The skating genre in video games has generally been dominated by two franchises – the Tony Hawk series, and Skate. While Tony Hawk's line has been seeing more and more additions since it was started a while back, Skate hasn't been that much actively developed – only a handful of games have come out so far, this being the third one. The thing is, while Tony Hawk tends to build on the same formula, each new Skate adds something unique to the franchise – and the genre – and this one is no exception.
The game has been split into two major styles of playing, called “Easy Mode” and “Hardcore Mode”. As you may be guessing, one is aimed at more casual players, while the other provides a lot more challenge and need for quick thinking. Playing on the “easy” setting will make the game reminiscent of other skating titles, with physics somewhat helping you perform your tricks better, and the game will automatically help you attach on to surfaces for railing, etc.
Playing in hardcore mode, on the other hand, will make the game resemble real-life physics a lot more closely, and you should expect to fall on your head quite a few times if you're not careful. You'll also be more restricted in your tricks, and you'll have to get a better acceleration if you want to pull off the same stunts without falling down.
Generally, if you're unfamiliar with the genre, you should probably start at the easy setting, while those of you coming from other skating titles will probably feel fine jumping in the hardcore mode right away.
Graphics and System Requirements
Skate 3 looks very detailed for a console sports game, and if you look around your environment you should be able to catch a lot of detail and attention to the small things. The levels don't look like they've been churned out of a machine for the sake of being there, each one offers its own unique style and can be instantly recognized when you just catch a glimpse of it.
It runs smoothly on both consoles, but Xbox 360 owners may see slightly longer loading times, which has been confirmed by the game's developers as well. The difference isn't that large though, and in general both consoles should provide the same experience.
You'll sadly no longer be able to play against your friends without an Internet connection, a feature that was available in the previous titles from the Skate series. On the other hand, the game's community interaction is getting improved a lot, as there's now a map editor that allows you to create your own custom skate parks, and share them with your friends. It's very comprehensive in its functionality, and should allow you to replicate most of what you see in the actual game.
A solid title for skate lovers, Skate 3 should be able to entertain even those that aren't into sports that much, as it offers solid, bug-free gameplay that is hardly matched by other titles on the market right now.