*OFFICIAL* Skate 2 thread...
[If Tony Hawk 2 was the game that solidified that series, Skate 2 may function similarly for developer EA Black Box.
Of course this sequel provides the usual move updates, with one-foot plants, off-board running and other stylistic additions to the game's innovative, analog-based control scheme. The world has been predictably redesigned. And you can play as a chick now, too.
But there are also a few major additions that do a lot to open up the multiplayer experience--making this a serious sequel worth taking note of, rather than an obvious franchise cash-in.
As in the original Skate, up to six players can play simultaneously online. The "Freeskate Here" option allows players to instantly enter multiplayer, a la Burnout Paradise. An in-game menu will display friends that are available to invite to your freeskate, and after that, it's a matter of proposing a mode.
Probably the most eye-catching new mode is the Hall of Meat. Essentially, this mode mimics that physics-based "stair dismount" Porrasturvat game, and capitalizes on the hilariously painful Skate.reel videos that populated the internet following the first game's release. Players earn points for accumulating broken bones, scrapes and lacerations after intentionally "bailing" out of sky-scraping jumps.
It's an amusing mode, and should make for some excellent internet tape. But after playing it for a bit, I found that the Hall of Meat is definitely something that would be best suited to short stints, rather than long playsessions. It works well as a gore-filled palette cleanser, rather than a significant component.
Also new to Skate 2 are "Freeskate Activities," essentially co-op challenges that inject simple goals into casual freeskates. Each of the freeskate areas features several available challenges to propose. One example that I played was an accumulation challenge, which had myself and a friend attempting to amass 20,000 points in three minutes.
There are around 150 of these activities, and each will adjust in difficulty based on the number of players in the party. And as strange as it may seem, these simple challenges may be the most exciting addition to Skate 2. The ability to lounge around and skate cooperatively while completing random goals is pretty appealing in a lazy Sunday sort of way.
The "Create-a-spot" mode now allows you to move around anything from dumpsters to benches within an area to set up your own challenging "spots"--essentially gates that you must pass through while pulling off tricky moves in competition for points. To create a spot, you simply jump off your board and push each object around in the world. After you have a few dumpsters positioned, you place the gate--as large or small as you like--and set the area where the player will begin the run.
Where this spot creation mode really takes off is in the online sharing features. Players can upload their created spots, with each spot sporting its own leaderboard. Searching for spots will present tabs showing the top rated spots, spots created by your friends, and those created by you. When playing user-created spots, users can toggle a "ghost mode," which displays a ghost of the person that holds the top score on that particular spot.
Spot battles in general have been tweaked a bit. There are new "session" spots, which give you a set amount of time to accumulate points--or, in some cases, until you wipe out. As the spot battles are turn-based, and players are forced to watch each of their teammates, bored party members can now participate by rating their competitors' runs. The skater with the most votes will grab a few bonus points.
Skate.reel, the game's replay editor and video sharing website, has been improved both in-game and on the web. In the editing suite, players can now use the self-descriptive "follow" and "tripod" cameras to mix up their cuts. Uploading space is now determined based on overall length, so you'll be able to choose between uploading a lot of small clips, or a few large ones. An EA developer also a.ssured me that the website itself will be easier to log into this time, and will provide users with more search options.
Cash can be earned in multiplayer modes, which can then be spent during offline play. There will also be a graphics creator available online, that will let players import their custom graphics into the game for use on skateboards and other surfaces, though I didn't get a chance to take a look at it.
Unlike the first Skate, there will be some DLC released for Skate 2 in the future, though no details were shared. The developers also strongly hinted at a demo, and divulged that the game itself is essentially finished.
Skate 2 is a feature blast of a game. Skate veterans should find a lot to like here, not the least of which will be the supposedly improved netcode and framerate. And as someone who played the original Skate only enough to know that I enjoyed the basic gameplay, the extra multiplayer and creation modes included in Skate 2 may represent an unavoidable sequel.
Skate 2 is set to hit stores January 21 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
[pic - click to view] http://www.shacknews.com/ .. icle.x?id=1058
Last edited by Da Ill One; 12-09-2008 at 08:02 PM..