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Skate 3
Skate 3 Hands On Preview - With Friends Like These...
Written Sunday, November 15, 2009 By Richard Walker
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We max the envelope, push to the extreme and so on…

Grazed knees, broken bones, smashed-in teeth and the risk of testicle trauma are just some of the reasons that we’ve chosen to stay off a skateboard. That, and a complete and utter lack of skill.

Digital skateboarding on the other hand is fine. There’s no risk of injury other than perhaps a slight thumb strain, and you can still pull off all the gnarly skate moves you want. Although, chances are the ladies might not be so impressed by your button-pressing prowess, as they almost certainly would be by the real thing.

Black Box’s Skate series began in 2007, bringing with it a revolutionary new control system and dynamic camera that made the dominant Tony Hawk’s games seem remarkably unsophisticated by comparison. And while Skate’s inspired analogue stick flickery all seems so simple now, it took us a long time to grow accustomed to solely using the sticks and shoulder buttons, breaking the old habits that we’d developed from the Tony Hawk’s series.

 
Playing Skate feels completely second nature, which is why the dev team appear to have left the controls largely intact for the upcoming threequel, Skate 3. The big innovation EA Black Box are touting for this year’s iteration is team play with the overarching mantra being, “Team Up. Throw down.” Skateboarding in reality is a social pastime, which until now hasn’t really been conveyed in a videogame before, so Skate 3’s new focus on multiplayer skating makes absolute sense.

Having moved away from the resolutely anti-skate city of Skate 2’s San Vanelona, where the authorities were constantly on your tail for being a naughty, anarchic skater type, the sequel’s Port Carverton is a sparkling, skater’s paradise – the very antithesis of San Vanelona’s crazed law enforcement. Skate 3’s vibrant city welcomes you with open arms.

This new accessibility is not only a device to enable new players to feel comfortable in Skate 3’s world, but it also makes perfect sense from a narrative perspective. Having left the grey, buttoned-down oppression of San Vanelona, your character has reached the status of skate legend, making your arrival in sunny Port Carverton the perfect opportunity to expand your brand and reinforce your burgeoning fame across the city. As you develop your name and become more recognised, the city changes to reflect your growing status, transforming advertising billboards to display your logo and associated product making you and your label increasingly ubiquitous.
 

At EA’s November Showcase, we got some hands-on time with a few of Skate 3’s competitive 3v3 team play modes, and not only will you be able to face off against rival crews in the finished game, you can also enjoy playing with friends in co-op. Playing as Team Hesh, we faced off against Team Fresh in a Skate 3 battle royale!

Starting with Death Race – a manic downhill rush from a vertiginous summit upon high, all the way down precarious cliff-edge pathways (hopefully) to the finish line at ground level – we’re thrown straight into what proves to be a heated battle for first place, with players falling off their boards, plummeting to their deaths and getting knocked to the ground in a heap. It’s pretty frantic stuff, but somehow we manage to scrape fourth place on our first go. Second attempt? First place, thanks for asking.

Changing game mode is a simple case of retiring to the hub, where you can skate around, pop tricks and practice until you’re all ready to play again. Next up was Domination, a frenetic battle to tag the most designated scenery objects with the highest score combo before the allotted two-minute time limit elapses.

After an early lead, tagging almost every ramp, kerb, grind rail and box in sight, our collective scores prove too feeble and are quickly bested, meaning most of our tagged objects are snatched away by the opposition. We valiantly fight back, clawing back pieces here and there to even the score and as the dying seconds tick away, it seems we’re set at a deadlock. That is until one player on the opposing team pulls off an impressive combo, stealing away a hotly contested ramp at the very last second, losing us the match.

As fun as these last two modes undoubtedly are, the last we play – and our personal favourite – is 1-Up; a score attack challenge that sees teams take 20-second turns to simultaneously set a high score for the opposing team to beat. The pressure’s really on though, because if any member of your team should bail at any time, you lose your turn and score zero.

To begin with, everyone takes an overly cautious approach, pulling off safe kickflips and other unambitious tricks to avoid falling off. But as the scores rise and the stakes grow ever higher, taking risks becomes an essential factor in accumulating better scores. Soon, players are bailing out left, right and centre, tripping over attempted grinds, flying through the air and scraping their chins across the concrete. It’s frenetic fun that has us all shouting at the screens and wildly gesticulating, which bodes incredibly well for Skate 3’s multiplayer.

With various other multiplayer modes promised, Skate 3 is looking like it’ll successfully build upon its superb predecessor as well as attracting new players with its more accessible nature. A new skate school will help novices become acquainted with the stick-swivelling intricacies of Skate, while veteran players will already be well versed in using the series’ unique control system, which is one facet of Skate that happily remains unchanged.

Skate 3’s new focus upon online community is exciting, with the sharing and downloading of user-created content – presumably designed to include the enhanced video editor - forming an integral component of the overall experience. More importantly though, is Black Box’s dedication to ensuring Skate’s sublime core gameplay remains untouched, and despite our hands-on time being all too brief, we came away with the very distinct sense that Skate 3 will be every bit as accomplished as the first two Skate games, if not more so.

Skate 3 is slated for a May 2010 release.




 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 1685
Comment #1 by narcolepticshee
Sunday, November 15, 2009 @ 10:31:44 PM
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I love the skate series, but those multiplayer modes sound absolutely gash.

Just gonna breeze the single player and free-skate online I think!

Please don't ruin this one EA...

Peace


Forum Posts: 13
Comment #2 by Do It Switch
Sunday, November 15, 2009 @ 11:01:50 PM
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SKATE 3! Cant Wait.

But im kinda losin faith in them. New modes seen stupid and it seems every time they want to add something new they just take a page from Tony Hawk's series.

Whatever, we'll see when it gets here, ill be getting it on release day :D


Forum Posts: 462
Comment #3 by L1E
Sunday, November 15, 2009 @ 11:48:58 PM
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Better be good! Or else!


Forum Posts: 199
Comment #4 by Night45Fox
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 12:36:46 AM
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lol haven't even played the first.


Forum Posts: 2418
Comment #5 by Andreas_loel
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 01:03:17 AM
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I just hope they havent zoned in everything for free roam like the did in skate 2, its fucking bullshit to be locked to 1 location at a time.

If Gta 4 can host 16 players being everywhere over their city, the fucking skate developers should try to make the same thing possible in skate.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #6 by FlimFlam
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 02:40:37 AM
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Wow, comments so far have a kinda negative tinge to them... Guys, this is only the 3rd Skate game! Skate 1 set the template but had flaws. Skate 2 ironed most of them out, and also gave us the most playable skating game ever (and that's coming from a hardcore, old school Hawks fan). Skate 3... Loads of cool co-op modes and a new, vibrant, non-policed city? How is that possibly a bad start?

Anyone who used to play Tony Hawks religeously will know that Hawks 3 was one of the best in the series. It was established enough to have the core mechanics perfected, but fresh enough as an IP to still have room for improvement without resorting to stupid gimmicks.

Skate 3 will be the best yet, and thus by default the best Skate game ever. Have Black Box let us down yet?


Forum Posts: 1738
Comment #7 by JJBDude
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 02:47:13 AM
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#5 Does have a very good point that I haven't thought about. It did twig in my mind that 3 v 3 wasn't exactly very big (6 people) but now when I compare it to (as given already as an example) GTA and 16 players it does feel like Black Box could have pushed for at least 8+ people.

Still, the franchise have won back to back game of the year in my books so Skate 3 shall hopefully take the crown in 2010!


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #8 by asilentboom
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 03:19:14 AM
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Nice, I hope they keep the Hall-o-meat MP mode.


Forum Posts: 1685
Comment #9 by narcolepticshee
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 05:29:02 AM
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The thing that makes me think it will be bad, is it you watch the trailer that x360a posted ;ast week, you see the skaters grinding a JCB digger type vehicle.

Grinding... a DIGGER?!?!

If it's goes Tony Hawks on my ass I'm gonna be so dissapointed :(

Peace


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #10 by bkbobblehead
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 07:19:30 AM
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woop woop more skate, to be honest though i liked the first one better than the second.


Forum Posts: 4511
Comment #11 by antnie
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 08:46:30 AM
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The game keep looking more like Tony Hawk after every game. I still love skate though.


Forum Posts: 26
Comment #12 by Barry619
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 09:18:36 AM
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While this all sounds good to me, please EA don't forget about a great single player game!

I think a lot of companies are looking at something like COD and seeing how popular the only is, but thats only because it's so damn perfect! 99% of online modes are and will not be, with games like Skate, Bioshock and others, it just worries me (and a lot of others) that they will ruin a great single player experience.



Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by JamesG420
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 12:00:50 PM
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Hope they make the off board controls better. Skate 2 was good but playing S.K.A.T.E. against Carol and Koston..... bullshit!


Forum Posts: 175
Comment #14 by Yourburntstar
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 02:37:14 PM
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i think the skate franchise is very innovative in to a new way to play skate games. and it totally changed them forever. they dont even have any compitition anymore because its so good, so i cant doubt that the 3rd game will be even more amazing then the first 2 games.

i really enjoyed the skate series so far so i'm down for this one. i cant wait


Forum Posts: 3
Comment #15 by yourmanmilk
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 03:19:20 PM
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yer baby more skate and now in teams sweet


Forum Posts: 207
Comment #16 by The Fonz
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 04:05:24 PM
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I played tony Hawk like crazy growing up but playing skate won me over when i didnt have to play such game that was so much like an arcade game. Skate 2 added depth and a nicer story. Skate 1 and 2 were amazing and to the people who dont like the new gametypes then u must be preety boring players. I think it sounds fun to battle with other friends qand have these cool groups. Ever since i saw the loading screen tip in skate 2 where it says ride with your group, i wanted to create a group and noow i can. Team logo, decks and swagger. Dont hate if u dont think ur good enough to play the new modes.


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #17 by BioJoe
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 05:04:42 PM
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This is stupid. They could of made this all in a DLC. But there just trowing games out like there going out of fashion. I love skate 2. But they really need to work on alot of things. For example the high that you get is way to big, and whenever you do get some fat hight it seems like the hang time is way too long also. Fix these things then maybe make a new one?


Forum Posts: 3
Comment #18 by LuisGa
Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 08:26:40 PM
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hahah nice !


Forum Posts: 71
Comment #19 by Bum of Norway
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 @ 03:14:40 AM
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cant wait to explore the Skate 3 content =D cya on Live May 2010 =P


Forum Posts: 29
Comment #20 by Matcayn
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 @ 09:50:08 AM
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Does (almost) every game that EA make have to has sequels every year (two)?


Forum Posts: 56
Comment #21 by Unalive3
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 @ 01:08:36 PM
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@20 no thats Activision ;)


Forum Posts: 189
Comment #22 by tsydrown
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 @ 04:39:24 PM
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Skate redefined skating games. #2 took it to the next level, and although I don't agree with yearly releases (not even for FIFA or Pro Evo. EA/Konami, try a patch! Please!) Skate has everything going for it. Tony Hawk's has not been pushed to the side, it's been shot into orbit. Unless RIDE really does change the skate genre like the first THPS & Skate did then I really cannot see EA being caught. The teamplay idea is interesting, but it's Skate, simple as that, so i'll certainly be getting this!


Forum Posts: 97
Comment #23 by Hitchcock
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 @ 10:20:22 AM
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skate is the shit. Looking forward to a 3rd...


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #24 by adog59
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @ 10:26:06 AM
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All the other games were good but they should have included getting off the board in the first one


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Game Info
Developer:
EA Black Box
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Genre:

Release:

US May 11, 2010
Europe May 14, 2010

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