October 28, 2021

Xbox One X

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SSX 3 is a retro masterpiece – and it’s even better on Xbox One

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With each new generation of consoles, we often wonder – what sort of new gameplay opportunities are made possible with more powerful hardware? It’s a difficult question, but the original SSX is one of those few launch games to deliver a satisfying response. With a series of complex, sprawling track layouts, this game simply wouldn’t have been possible on previous generation consoles. It’s a title defined by its towering tracks, and the increase in available memory and processing power allowed the developers to push the snowboarding genre in new directions. Three years on, EA Canada pushed the formula to its zenith with SSX3, and it’s an experience that’s now even more special thanks to a new, enhanced iteration for Xbox One and Xbox One X owners.

Before we dive into the new enhancements, let’s first step back and appreciate what SSX 3 accomplished way back in 2003. The game launched on PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox, offering significant changes compared to the original game. With this third installment, the developers created a pseudo-open world environment that allowed for unprecedented freedom. While you can choose to run individual races, it’s also possible to drop your board at the top of a mountain and carve your way all the way to the bottom. A full run from the highest peak to the lowest point requires nearly 30 minutes of continuous play without a single loading screen. It’s a revelation.

So how is this achieved? Well, it starts with the building blocks used to create the world. The tracks featured in the SSX series serve up a delicious blend of smooth curves and steep hills. These curves are represented as a grid of bicubic Bezier surfaces – a common technique used in 3D graphics software but still relatively new for real-time 3D in the early 2000s.

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