SSX (2012) Review
1 (Online Multiplayer only)
Feburary 28, 2012
-Jovan St. Lawrence
Back in 2000, I picked up a snowboarding game known as the original SSX as my first game for the PS2. It was a brilliant title with an unrealistic, arcade-like feel to it. That being said, it was incredibly fun. SSX really stood out at the launch of the PS2 library at the time. The next two installments, SSX Tricky & SSX 3, raised the bar on that very same over the top feel even higher with more tricks & more tracks as well. Two slightly disappointing installments later (SSX on Tour & SSX Blur) and EA Canada went back to the basic formula as to what made their franchise so engaging in the first place while giving a fresh new take on the series altogether.
Not that SSX really needed a plot to it but the game itself revolves around you as a member of Team SSX conquering the Nine Deadly Descents which are the most dangerous mountains in the world. One of Team SSX’s former members, Griff, claims he is gonna conquer all nine of them first. So its a literal race to the finish of all the mountains and their various drops. EA Canada went all out in all the main facets of the game’s construction, bringing back familiar faces & implementing over the top tricks. SSX originals such as Mac Fraser, Elise Riggs, Psymon Stark, & Zoe Payne return along newcomers such as Alex Moreau & Ty Thorsen. There are three main segments in traversing the nine regions, Race It, Trick It, & Survive It. The mapping and level design in SSX is very different from previous installments, featuring more open world gameplay and fewer barriers. EA Canada utilized satellite image data borrowed from NASA to generate 28 mountains from 9 different regions across the globe. Some of the 9 regions include The Rockies, Siberia, Antarctica, The Alps, Alaska, and more. Players use helicopters to travel across the various regions and their individual mountains.
SSX’s newest component are the Survive It courses. These are designed to test your ability in the nine mountain ranges that each feature a Deadly Descent. Headlamps, Wingsuits, Oxygen Tanks are examples of gear that you use to defend yourself against the Nine Deadly Descents. Giant avalanches threaten to swallow you up whole, massive rocks and trees try to break your bones, freezing cold temperatures and lack of oxygen will suck the life out of you so its a bit of a challenge to complete all of the Survive It tracks.
RiderNet is another new addition to SSX. RiderNet is very similar to Battlefield 3’s Battlelog & Need For Speed’s Autolog. RiderNet tracks your progress throughout the game. It immediately submits and alerts your friends to what you are doing. Any scores posted or collectibles acquired pop up, and the game sets challenges for you based on your friend’s scores.
The multiplayer in SSX comes in the form of Global Events. Global Events is constantly updating with multiple challenges for everyone including you and your friends, to the entire world. You can drop in at anytime and post a high score in Trick It or a fastest time in Race It. For some, lack of traditional multiplayer may be a problem, however, with custom events that you can set to invite only for just you and your friends, the experience is still somewhat there. Global Events & RiderNet combined create a unique never before seen multiplayer experience. Players can now compete with their friends and the world at their own pace & schedule while still keeping that competitive edge.
Previous SSX titles have been well known for their soundtracks. This one is no different. With artists Skrillex, The Qemists, Wretch 32, Noisia, Foster The People, and The Naked & Famous, a diverse tracklist makes the game much more intense & fun to play. While you play, the tracks auto remix themselves whether you land an impressive trick or you faceplant onto the snow. This also works when you load you own music into the game itself.
SSX is one of those games that came at the perfect time. Much time was spent crafting this game and as a result, they made the ultimate experience. This game redefines snowboarding games, raising the bar for the genre, and creates a multiplayer experience that won’t be soon forgotten.
- Great soundtrack
- Awesome customization for boards, suits, & gear
- Decent amount of backstory for the characters
- Huge, diverse mountain ranges look amazing
- Over the top, insane, & stylish snowboarding mechanics
- RiderNet & Global events provide constant challenge
- Lack of traditional multiplayer
- Could have been more voice acting
Jovan thinks this is a great SSX title and many other sites agree. Do you think SSX 2012 is a worthy addition to the SSX series?