The lights are on
At the Electronic Arts Season Opener event in San Francisco, SSX
creative director Todd Batty talked about the game's past and how it's
both present in the new game (which is no longer subtitled Deadly
Descents, by the way) and yet being greatly expanded upon for the
January 2012 title.
It's been six years since SSX on Tour, and a lot has happened since
then in both EA Canada's mind as well as with video games at large.
Batty told the crowd that one of the main differences in terms of SSX is
that whereas the original SSX had 8 levels and On Tour had 13 tracks,
this new SSX will have 200 to 300 runs over 18 major mountain ranges
across the globe from the Andes to Everest.
Batty and the team at EA Canada have come up with this impressive
number using NASA satellite footage of Earth and a tool the developers
at EA Canada call Mountain Man. This tool allowed them to created some
spectacular runs (some of which will run into each other and provide
different vantage points from which to approach cool parts of the same
mountain) that capture the best essence of terrifying, challenging
mountain ranges all around the world.
Apart from the sheer number of runs available, the game is also
breaking from the past with a new physics model that allows gamers to
trick off of all parts of the terrain. This means that there isn't the
need for artificial barriers to keep you hemmed in to the trickable
portions of the track like in previous games. It also means that
half-pipe formations no longer have to be restricted to isolated events
(although there still are dedicated half-pipe courses), but can be
seamlessly entered and exited as you're tricking down the slopes.
Terrain ridges can also act as ramps to launch you into new parts of the
level. This new physics model tears down the artificial barriers of
previous titles and truly opens up the mountains for you to experience.
As much as SSX presents a new world to fans, Batty told us that basic
racing "is still going to be the foundation that I believe this game is
based upon." Batty assures SSX fans that the series' core tennets of
exaggerated speeds and tricks is still very much at the core of the
franchise. It's not a sim. Fans can be comforted by the fact that
original characters like Elise will return alongside new racers, and the
SSX community will also get to vote for their favorite characters from
past titles for inclusion in the game.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
No one has commented on this article.