Review by Tony DaSilva
EA has come back to the table with "Skate 3," a new take on the series with more online capabilities, but with "Skate 2" still sitting in most game libraries, does the new title warrant another $60 game purchase?
"Skate 3," developed by EA's Black Box studio, highlights team-based gameplay in offline and online cooperative modes. A different philosophy has been brought into "Skate 3" that differs from its predecessor. Port Carverton, the new fictional home to the franchise, embraces skating. Heck, even the security guards are joining in on the sessions.
Players are also able to compete against one another in various competitions including three new ones: 1-Up, Domination, and Own the Lot. The game also features a new Skate School training mode, a skatepark level editor, as well as updated tricks and combos.
What has made the "Skate" franchise stand out is back again and even better. "Skate 3" lets the player use any and just about every trick imaginable in skateboarding to create lines, trick combinations, and even slams. With the amount of options at your fingertips, a majority of time can be lost in playing with the unique tricks on just as unique obstacles. And that's a good thing.
The Open World
It's huge! Ever wander the wastelands of "Fallout 3" or the infinite city in "inFamous" wishing you could session some of that landscape? "Skate 3" has brought a bit of that to life. After playing over 10 hours, I was will still finding new spots that I hadn't skated before. Fast travel is available, but with so much awesome terrain ahead of you, you'd rather just skate to the next challenge.
Creating your own teams for ranked or unranked match play, generating distinctive logos, or free skating with friends, are just some of the possibilities being offered online this time around. Anything you can do offline can be done online, including all of the career mode challenges. These new and improved modes extend the game's lifespan even after career mode has been shredded.
Lengthy Career Mode
Not only is the open world huge, the amount of challenges, photo ops, and team based promos (to name just a few) are extensive. The options for challenges in career mode are different enough to not feel repetitive. This is in part due to how gigantic the scope of the terrain is. Though some challenges do feel similar, the spots will always be new, keeping the longevity of the career mode fresh.
Not Much of a Story
Though Career mode is lengthy, it lacks in the story department. The main objective is to increase your cash flow in order to sell boards, furthering your career as a pro skateboarder. But there's not much more to it than that. Meeting and skating with real pros are a highlight, but this doesn't bring enough substance to the games story as a whole.
Too Many Civilians
One of the most maddening parts of "Skate 3" doesn't come in retrying tricks a dozen times, but instead with the people that are consistently in the way. This is one of the most bothersome problems for skateboarders in cities and for EA to place so much of it into the core gameplay is downright frustrating. Many challenges must be replayed as someone is blatantly standing directly in front of the obstacle being skated. Bumping into them doesn't help either, as they'll be laying on the ground for the next few tries.
Many franchises have similarities to their previous installments and "Skate 3" is no different. Fortunately, this isn't a problem for "Skate 3." EA has not only brought an upgraded version to the table, but has re mastered the online play completely, making it an entirely new experience. With a lengthy career, huge open world, and endless trick possibilities, the lifespan of "Skate 3" has been extended indefinitely.