|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Black Box||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 11, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2 (6 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Certainly the single-player side of Skate 3 is great, but the game really comes into its own when you head online. Skate 3 offers the most robust online features of any skating game ever. Whether starting a team of your own or joining an existing one, Skate 3 players are able to compete against others and cooperatively best online challenges. The online options include ranked and unranked as well as Team and Career modes.
Joining a team online is much like joining a guild or clan in an RPG or shooter title. Being part of this team will give you access to all the team's content as well as allow you to create and upload content of your own to help represent the team. Joining up with team members will not only net you additional board sales, but it essentially opens up a whole other set of gameplay challenges, doubling the content and boosting the play value through the roof. For those that aren't so interested in joining a team or establishing a persistent online presence, just being able to call on a buddy to skate with you and complete challenges cooperatively is a worthy feature in its own right.
Presentation in Skate 3 is quite good. I already discussed the diverse and beautiful environments, but the skaters also look great and the move animations are typically very smooth. I especially liked the game's opening, live-action cinematic - it's hilarious and nicely sets the tone for the rest of the game. In terms of sounds, the collection of pro skaters and actors in Skate 3 do a remarkable job of voicing the characters, and the music selection is truly top-notch - being able to replay and skip through tracks on-demand via the D-pad is a great feature.
It's true that Skate 3 pretty much has it all. However, new players to the Skate franchise should know that the right analog stick governs nearly all tricks, with subtle tweaks coming into play from the face-buttons. This makes for a decidedly steep learning curve, especially if you cut your teeth on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series back in the 90s. Unlike Tony Hawk games, Skate is more or less realistic. As such, keeping momentum (speed), linking tricks, and finding the best lines is often quite a task. While this several hour trial by fire may turn many people off, if you stick with the controls, you'll eventually get it and be richly rewarded with awesome gameplay. Overall, I'd say Skate 3's controls are both its greatest asset and worst feature; the realistic feel makes the game sublime, but you'll have to work hard to even get competent.
Skate 3 does suffer somewhat from familiarity (the gaming community is just about skating-gamed out) and it isn't pick-up-and-play easy, but this certainly is an excellent entry in the genre that rewards technical ability, presents a beautiful open-world to romp around in, foments a true community experience like no other title, and even gives players a creative outlet. Overall, this is a great game that deserves to be in your collection, assuming you're in the market for a virtual skater.
CCC Editor / News Director