|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: Sep. 24, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-6||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
January 25, 2007 - In early 2007, gamers into the extreme sports will have a choice between skateboarding games as EA releases Skate, a simulation that promises to offer something a little different from the skate games we're used to.
While the Tony Hawk series has created a phenomenon with his skate games, they have progressively become more of an arcade over the years, allowing the boarders do some insane tricks and combinations no one could ever do in real life. And while it has also spawned a number of rip offs, developers at EA promise this to be better than your typical rehash.
Skate is focused on bringing a more realistic approach to skateboarding. Perhaps you've seen a trailer for Skate with pros Jerry Hsu, Chris Cole, or PJ Ladd talking about their passion for skating and the feeling they get while riding. Developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver (they know their skating out there, by the way), developers claim they have captured the true feel of skateboarding with Skate with physics-driven animations, fully reactive city skate levels, and a new form of control that better mimics a real-life skate trick.
Skate will concentrate more on executing the perfect trick, rather than simply dragging out combos for as long as you can to rack up points. EA has done away with the wild and chaotic button-mashery that can occur in Activision's Tony Hawk series. In a way to distinguish itself as something totally different from Tony, EA is introducing what they call "Flickit," a style of flicking the right and left analogs to execute tricks. Basically, the skater's legs mimic what you're doing with the analog sticks, and every trick varies depending on how far and how quickly you tweak the analogs. According to EA, no two tricks can really be alike.
Executive producer Scott Blackwood of EA Black Box said in a press release, "Our game offers a skate mecca for both skaters and gamers in search of the definitive authentic skating video game experience. We're focused on capturing the actual feeling of skating with the innovative control system, the physics driven animations, and the intelligent cameras working together to really deliver the closest thing to being on a board."
EA says Skate will take full advantage of the PS3's 1080p high-definition capabilities, and new photos released by EA look pretty impressive. Skate will feature over 14 professional skaters, a player customization mode, and reactive cityscapes not unlike the Tony Hawk series, but it will leave out the unrelated storylines and focus more on the sport of skating. And with mixed reviews on Tony Hawk's PS3 debut Project 8, it looks as though Activision could be getting some competition.
CCC Freelance Writer