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gc-2011-news.jpg POSTED BY dmcdonagh ON 22/08/2011

GamesCom 2011 – Community Reporter Mat Jones SSX Review

Ghosts exist, but the only exercising you’ll be doing is snowboarding. I’m sorry; that was terrible. EA SPORTS SSX isn’t, though!

That’s also pretty tenuous. I don’t have enough time to start writing this over again. You’ll have to put up with my struggling in order to glean delicious information about SSX‘s focus on social content.

As an aside from all of the actual racing and tricking in SSX, the team have really put a lot of energy into making your friends list important to the experience. Similar to what Need for Speed is doing with the Autolog, SSX includes a feature where your race times and overall trick scores are recorded and measured up against your friends. When you complete a track and are first out of all your friends, you gain in-game cash. If they later go on to beat your score, then they also gain a bonus.

My favourite feature, though, is that every time your run is tested and failed against, you’ll get money for it without even having to lift a finger. All of this extra scratch can be put toward buying new gear for your character, which then leads back to scoring even better times.

Another great addition is that you don’t even need to have a lot of friends on your list to take advantage of these social aspects. SSX allows you to get involved in “Global Events.” The moment the game launches there will be a number of pre-planned tournaments that last for differing lengths of time. The person that sets the best time or trick score (depending on the criteria) at the end of the event wins a massive cash prize. These aren’t just set up by the developers.

These can be made by anyone, for any length of time, and on any peak on the entire map, and they can be totally customised so that they’re limited to friends, friends of friends or everybody.

It’s a little odd that you can’t just enter global events without visiting a menu, just by logging a great time on a peak that happened to beat the high score in the duration of the tournament, but I guess that’s a matter of balancing the in-game economy. Eventually the best player in the world would automatically win every event.

I sincerely hope EA SPORTS SSX sets industry standards for in-game social interaction when it drops in January 2012.