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SSX Will Have Online Pass, but Used Buyers Can Still Join Multiplayer

The return of Electronic Arts' snowboarding franchise also brings with it an Online Pass.

Electronic Arts confirmed Monday the use of its Online Pass system for the upcoming release from the company’s EA Sports branch, but the announcement comes with an unexpected twist.

Unlike most online passes from Electronic Arts and other publishers, EA told Game Informer that players without it can still access SSX’s full online modes. The game is in development from EA Canada and is scheduled to release Feb. 28 in North America for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

SSX has two different online multiplayer modes, Explore and Global Events. In both modes, players can earn credits to unlock new game events or customizations for all the characters. However without redeeming an Online Pass, players won’t be able to receive the credits they earned during Global Events. Instead the game stores the player’s accumulated credits. Once players unlock their Online Pass, they will receive all the withheld credits they earned during Global Events.

The Online Pass code will come bundled with all new copies of SSX. If someone buys the game used or borrows it from a friend or rental service, they’ll have to download the Online Pass from the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live Marketplace. It will cost $9.99 on the PS3 or 800 Microsoft Points for Xbox 360 users.

Players can still unlock all the content in the game without the Online Pass, because EA said all the necessary credits can be earned through Explore mode.

In Explore players can face off against their friends, even if they aren’t online at the same time, and try to beat their best race times. Global Events include live competitive games, having a variety of short and lengthy time limits.

The Online Pass in SSX is similar to the one used in THQ’s Homefront (2011). In that game, players could still go online with the shooter, but would only be able to increase to rank five instead of the maximum 75, without having the “Battle Code” pass.

The SSX franchise was popular on the previous generation of consoles, but hasn’t seen a new release in several years. SSX Blur was the last console game in the series, released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii in 2007. The last to offer online play was SSX 3, released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube in October 2003.

The latest SSX will feature real world locations from Alaska, Japan, Antarctica, the Himalayas and several other areas. The game will retail for $59.99.

Watch one of the trailers for SSX:

Image by Electronic Arts

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