The SKATE franchise has, effectively, replaced Tony Hawk for good. Seeing as how Activision's Tony Hawk franchise is just a shadow of its former self, and the latest gimmick has pummeled the franchise into the ground, EA's got a much larger stage to shine on for the third iteration of SKATE. The first SKATE game was a solid entry for EA, and while the second failed to make any substantial improvements, it was still deemed a good entry. But for the third one, Electronic Arts is really trying to make a worthwhile impact.
You're in the new city of Port Carverton, and I can only assume that "carve" is being used as a skateboarding pun here. Anyways, instead of continuing on the stories of the first two games, EA has put together something new and different for the third game. Since you can only make it to the top so many times, now it's time for you, the skater, to start building your company. You do that by establishing yourself as a brand. And what better place than to establish your brand than this all new city, which is actually quite receptive of skateboarders. No longer will security guards, stoppers, and the like threaten or attack you, you're free to do as you wish. In order to make your brand successful, you need to assemble a group of friends and create a team. And for SKATE 3, EA has made teams an official attribute to the game, and have directly tied it in to the multiplayer modes.
Where as with the past SKATE games people would make simple arrangements and agreements to play as a team, here in SKATE 3 there are specific co-op modes that help build your crew of three skaters, allowing you to take on various challenges and cooperatively progress through the career. Furthermore, you can go head to head in competitive battles, and keep tabs on the other rivaling teams around you. The goal here is to create a social network composed of skaters and their affiliated crews.
Making your brand successful comes from succeeding within the game, as nearly every accomplishment you achieve will help your company sell more and more skateboards. Completing online challenges, having people download your custom skateparks or your custom graphics, increasing in popularity, and etc. all has an effect on your monetary success. Also, remember that dominating the streets of Port Carverton and having your logo appear in more areas means more revenue for you.
And yes, you did read that right, there is a tool within the game called Skate.Park that allows you to build your own skateparks and share it with the world. Or if you're feeling selfish, you can choose to only share with your teammates, or even no one. SKate.Graphics and Skate.Reel are still here, and just as shareable as the parks are. In SKATE 3 this entire set of features is called Skate.Create, and you know why.
Skate.School is the game's practice mode, a place where you'll be able to hone your skills and land those tricks with ease. And in order to make use of the all new cite, you'll need to feel comfortable with the controls, as SKATE 3 will feature even more tricks to pull off, and even better level design to use them on. Lastly, taking a cue from Sony's PSN title PAIN, the Hall of Meat returns, but this time allows you to take body control of your bails, which should be interesting.
SKATE 3 is scheduled to arrive May 2010, so keep your eyes open, you should like this one.