort of music. It’s pretty much drum and bass (The Qemists) with some dubstep and electronic thrown in, in the form of Skrillex and Noisia. Of course, what would an SSX soundtrack be without the obligatory “It’s Tricky” track, which is in the form of a Pretty Lights remix. The game itself also contains a cool feature that remixes the songs as you race, which works when you add your own music into the game too!
Ultimately, this is a great game. It redefines modern day snowboarding games and raises the bar for the genre and clearly, a lot of effort has gone into making it. It has a few minor issues here and there, but overall it’s a fun, over the top game and you really can’t go wrong with it.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.