Freekstyle is the latest game from EA Big, the creators of the classic SSX and SSX Tricky. Freekstyle has taken the SSX style and antics to the dirt to make an over the top freestyle motor-cross game that delivers a serious challenge.
Freekstyle has definitely been forged from the workings of SSX as you still use the four shoulder buttons in different combinations to pull of you midair acrobatics. To get the maximum air you need to pull back on the analogue stick as you take flight. Then to improve your trick even further you must press the turbo button in mid flight too. As you can imagine this takes quite a bit of finger bending, but eventually you will learn to move you fingers in unnatural ways. Also like SSX when you land these tricks a turbo meter gradually builds so you can use the extra speed at you will. At the same time a "Freekout" meter also builds with each landed trick. Once this meter hits maximum you can perform your rider's signature Freekout trick. If you land this trick you will have a few seconds to perform another one. You will also be rewarded with a turbo for a short time after the trick is landed. If you know the course very well you will be able to keep stringing Freekouts indefinitely.
There are eight real world riders in the game, including Brian Deegan and Mike Metzger, who is the default rider in the game. Each rider is rated in a number of categories and they have four bikes each that can be unlocked, Tony Hawk style. As you complete the circuit mode you will be able to increase you characters attributes and tailor your rider to your particular playing style.
There are six tracks in the circuit mode, which may not sound like a lot, but they are all as wacky as could be imagined. One course features a huge hedge maze and another features a network of rocket launch pads. Unfortunately the courses are sometimes self-defeating. You are encouraged to find new paths and short cuts through the tracks, but sometimes-invisible barriers will prevent you from progressing through some areas that look like they should be accessible. This will cause you to hesitate when considering whether to head off the track, or not. This makes finding shortcuts a bit hit or miss and sometimes an annoying job. Also encouraged is huge air, yet at many points in the tracks there are girders or other objects hanging in the air which will cause you rider to crash if he or she hits them.
There are several elements found in the SSX games that have not made it to Freekstyle which makes the game much easier to play. Riders taunt each other both at the start and during the race, yet the rival system found in SSX Tricky is nowhere to be seen. With the sport and game being of such an aggressive nature there is no way to knock off you opponents, not even by ramming. Freekstyle also offers less tricks than SSX, spins and flips have been removed although the tricks that have made it to the game are very impressive.