One and a half years in Early Access, that's a long time. That's how long Skater XL spent honing and refining the gameplay before release. Well, it's out now and the accolades are starting to pour in.
Amazing to think it's been 10 years since we last saw AAA skate games on the various platforms. Along with some remasters of old Tony Hawk games, Skater XL is attempting to lead the way in bringing back the genre by recreating various landmarks as well as offering community created maps and letting you customize your skater with gear from over 30 real skate brands. The game highlight's from the press release:
Freedom Of Expression - Skater XL’s physics-based controls don’t have any pre-programmed tricks - only the movement through the thumbsticks. Each thumbstick is connected to the corresponding foot of the skater and as the player moves the stick, the board instantly responds. Much like a musical instrument, the player has complete freedom, whether it be pushing to nail a line or skating free from.
Real Life Iconic Locations - Skater XL levels are all inspired real-world skate areas and designed to ensure a constant flow of skate lines. From the DTLA Map with skateboarding landmarks around the Staples Center and LA Convention Center, to Easy Day High School’s sprawling campus of iconic skate spots like the Wallenberg Big 4 and the ‘Leap of Faith’, to the humongous ‘Big Ramp,’ where skaters can soar higher than a hawk.
Play As Real-Life Skate Pros - Select from renowned pros Tiago Lemos, Brandon Westgate, Evan Smith, and Tom Asta, all with their own distinct gear that fits their style.
Customizable Characters - The possibilities are endless to personalize the Skater XL experience. Players can customize their entire look, including their skater’s gear with different tees, hoodies, hats and shoes from over 30 of the most recognized skate brands like Vans, Santa Cruz, DC Shoes, Independent, Lakai and many more.
Thriving Community - Dive into a passionate community with more than 100,000 members in Discord (the biggest Discord in the World for reference is Fortnite at 500k, amazing given that Skater XL is still in Early Access!) who create online zines, video parts, fakeskate brands, and hundreds of mods. Players can become part of a bigger ecosystem and join the digital skateboarding subculture where they can share their creativity on the newly launched Skater XL modding hub, Skaterxl.mod.io.
Legit Soundtrack - Modest Mouse, Getter, Interpol, Animal Collective and Band Of Horses headline the distinctive music that blends well with the Skater XL’s West Coast vibe and fluid physics-based control mechanics.
Skater XL is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. It retails for $40. There will be a Nintendo Switch version, but that's not coming until later this year.