SSX, formerly SSX Deadly Descents, was one of the break-out surprises of E3 2011. Our hands-on preview of the game successfully brought back memories of SSX: Tricky, arguably the best title in the franchise, but SSX isn’t just a nostalgia-fueled trip down the mountain – it also boasts some of the most innovative level designs and multiplayer features ever packed into a sports game, let alone a snowboarding title.
While we detailed a number of the incredible physics systems at play in SSX during E3, EA Sports has offered-up a new trailer at Gamescom 2011 detailing the title’s multiplayer functionality – including a boast that, among other features, SSX will support live events with up to 100,000 players.
The SSX Gamescom trailer is still a pre-alpha build but the game already looks solid – with fluid character animations and detailed backgrounds. That said, it’s unlikely that there will be a substantial visual difference between the pre-alpha build and the final retail copy – though it’ll be interesting to see how the game looks when it hits store shelves.
The trailer also gives players a sneak peek at the world map – an incredibly accurate depiction of the actual mountain ranges that appear on Earth. The map, as well as the actual SSX runs, were painstakingly designed using NASA and Google Earth data to map the topography of the mountain ranges – recreating them in-game.
Check out the SSX Gamescom trailer below:
The gameplay is certainly reminiscent of the franchise’s high-flying glory days but still manages to keep the core mechanics grounded in reality – with the exception of the titular “Deadly Descents” which have mostly been kept under-wraps at this point.
That said, the social networking features are especially exciting. Anyone familiar with the SSX series knows the addictive “just one more run” appeal of the gameplay – as players vied for the top-spot on their local leader board. Now, with the ability to compete against thousands of other players online, upload ghosts, and challenge friends to improve upon your runs, it’s easy to imagine that we might be spending more time on the couch shredding powder than actually on the mountain (whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate – or, at least, dependent on how much fun we have in the process).
Since the SSX trailer presents some fast and furious runs – you can take a closer peek at the title and newly announced features in the images below:
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.
SSX is still expected to release in January 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.