Electronic Arts hasn't released a console game in its once-great snowboarding and skiing series SSX since 2007's SSX Blur for the Wii. But from what we've heard out of the Great White North, a new SSX is well underway.
EA Canada has been working on a new SSX entry for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the past two years, according to a source familiar with development of the game. The next SSX, that source claims, will take the game "back to its roots," but feature controls similar to EA's Skate franchise, using a controller's right analog stick to perform tricks. Development of the game is said to be handled by much of the Skate team.
Electronic Arts registered new web site domains for the SSX franchise earlier this year, indicating that the title of that game could be SSX Deadly Descent or SSX First Descent.
Before that, online surveys were distributed targeted at fans of the SSX series that might tell us more about that game. While much of the survey (and the above artwork) distributed this summer said it "illustrates how the game might look and feel," it appeared that some features weren't final.
But the unnamed snowboarding game was described in the survey as "an intense, moment-to-moment battle against the forces created from riding your snowboard over the most spectacular and remote mountains on Earth." Gameplay involved "avoiding, out-running and even riding on top of massive avalanches; battling hurricane winds; white-outs; bitter cold; falling rocks; and gaping crevasses that open up at a moment's notice."
New and proposed features included the ability to "take part in helicopter drops and rescues, base-jumping, wingsuit/squirrel-suit flying, skyboarding, para-skiing, ice-climbing and more."
Could the new SSX game be the game teased as "The Planet" in anticipation of the Spike TV Video Game Awards, set to air later this week? Conventional wisdom pointed to that teaser as a Battlefield related, but its style and snowy substance could fit the snowboarding game surveyed earlier this year.
Consider these SSX tidbits rumor for now and the aforementioned survey may not officially be tied to SSX development, but pray for snow this weekend when the Spike VGAs air—hopefully with more clear information.
I'm not sure I'd like a Skate (or rather Amped) approach to the controls to be honest. The 'extra' features also sound a bit too much like 'not snowboarding'. We'll see what happens, but I really hope these are just rumours.