Skate 2 Preview
By now you should be well aware of SKATE. It is the franchise directly responsible for the break the Tony Hawk series had to take for 2008, making it the first missed year the series has since its inception. The impact EA had on Activision's skater was momentous, and now EA is looking to expand on their success with SKATE by delivering us an even bigger and better game; SKATE 2.
Taking place five years after the original, SKATE 2 shows you an abandoned San Vanelona that's dramatically changed. Following your unexplained disappearance from the scene, the city was the victim of "the disaster-too-gnarly-to-be-named." This disaster prompted a mass evacuation, and thus the abandonment of the city. A mega corporation, aptly, simply, and amusingly titled Mongocorp, wins the bid to rebuild the city. In the process, Mongocorp employs a series of security measures to get rid of the flourishing skate scene in the abandoned city, but you'll have to fight them every step of the way, showing that you're not willing to leave.
The goal of the game's career will be to rebuild the San Van skate scene, and you'll be given a few new features to do that with. First, you can now get off the board and walk around. This will also allow your skater to push and move objects around, giving you the ability to create your own custom lines. Next, a new set of tricks have been added to the mix, as your skater now has double the amount over the first game, such as one-foots, handplants, hippy jumps, and more.
Rebuilding the skate scene will require you to perform a variety of different tasks, which include unlocking more and more areas with skating potential, for example, like draining a swimming pool to use as a skate bowl. Furthermore, local crews will provide you with assistance, such as security of your own, helping you to keep your hair clean of rent-a-cops and any other potential obstacles.
Taking a cue from the Burnout page, SKATE 2 has a feature called the Hall of Meat, where you'll be encouraged to attempt the most bone crushing bail you can pull off. So feel free to plummet from as far up as possible while trying to land a trick, because these Slam Challenges will require a plethora of broken bones to complete. And hey, you'll even be able to customize your bails too. Sounds like fun to us!
With your new-found ability to move objects around and create your own skate spots, you'll be allowed to take these spots and upload them online for others to use. Likewise, you can download created spots, as well, and vote on the ones you like best. Of course, online options will include proper online gameplay, which you can seamlessly enter from the single-player campaign. Online modes haven't been detailed, but you can be sure to expect some great stuff. And when you're online, you'll be able to show the SKATE community the work you put together using the game's Graphics Creator, where you can customize the art on your hats, hoodies, and decks.
SKATE 2 is scheduled for a release January 21st. Fans of the original will not want to miss out.
12/31/2008 Arnold Katayev