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By Thomas McKinnon 7 January 2009

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Apparently Shaun White is looking for the next great ­snowboarder and, naturally, you think that you could be the one. In order to prove it you’ll have to collect coins, your ­reward being a number of “focus ­powers”, and complete a ­number of challenges which take away those self-same “focus powers”.

The game is built on the Assassin’s Creed engine which is immediately obvious from looking at the game’s four spectacular open-world mountains, with their varying terrain and picture perfect powder. The game really carries the feeling of being in a ski resort across well with its depiction of log cabins, woods, icy patches and rocky outcrops.

The game does however fall well short of being the best Snowboarding title ever created with a fairly unintuitive thumbstick and trigger control set-up and absolutely hopeless maps and radar for an open world game. Chasing after coins spread across mountain slopes as a result feels a bit like a platforming grind session rather than a relaxed trick fest. The game’s marker system, which allows you to instantly warp back to any spot you’ve marked, is a serious stress reliever though, when searching for coins.

SWS’s multiplayer features are its redeeming quality as there are no silly lobbies to contend with and the easy access to multiplayer features on the d-pad make it a well thought-out and well executed feature offering hours of fun with up to 16 friends online.

All in all the game feels as if it suffers from a crisis of identity. It first introduces you to a realistic simulator type boarding game and then allows you to build-up some super abilities in an arcade (bust-all-the-tricks and jibs (grinds) you can) type game. In trying to accommodate both, it fails to achieve either.

PROS
The environment is huge and looks great.
CONS
There are only four mountains and the open world system makes the game really boring.
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