Skate Review. A Powerful Franchise in the Making
Skate gives you the power of skateboarding physics in your hands, with an intuitive and fluid analog control system that gives you the ability to make your character do exciting things.
What I like most about the graphics is the huge expanse of the city. You can spend hours getting lost in the different sections which are also quite detailed. The characters are quite realistic, and the environment is perfectly modeled. Viewing your player from the rear might occasionally cause problems with pulling moves. However, I did experience framerate dips on occasion which did affect my movement.
Activision’s Tony Hawk series might have overshadowed skate, and for a long time, there wasn’t an alternative. However, Skate seems to be pulling its weight with this release, offering a highly physics-based game based on a ‘flick’ system that gives you great control over your player movement. You will enjoy the scenes from San Vanelona, from its old town which is slightly more rickety but has less traffic, to the glamor of the financial district with its numerous stairs, railings and other constructs for you to perform your tricks on.
Skate offers a career mode which begins with you getting knocked down by a bus and coming back from that incident to go on winning events and getting noticed. There are different tasks to be performed such as landing specific tricks, completing timed challenges and grinding through the city to add to your personal skill set. Multiplayer events are also possible in the game, such as Jam, which packs players in competition in certain sections of the city.
Most of your actions on Skate are with analog sticks. Flipping up and down on the right analog stick pads down your leg and swings the board forward while the left stick controls your skater’s actions. Triggers let you do grabs while pressing the brake button puts both feet on the skateboard and enables you to do mid-air tricks. I’d describe the control system, especially the flicking mechanism, as hard to learn initially, gradually getting more intuitive with more play time.
Replay Value: 4.0
The city is greatly expanded in this game, divided into four major sections such as the Suburbs, Downtown, the Financial District and Old Town, giving you a lot of environments to skate in. The career mode doesn’t have the best storyline but offers decent gameplay. Multiplayer mode also provides a few challenges which are okay. There are only personal skill points on this game, so you’ll be disappointed if you were expecting some upgrades from repetitive playing. A majority of the physics output is okay, though sometimes moves go awry.
Skate has all the makings of an excellent video game, although more could be done to improve the actual player experience. The physics engine is realistic, and you’ll feel like you have total control over your player. Visually, the game carries a great appeal, and it gives you a thrill of a real player running down the fictional city. The game offers a unique perspective of the street skateboarder, and even without a riveting storyline, you’ll be endeared to the character.
- Revolutionary physics.
- Excellently modeled environment.
- Great soundtrack.
- Allows you to capture your skating footage and share it with the Skate online community.
- Tough learning curve.
- Latency issues with the online multiplayer mode.
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