Next to the Rockstar booth, the EA Skate 3 booth was the most popular booth at PAX East. On top of putting the game in the hands of fans, they also gave away some great swag in the form of custom Skate 3 skateboard decks.
The game itself is a continuation of the previous titles. In the first game, you’re a young skateboarder on the rise. In the second, you’re a pro looking to take over the sport. In Skate 3, you’re already a legend and you start your own company to grow your impact on the sport. With the ostensible goal of selling a million skateboards, you groom a team of pros to follow in your footsteps.
What I found to be truly interesting additions to the series is the seamlessness between online and offline play. You develop your team offline to grow your company, which sells more skateboards as the team accomplishes things. When you play online with a team of friends, you also accomplish things. Just like the offline accomplishments sell skateboards for your company, so do your online accomplishments.
Aside from team accomplishments you can also create skate parks, design board graphics, and multiple other types of custom content that will allow you grow your company and sell more boards.
The controls are what you’d expect from the Skate franchise, quick and easy to pick up. I played only a couple minutes of the game and yet I was kicking out some fairly complex tricks pretty quickly.
There is also a new tutorial voiced and modeled after actor Jason Lee who is also a professional skateboarder. This was designed to help the new skater get into the mix quickly without having to dumb down the trick difficulty for beginners.
Finally, the mode used to give away the skateboards was the enhanced Thrasher Magazine Hall of Meat. This is the mode where the user intentionally bails in an attempt to amass as many posts as possible. There are specific areas of game levels in Skate 3 used to really rack up big points. In the previous games, players had to skate to the areas where they could best rack up Hall of Meat points. Now, the game lets you start in those better scoring areas. (I earned my free board on Friday with a score around the 80,000 mark).
This game looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I look forward to hopefully reviewing it when it comes out.