Skate 3 (2010)
The only thing I remember from my first time playing Skate 3 back in 2010 was the fictional character played by pro skater turned actor Jason Lee, called Coach Frank. That should say enough about the third sequel to the amazing Skate series, but there is more to it than just actor cameos in goofy roles.
Skate 3 continues to follow your created skater after the latest insane stunt gone wrong which ends up with you beefing it hard on a massive jump that is televised. As you regain consciousness, your ever faithful camera man Reda talks about how you should create your own skateboarding company and sell decks. Which fits nicely into what is probably the most artistic and interesting intro out of the series. Again fully acted and featuring tons of cameos from various pro skaters, the intro follows a tree that goes through a milling factory and becomes a skateboard deck.
Once you redo your created skater once again, it’s now up to you to create your new skateboard company and go do some promotional events, along with recruiting more members to join your very small two person team. This could have been a real opportunity for the game to go massive with the scale of the activities and variations on things to do. Finding pro skaters in the world, and helping them with objectives could have given your skater and the world much more believability… but sadly the game really struggles on almost every aspect and it’s scope was so big that it just feels empty.
The new town you are hanging out and skating in is called “Carverton”... I think. I’m not really sure, because the game does a very poor job of making you feel like you are spending time in a town. Nothing feels connected or in a good location. Every aspect of the game feels like it was rushed out the door to meet some deadline. Competitions have a crowd of around a dozen or so people, and while the announcer says his spiel, only ambiance noises happen in the background making it feel oddly empty. Same with the final Monster sponsored MegaJam arena, it’s completely empty in the stands, yet there is piped in audience whooing going on, it still feels like you could here a pin drop in the place.
That isn’t to say that the game itself is bad. Skating feels quick and responsive, and playing on a Xbox One X or even through Gamepass’s Cloud Gaming, makes it feel somehow almost too fast in certain sections. The board tricks continue to get added too, and playing through the tutorial allowed me to learn that there is my favorite grind now available… the Darkslide.
With another annual release at this point, I can see why EA might have backed down from making Skate 4 as the series really kinda hit a wall technically and creatively with the third game. Which is a major bummer as the game itself is just a absolute blast to play. I found myself loading it up and just trying to finish up several challenges that I already spent way too long on. I didn’t find myself retrying objectives nearly as much as I did with the other two games though. Maybe because I am just so much better acquainted with the controls, or maybe coupled with the fact that the game just feels easier than the others too.
I would have liked to see more variety in the actual challenges, some skaters merely show up and ask you to do a trick or two that you pull off instantly and that’s the challenge. Some just wanted to have you follow them and then disappear from the rest of the game. It feels really odd that the game would just drop certain storylines or just not have that much to do with certain characters. Again, Reda is the prime example… Having a solid maybe 5 lines total in the entire game while also being referenced throughout the entire game too.
I had fun with the game and had a blast with the entire series over the last month. Taking part in our discord server’s first Game Of The Month Club, allowed me to see other people’s perspectives on the series and made the game feel like it had just come out as well. I would love the new game, Skate 4 to take the mechanics and truly do something wild and special with it. I hope that the interesting ideas, like Hall of Meat, or the Longest Jump competitions get expanded upon and not having to rely so heavily on the same few core concepts and objectives throughout the entire game. If Skate 3 is any indication of what the new studio can pull from the ashes of this forgotten franchise, Skate 4 will be a revitalization of the Early 2000’s Extreme Sport known as Skateboarding.