Skate 3 Hands-On Impressions

It's time to recruit some friends and build your own skateboard brand. Also, darkslides.

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For the third installment in EA's Skate franchise, the development team at Black Box has shifted its focus toward the team aspects of the sport. If you're anything like us, the first thought that crossed your mind upon hearing this was the idea that skateboarding has always been more of an individual pursuit. And while that may be true for some skaters, it's not the case for everyone--especially the wildly successful ones. As a continuation of the story from Skate and Skate 2, the third game has you at the top of the sport, with nothing left to do but take the recognition you've amassed with your own talents to start a brand that you'll then build a team around.

Let's be clear: You're not exactly playing the role of a cutthroat capitalist who is out to set the world ablaze with the latest mass-produced shoe line. No, Skate hasn't turned into a business management simulator by any means. Rather, you'll be using the custom graphics tool introduced in Skate 2 to create a logo and then go out to recruit some skaters to ride for your company. This works both online and off. Online, you'll play through the entire career in four-player co-op as your team builds its recognition around the city throughout the course of various story challenges. The deeper into the story you get, the more you'll see your logo pop up around the city on T-shirts, skateboard decks, and eventually billboards. Offline, it works just the same--but instead of human friends or people you've recruited through Skate's community tools, you'll be able to craft a squad of AI skaters.

You'll also be able to take the team that you and your friends put together in the Career mode into some more traditional multiplayer modes. A number of new competitive multiplayer modes have been added that pit two squads of four against each other. We played a handful of these, but our favorite was the 1up mode that had the two teams taking turns trying to best each other's scores within a set time limit. The twist, though, is that as soon as one out of the four people bails, his or her team's round is over. More familiar events, such as downhill death races and own the lot, have been tweaked to allow for team-based scoring as well.

Just as Skate 2 introduced a new repertoire of tricks over the original, Skate 3 will offer players an expanded roster of moves. None are quite as hefty as the ability to get off your board and walk up a set of stairs, but there are a number of new tricks that should give fans of old-school skating a nice, big grin. One of these moves is the darkslide, which is basically an upside-down boardslide. Pulling one off is as easy as kick-flipping into a slide and then hitting the right bumper just as your board is halfway through its rotation so that you hold it in place to slide wheels up. Then you use the right stick to flip back out of it at the end and ride off in style.

Fortunately, midair collisions have been disabled in online play.

Another new move is the underflip. In real life, the underflip is a subtle, highly technical trick where skaters do a kickflip or heelflip, but they reverse the rotation halfway through and send the board right back to where it started. In the game, it's done by flicking the analog stick just as you'd normally do for one of these flip tricks (say up and to the right for a kickflip), but you turn that into an underflip by quickly moving the stick in the opposite direction of what you just did while in midair. It's not the most bombastic trick in the game, but it looks slick nonetheless.

A few improvements have been made to your off-board walking abilities as well. For one, your skater's movement on foot looks much, much smoother than the jerky, awkward walking animations in Skate 2. You don't seem to get hung up on the smallest curbs and ledges, either, which is certainly welcome. When you're off the board, you can hit the Y button to automatically set down the tail of your board on the nearest ledge for a quick and easy drop-in move. Like the other moves, this new ability isn't the most revolutionary, but it makes for a fun and potential-filled addition to your existing bag of tricks. For anyone intimidated by all these new moves, Skate 3 will be the first in the series to offer difficulty levels and a more simplified control scheme (which is optional).

Races with two teams of four can get pretty heated.

Some of the other various additions to the series include a skatepark builder that lets you build and share your own customized skate spot. There's also a new community system that makes it easy to keep track of rival teams and recruit new teammates, as well as an expanded Hall of Meat mode. But most exciting of all is the fact that the entire game is set in a brand-new city called Port Carverton rather than a modified version of the original game's setting as we saw in Skate 2. You can expect to see more coverage on Skate 3 leading up to the May 2010 release.

Discussion

109 comments
BudgetMonkey82
BudgetMonkey82

I love the fact that you can run really fast and jump on the board - top speed, minimal effort. I will definitely be getting this game.

famezo12
famezo12

Am I the only one who couldn't get the hang of Skate 1? I really hated it, going from playing Tony Hawk to this was impossible for me for some reason..They should make the Hawk Ride boar compatible, maybe then I wouldn't suck as bad lol..probably would but hey whatever

emails200000000
emails200000000

Have S2, Still playing it since the day it came out, Absolutely getting 3, Maybe best game of 2010.

kanokal
kanokal

i hope you can do an impossible but the new tricks ARE SICK!!!!!

Hinkle94
Hinkle94

i am a huge fan of OG skate and i was disapointed with the "improved" san van they should have made a completely new city and not ruined the old one. skate three looks to be pretty ballin but im not excited about the difficulty levels. no matter what skate will remain my fav series thanks to the awsomeness of the first one

DFen
DFen

played 1 and 2, awesome games, definitely buying skate 3 I know this one would be just as fun or if not even more exciting :)

LITZYS
LITZYS

hey trotromiel i barely noticed the supposed innacuracy of skate 2, it is still a little easier to pull of the harder tricks, and that can u spell girl mission, i tried it so many times that i gave up and cheated, and i experienced the same thing being able ot easily pull off those tricks in skate. but really skate 2's still better ie, more tricks, sweet environment, and good visuals. i just hope skate 3 pulls out even more goods to make it worth the buy, all i really want is the world's biggest ramp/jump thats landable with some skill, then il be happy, but thanks to the new design ur own park feature, it looks like my dream will come true - heres hoping skate 3 will be as much of an improovement as skate 2 was :)

trotromiel
trotromiel

@LITZYS Dude, i played skate 2 first and then skate. In the Can you spell Girl? mission (where you play SKATE with carroll and koston) i spent like 3 days trying to pass that one, because it was impossible to nail tricks that required more effort (like flip varial, or hardflips). But then, i played skate 1, and in the S.K.A.T.E. missions, i've been able to nail hard tricks way easier than in skate 2. I was the same, but a different game. i dont suck at skate 2, but the stick movement recognition is less accurate in the second game. Anyways, the scond one has more tricks and a visual improvement which makes it awesome.

DemonChild5000
DemonChild5000

Holy crap, all these new moves like the Darkslide and a Underflip, that games gonna be sick.

saibotobias
saibotobias

Just what I was hoping for! A drop-in move and actual control while off the board is excactly what Skate 2 lacks. It's like Skate is to Tony Hawk what Saints Row is to GTA.

untzmaster1
untzmaster1

dude a darkside really thats gonna be crazy

PhysicsLCP
PhysicsLCP

Sweet. I can't wait to play this.

RexDarr
RexDarr

This game is going to be soo awesome! I have the first 2 and they both kick major ass. Skate is way better than Tony Hawk, they always know what to add to make the games way better instead of recycling old ideas to make them seem "fresh"

ACAClA
ACAClA

pretty pumped about this

lions_rock_2008
lions_rock_2008

im glad they decided to take a step to the left with graphics on the skate sequels....

fu_q_2
fu_q_2

if they could sort out the on-foot movement then it'd be perfect! trying and failing to hop up on to the smallest ledge made me wanna throw the controller at the tv!

Dasim64
Dasim64

How the hell does getting off the board in S2 make it more like the Tony Hawk games? How does it make it more unrealistic? You telling me you never step off your board in real life while you're out riding so you can get up somewhere to start riding? Being able to get off the board made it more realistic if anything and I thought it was a great addition to the game. I was no longer forced to roll my board through some ridiculous maneuver just to get to the top of a set of stairs.

MasT3quila
MasT3quila

wow i missed Skate 2 completely. Love yearly updates!

Czech895
Czech895

I am excited about this even with MW2 around the corner

LITZYS
LITZYS

i loved skate, and skate 2, i disagree that sakte 2 was worse that skate, i loved the new features, and someone complained about soem tricks being to hard, well uv just got no skill, my thumbs were able to pull every trick off, maybe u just suck. but skate 3 looks even better, the ability to design ur own skate parks and team looks sooooooooooo sick, i will first make a group of metalheads and then make them all jump the world's biggest ramp and land it, racking up 30000 points for one trick, which in skate 2 iv only ever come to within about 6000 points fro one trick, (ie in the stadium) - sKATE 3 should be totally awsome and anyone who says otherwise should get the hell over it and go buy another game - bam!

LITZYS
LITZYS

i loved skate, and skate 2, i disagree that sakte 2 was worse that skate, i loved the new features, and someone complained about soem tricks being to hard, well uv just got no skill, my thumbs were able to pull every trick off, maybe u just suck. but skate 3 looks even better, the ability to design ur own skate parks and team looks sooooooooooo sick, i will first make a group of metalheads and then make them all jump the world's biggest ramp and land it, racking up 30000 points for one trick, which in skate 2 iv only ever come to within about 6000 points fro one trick, (ie in the stadium) - sKATE 3 should be totally awsome and anyone who says otherwise should get the hell over it and go buy another game - bam!

Birdfeed
Birdfeed

I am def not going to hold my breath to see if this one is good. This game needs to change back to how it was in the first installment or it will lose the actual skaters as customers. I feel like they are trying to make it have an arcade feel to it like Tony Hawks games have. The realistic aspect of this game is why the players choose this game over Tony Hawks after all.

Racebannon_
Racebannon_

@ropumar I agree with you 100%. Couldn't have said it better. As a former skater of seven years, I do think Skate really revolutionized the skateboarding game with the first two installments, but it looks like it's about to start getting ridiculous.

Mikethechimp
Mikethechimp

both guys in the video seemed shy or antisocial

Rusty_Bullet101
Rusty_Bullet101

I just hope it feels more realistic. I loved skate. because it just felt like riding a board. Skate 2 created a more Tony Hawk-feel mainly due to getting off the board, which I can't blame on the developers for doing. Hopefully they just refine this aspect and send it back towards skate. and further away from arcadey Tony Hawk games.

Shrapnel99
Shrapnel99

@Jaggermaster I'm guessing you would probably manage to kill yourself if you ever stepped on a skateboard in real life, so maybe you should stay inside and just play Skate.

Jaggermaster
Jaggermaster

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

prenandrew301
prenandrew301

skate 2 was awesome i loved finding awsome spots and just getting ramps to see how much air i could get and how many variants of body flips i could achieve off of them

abarnet0
abarnet0

@IxIWhistIxI Read up on little big planet. you will be pleasantly surprised

namsapalooza
namsapalooza

The first two are superb ways to waste time, which means I probably will pick this one up too. Port Carverton looks a lot cleaner than San Van, y'all think this is what the end result will look like? Looks a little iffy to me without all the grime.

ThisIsntLeonard
ThisIsntLeonard

Looks good, but a bit early. I have a feeling we'll see Skate 6 before Gran Turismo 6.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

For everyone complaining about no need for a Skate 3, or them running into the ground, What the hell? It's not even coming out until Summer 2010, and I'm pretty sure @ least half of you buy Madden every friggin' year. It's a console game, expansion packs don't work for every genre like it can on the PC.

Bonkie101
Bonkie101

I was never really into Skate 2, but I thought the original was a great idea. Tony Hawk's games were getting old (i.e. cliché) and Skate revolutionized the genre in a way no other game of its type had. But Skate 2 was different, and it wasn't a god different. It just didn't have the same feel to it, and it seemed tricks were harder to do, and so you had to keep doing the same few tricks you COULD pull off over and over. This game seems even better, and hopefully they got everything right.

Eastcoast93
Eastcoast93

its coming out next year so I have time to follow it. by then i will have money again and then I'll see if the games worth buying. i have skate. and skate 2

sub7column
sub7column

@IXIWhistlXI: isn't it kind of ironic that Goldeneye was rumored to have an XBLA remake and that Perfect Dark Zero also came out on the 360...also, I'm pretty sure most sequels don't have duel-wielding. Off the top of my head, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, Call of Duty 2 (duh). The only sequel I can think of with duel-wielding is Halo 2.

Dark5tar1
Dark5tar1

Come on EA! I was just getting more into Skate 2 now why are you trying to run the series into the ground? 2 Skates were enough this is starting to get pathetic.

spyroiskool
spyroiskool

Now we have a downward slope on the series. Thanks EA. Way to be jerks.

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Hey guys let's make a sequel to everything that sold enough to make a profit and run it into the ground! Seriously, remember when games DIDN'T always have sequels on the same generation of systems? When widely popular games just got variations of the game play made? Like goldeneye and perfect dark? IF goldeneye were made today and was as popular a it was, there would no doubt be a goldeneye 2 and 3 on the way with nothing new to offer but duel wielding (like all fps games, they leave out duel wielding until game 2 for a selling point of the second one) Life was good when not EVERYTHING needed a sequel. Games like this do not deserve a sequel, there's not enough that can be done with them. New consoles and a new version of skate? Okay I'm fine with that, but same console new version of skate that just has slightly updated features? Give me a break.

Slyvesta
Slyvesta

looks pretty cool the grafix dont look great

blakeney
blakeney

@ ropumar Some people, it seems most, acually like it when a dev team know when they have hit the spot and keep on giving us more of the same but newer!! I liked the thps series till it went stupid, thats what happens when they try and make it different each time....it gets stupid....becuase in acual fact we liked it how it was! so why would they change it? You sound like the press saying "Skate 2 with a new cover and full price tag" if anyone acually listened to you like they do the press, they would have a very warped view on it! Its exactly the same controls, with a few new tricks and modes, in a whole new city! Now going back to what i said about people wanting more of the same but newer.......kinda sums up what it is?? If you prefur unrealistic gameplay, seriously over the top and not do-able (in the real world)tricks, a single button press to do grinds just like in real life, then just say it and we will except you for who you are!! common dont be shy lol

pallex85
pallex85

It's basically Skate 2 with a new city and a few more tricks. A new city is still enough to make me get it though.

ropumar
ropumar

Skate 2 with a new cover and full price tag. And you guys antagonizing Activision and Tony hawk ride? I can understand some have no interest in balancing on a board but at least they are trying to do something new and not simply yearly iterations like they were doing before and now Skate does.

guitardude1243
guitardude1243

I miss the old Tony Hawk original days, but this looks good considering Activision has destroyed the Tony Hawk franchise.

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

thank god there is a skating game that has no activison label

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

never gunna touch a tony hawks game again, skate is just 100 times better, even if the controls were exactly the same as skate 2 the new city and new set of challenges would be worth it