SSX preview makes for sexy snow

SSX PS3 preview Official PlayStation

Snowboarding is all about cool. Without the attitude and personality that goes with the sport it’s just a bunch of overgrown kids risking their lives to slide down a hill on a plank of wood. And then go back up and do it again. Thankfully the SSX series has always encapsulated that sense of frozen fun, and our latest demo only showcased that further.

Although the courses this time around lack the neon lights and grandstands of old, they’re full of the same insane jumps and weaving, multi-route runs. Only this time they also alter as you board down them.

Fill your trick meter and the colour palette will change, saturating objects around you. Then when you unleash the meter and land your uber trick, a huge shock wave will cross the landscape as a visual payoff for your awesomeness. It’ll also affect the gameplay in places, knocking trees or obstacles off the course, or even triggering avalanches.

Another dollop of personality comes from the new navigation system. This time you’ll travel everywhere by helicopter, and these vehicles and their drivers will become characters in themselves. They’ll have distinctive interiors and there will be pilot-to-player banter: the perfect thing to send you on your way down a sheer icy drop.

We’d also bet our squirrel suit on a Hot Pursuit-style Autolog system in the game’s online mode, so you’ll be able to add besting your friends’ leaderboard times to SSX’s already addictive gameplay when the game hits in January. Which sounds great, providing your new year’s resolution isn’t ‘get more sunlight’.