Shaun White Skateboarding Hands-On

We get a feel for the skating controls in Ubisoft's latest Shaun White title and take a peek at how it looks in 3D.

Shaun White Skateboarding is Ubisoft's upcoming spiritual successor to its similarly titled snowboarding game from 2008. The move from winter sports signals the departure of obvious things like snow, heavy jackets, and the all-consuming fear of being chased down by a Yeti. But Ubisoft hasn't settled on merely swapping in skateboards and calling it a day. In an effort to distinguish itself from other games in the skating genre--both stylistically and story-wise--Ubisoft has created a backdrop where the player has to bring life back to a dismal world run by an Orwellian government ministry sapping all the fun from day-to-day life. After having our first glimpse at how this concept looks back in May, Ubisoft recently invited us to get our first hands-on with the game and get a quick taste of how it plays in 3D.

Shaun White Skateboarding spans a roughly 15-hour story that begins in a gray, colorless city. Without going into too much detail on the plot itself--it seems like the game will do plenty of that for you--your job is to inspire the city's denizens through the power of skateboarding. Doing tricks on objects will cause the immediate area around you to become infused with color, while people can also be transformed from blue sad sacks into vibrant, smiling faces. There's a system in place that measures how well you're doing in the form of a level-based meter at the bottom of the screen. Skate well with style and you'll move up the levels, but tumble or simply repeat the same moves over and over and you'll drop back down to nothing. The takeaway? Certain areas can only be colored when you're at a high level, and in order to get to those higher momentum levels you have to pull off a string of original moves. Simply spamming the same awesome boardslide won't cut it.

The basic control scheme takes its cues from the recent trend of mapping board controls to the right analog stick. If you've played Skate, you'll have a good idea of how simple ollies, kick flips, and other flip tricks work. Simply pull back, and push or sweep the right stick in a given direction to do the move of your choice. Grinds don't require any special button presses, and you can get off the board at any time with the triangle button (we played the PlayStation 3 version, but the game is also coming out on Xbox 360). Where the game seems to tread new ground is with the inclusion of a fool-proof auto-trick button for beginners. Simply tap the X button and you'll pull off a move in tune with your current momentum level. If you're at the bottom, you'll do a plain old ollie, but if you've worked your way up to a second or third momentum level, you'll likely do something more along the lines of a 360 flip. Think of it as a random trick button with some logic behind the randomness. There's also a neat system that lets you jump on special handrails and guide them into free space, which comes in handy for reaching far-off hidden ledges.

After skating around the city for a bit and meeting some of the faces who guide you through the story, we had a chance to see a little bit of Shaun White Skateboarding in 3D. Ubisoft has been one of the bigger proponents of video games in the third dimension for a while now, including last year's Avatar: The Game. In Shaun White, the 3D doesn't really pop out at you until you're up in the air. Simply following your character along as he kickflips onto handrails and manuals on a park bench looks pretty subdued, but when you hit a ramp and fling yourself into the air the camera switches to a birds-eye view and really makes it look like you're exploding from the ground. Overall, it's a neat effect, but like most things 3D, is probably only worth the additional investment if you can really afford it.

Shaun White Skateboarding is slated for release later this year on multiple consoles. For a look at the Wii version, which is quite a bit different, check out our preview from last week.

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57 comments
UK5T0N3
UK5T0N3

Shaun White Snowboarding was terrible and I never imagined that this was an actual franchise. Skating games don't appeal to me in general but this looks like the worst since Tony Hawk Downhill Jam (or whatever it was called).

rodluke
rodluke

This game looks TERRIBLE. I love skate games and got them all (Skate 2 and 3 being the best) but this Shaun White Skating is something I will definitely not be picking up. Whoever is responsible for releasing this game should be sacked.

ParaBellum71
ParaBellum71

Looks disgustingly bad, even graphicly. About as generic as Shaun White's snowboarder personality and the British accent I forced myself to listen to. I'm going to laugh at the sales numbers of this game and think of how many U.K. developers got stiffed on their percent of sales from this junk. Then I hope they get black listed from the gaming industry for working on this junk.

sh4rkAttak
sh4rkAttak

Who the hell wants to float around a level on a rainbow rail?

jacobhazard1704
jacobhazard1704

@Shaun White: we learned our lesson with SW:Snowboarding. But seriously, anyone else notice the resounding display of negativity towards this game?

Ardiendo_1
Ardiendo_1

Shaun White the snowboarder? Also the concept behind this game sounds like a complete rip off of Jet Set Radio. Do not approve.

Snavles
Snavles

Looks ok, in no way does it look bad! Using the skate controls is also a good thing.

Tommz7070
Tommz7070

The game will choose a trick? Thats freakin' ghetto. This games for a dumb little effin s***!

Tommz7070
Tommz7070

Look Shaun White's now trying to do a wanna be skate game. It looks terrible. Skate 3 the best. This effin sucks. Shaun's a douche.

kankerhoer
kankerhoer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

banuroll
banuroll

Skate Rocks but Shaun Suck s.

mooooo99
mooooo99

doesnt look like my type of game.. cant really see it topping the skate series either.

EA_LOVER
EA_LOVER

its look awesome for PC gamers because they don't have any skate games on PC

XBlade1X
XBlade1X

For what it is and what it aims to do, it doesn't look that bad, but it doesn't look like a game that I'd personally enjoy playing. I want more of a simulator, like Skate, but with the euphoria engine. Something polished and focused on realism.

FusionRain
FusionRain

Nah I'm good, I may GameFly it though...

lordliubei
lordliubei

What was with that horrible music playing throughout the interview? It was kind of distracting. Also, this game doesn't look like it's going to be nearly as good as Skate. Why is it getting so much attention?

Skargamer
Skargamer

@famguyfan2685 Well actually, if the grinding mechanic is anything like Skate, then you should lose momentum after a while depending on how fast you're going. I'm more worried about the gameplay as a whole. I wonder if this game is just gonna be a Skate rip-off (because of the distinct right analog trick controls) or just gonna be one of those games that may sound like it sucks, but will be awesome....and I think it's probably the first.

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

sounds like a skate rip off with a bad gimmick. (story thing with color.) didnt play the snowboarding one though, so i have no idea of what kind of expectations to have. ill pass though.

FraserFlave
FraserFlave

the preview made me feel sick. in the bad way.

famguyfan2685
famguyfan2685

i agree. this looks like it will just be a flat-out bad game. it looks like it snaps you onto rails, and i don't like that you don't have to do anything at all to stay balanced as your grinding like a hundred yards through the air over streets and such. just not my cup of tea i guess...

wiiboy37
wiiboy37

i can't believe everyones bagging this game, i mean c'mon guys give it a chance, it might be better than you thought

jurassiraptor
jurassiraptor

The instant the controls were compared to Skate, I stopped reading. Worst controls and most awkward camera of any game. Give me Tony Hawk any day.

someGAMEcream
someGAMEcream

sounds like this would be sweet baked, but other than that lame.

jmcmanj
jmcmanj

the game will choose a trick for you??? F***. What the H***! this game is S***! (oh god, im slowly turning into Hutch)

Prime99
Prime99

Skate Rip-Off. Enough said..

GagyiLaszlo
GagyiLaszlo

Shaping and transformation??!? It's not about skateboarding anymore

Dan21278
Dan21278

@ THA-TODD-BEAST At least the Tony Hawk games didn't have sidewalks that spontaneously morph in to long grinds lol. Sorry if my comment was too "ridiculous" for you

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

@Dan21278 Wow, what a ridiculous comment. Tony Hawk's skateboarding games, the most popular and fun ever created, were never REMOTELY realistic.

2point5RSman
2point5RSman

probably garbage like the snowboarding game was... that game was HORRIBLE! Shaun White has a face only a mother could love. I hope he reads this. Douche.

nick_blaze_420
nick_blaze_420

look super super super........................................... craptacular

CreedHun
CreedHun

Shaun white is getting greedy

Dan21278
Dan21278

An unrealistic approach to a very realistic sport...I'll stick to SKATE. Stick to snowboarding Shaun.

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

no thanks this game looked lame at e3 and i doubt many people will buy this besides fans. if i wanted to play a skateboarding game then i'd play the skate series. especially since it has online along with cameos of famous skaters

gamekingpin
gamekingpin

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

volcomstoner180
volcomstoner180

meh ill stick to skate...this is a kiddy version of it it seems plus sw snowboarding was so bad...i know because i bought it from a bargain bin...and still felt ripped off

Witchsight
Witchsight

Mile long ginds are back i see....

SPARTAN-119-mc
SPARTAN-119-mc

i didn't know this douche even skates wow this game is going to SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow this game looks like a fruity version of the SKATE games what the hells with the light up rails and ramps.

vunkster
vunkster

"lame" "lame" "lame" "lame" Wtf is wrong with you people? This could be good, not great, but good.

Pr0ving4Gr0undz
Pr0ving4Gr0undz

looks good 4 now im not gonna judge so quick like others

Sofa-KingRadica
Sofa-KingRadica

I'm going to assume that this game will suck as much as his snowboarding game did.