NASA Data Used To Recreate Mountains In SSX
by Annette Gonzalez on Jun 09, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher Electronic Arts
Developer Electronic Arts Canada
Rating Everyone

SSX was first announced at the Spike Video Game Awards last year revealing a slightly edgier direction for the series. Earlier this week at the EA press conference the company announced a January release date and saved gameplay details for a show floor demo. The team at EA Canada showcased some of the real-life locations players will race, trick, and survive on when SSX launches in January.

With the SSX reboot, the team is leaving fictional mountain ranges behind for the real thing. EA Canada is using publicly sourced data for earth from NASA as a starting point for artists and level designers to create trick-worthy paths in real-world environments. To navigate through SSX’s different mountain options the team also created a Google earth inspired interface that allows you to rotate a globe featuring drop pins and region information to select your favorite slopes without going through menus. Select a location and drop right in via helicopter to start the wild ride.

Players will be able to race, trick, and survive along multiple paths in frozen volcanoes, trick off of the Great Wall of China, and more. Helicopters will also play a role in races by dropping flares in darker levels and carrying players across chasms after leaping toward them.

The physics engine in SSX  transforms terrain for a different racing experience every run through. In Survival events new to the series were also detailed and were compared to boss fights of traditional games. In the case of SSX the boss is the mountain. Each survival event will be themed with an environmental challenge. In one Survival event, the player raced down the mountain to avoid getting swept away by an incoming avalanche.

SSX is only halfway through development and looks promising. Longtime fans of the series looking to perform over-the-top tricks with old and new characters can look forward to SSX next year.

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