What self-respecting junket whore would pass up a chance to stay in a hotel made entirely of ice? So when EA Canada invited us to Quebec to demo SSX Blur at Quebec's Hotel de Glace, we jumped and brought along The G-Hole crew for some, ahem, cold play.
The hotel is nestled by a forest preserve outside Quebec City and every bench, column, wall, bar, bed, floor and even the glasses in the bar are frozen solid. We gave it a quick tour, checked-in and went for a dogsled ride.
Melissa and .tiff let the dogs out
Junkie XL and .tiff
Then we ate, thawed and retired to the bar to partake in some frostbitten hands-on with Blur. A Wii exclusive, the game breathes new life into the franchise after the lackluster SSX On Tour. The nunchuck controls on-the-ground movement, while the remote lets you perform tricks in the air. And Junkie XL's music is used in a pretty cool way with beats intensifying as you pull off bigger tricks.
The gaming forum mob loves to pig pile onto EA for their risk-averse tendency to pound sure-thing franchises flat with sequels, but there's no denying Wii variations of SSX and Madden (plus upcoming Tiger Woods and Sims) offer some fresh play. Moreover, reps from EA Montreal also teased some spankin' new IP at the event.
(l. to r.) Shane from Gametrailers, Pete, Jennifer and Shirley from EA
First, they showed a new trailer for the mercenary co-op game, Army of Two complete with snappy, Lethal Weapon-style repartee. The comic vibe may be part of a tonal makeover since the game was demoed at E3, where the homoerotic subtext had some game reporters calling it "Brokeback Army." A publishing behemoth's gotta draw the line somewhere, right? The game's designer, Vander Caballero, told us a soldier of fortune consultant on the game inspired some interesting details; seems real world mercs use tampons to stuff fresh bullet wounds. Vander's pushing to implement that er, juicy element.
EA Montreal also demoed a super mega uber secret new Wii game that we cannot discuss for fear of getting our asses sued off. More on that game later.