View Full Version : Video Games Shaun White Snowboarding preview

05-27-2008, 05:23 PM

Shaun White Snowboarding may remind you a bit of the popular Amped series. The entire game exists online at all times (though you can play offline if you like). The mountain will have between 16-32 gamers depending on how much juice Ubisoft can squeeze out of the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Those boarders will be on the mountain with you at all times. You can free roam and just have some fun, hop into multiplayer modes, or target single-player challenges. Once you finish with a challenge you instantly pop back onto the mountain where everyone else is still boarding.

Rather than go for the over-the-top action route of EA's SSX, Shaun White Snowboarding (or SWS) shoots for realism. The goal is to give gamers a sense of what it's like to snowboard and to inspire n00bs to head to the nearest snow-capped mountain with board in hand. SWS uses the Assassin's Creed engine, which isn't readily apparent considering the gameplay, but means you can expect large environments, awesome graphics and great animations.

SWS is a phsyics-based game that factors in gravity and friction. The board you choose has an affect on your performance on the snow. The snow itself plays its own part. Your board cuts through powder a bit slower and turns wider, while you'll move faster on packed snow. It's easy to tell the difference when on your board and this will lead you to alter your course down the mountain depending on what you're trying to accomplish. Some boards also perform better on different types of snow, so don't think that riding through powder is going to be like cutting through quicksand.

Every move in the game is one that Shaun White has pulled off in some capacity -- and most likely during a mo-cap session. You won't be stringing together dozens of tricks while executing star power or any of that crap. This is a slightly more slow-paced and skill-based game.
A multiplier meter builds as you string together tricks, giving incentive to push for more jumps and not just loaf down the mountainside. But it seems undeniable that part of the appeal for SWS is going to be just cruising down the mountain at a relaxed pace. We can expect some hidden goodies as well that reward exploration. And fortunately, there are checkpoints throughout the mountain so you can teleport to a specific area rather than having to start at the top of the mountain for each run. And yes, you can get on foot in certain areas and there will be a reason to do so, though Ubisoft isn't saying exactly what you will do off your board.

One of the most impressive aspects of SWS is the dynamic camera. There are several different camera angles, which are automatically switched to based on the situation. Let's say there is a crevice ahead, one that, due to the topography, you might not be able to see with the default up-close third-person camera. Slowly the camera pulls back so you see the crevice in time and can adjust for a jump. Get major air and the cinematic camera turns on, showing off how slick your created character looks. There's even a first-person camera view.


05-27-2008, 05:26 PM
If it's anything like "Amped" - I'll be picking it up.

05-28-2008, 01:31 AM
I sucked at Amped. SSX was at least playable.

05-28-2008, 06:07 AM
It's cool that they tried to maintain some realism. I always hated the games where you can huck a backflip to rodeo flip to 720 to three more back flips, giving a thumbs up between each move before landing. The multiplayer also sounds cool. Allow for group carving down the mountain and to basically simulate a real all mountain freeride experience with a group of friends.

05-28-2008, 07:19 AM
The multiplayer is what's most appealing. Online sounds about like Burnout: Paradise