When EA first put out the original Skate it literally was a revolution within the extreme sport fans who seemed to just leap away from what was an industry standard in Tony Hawk to this new uncharted territory. The original Skate and even the following title in Skate 2 managed to get the raw fundamentals of skateboarding down in a way that Tony Hawk never managed to. So does EA continue to have the best ride in town in Skate 3 or is it wearing out its welcome? Read our full review to find out!
One of the big problems for the Tony Hawk franchise was it became saturated. Year after year they released title after title with new ideas but it seemed like the genre just became stale. Before that happened however that point came after Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 the third game in that series. Now EA is facing its third title in its own skateboarding game but does it manage to stay away from becoming a stale experience?
Mechanically speaking Skate 3 handles a lot like Skate 2 and that is not a bad thing at all. Those familiar with that game or even the original will be able to pick up this game with relative ease. What has always impressed me about this series and continues to in this game is the fact that it manages to play a fair game, meaning if you miss a trick its because of something you did and not an anomaly in the environment. The controls continue to be a key success for the series and mange to be a real staple in what makes these games so enjoyable.
The single player portion of the game is setup differently then in the past. Instead of rags to riches story like in the original two titles this time you’re already an established skater who now wants to put together his team and make money. The game is all about progressing and to do so you’ll need to compete and complete challenges. The setup is still quite familiar although there is a far better variety in terms of the actual tasks to progress the game.
The biggest issue with the single player is not the mechanics but instead the city of Port Carverton. The idea behind the new town is great, it is literally designed with a skateboarder in mind, but at the same time it feels quite cramped and often times a bit to “skateboarder friendly”. It is not a huge deterrent from the experience but it is one that kind of makes the game in some ways a back pedal from previous Skate titles. However if you don’t like the town the game does have a solid create a park mode which offers up plenty of tools to create a park of your own.
Where Skate 3 separates itself from past Skate titles is in the online functionality which now allows you to skate with friends for a common goal. There is a lot to the online play and from my experience online the experience is pretty good. Obviously a lot depends on who you play with online but for the most part if you get with a good group the experience is outstanding. From my experiences the net code was solid and lag was not really a major factor in the experience.
Skate 3 is a step forward from Skate 2 in the visual department but not a huge step forward. There are still some weird frame rate issues that spike up at weird places throughout the game but aren’t major detractors from the experience. The new town being that it does feel small it’s still is packed with a good amount of detail. All in all this is still Skate and it looks like you would expect.
It is not surprising at all that the series has remained on top of the genre since its inception a few years ago. However even with Skate 3 I am starting to wonder where the series goes from here. The steps forward in Skate 3 were no where near as big as those from the original to Skate 2. Skate 3 seems to be more a change of focus for the series from offline to online play and an expansion of the creation tools. That is not a bad thing as the game continues to provide fun and accurate skateboarding experience.
This is not a huge leap forward for the series but at the same time I don’t think it had to be. There are some gripes I have with the size of the new environment but when it comes down to it there is no question in my mind that this is the best skateboarding experience available right now.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.