The first two games in the Skate series were very warmly received by pro-gamers and skateboarders alike, and the latter bunch quickly decided that they were the very best and most realistic representations of the sport that had ever been released. The only real problem was that they were really rather tough, and younger gamers never really got to have a look in. This wasn’t the same kind of light-hearted silliness seen in the similar Tony Hawk series, but a very serious and somewhat ‘adult’ style of gaming. Skate 3 has changed all of this by making a difficulty setting available to all, so that the game is only as hard as each player wants it to be, and for the first time it can be perfectly tailored for younger players too.
Skate 3 starts off in much the same way as the first two Skate games, with a very amusing short film, which casts a number of professional skateboarders (and the lovable My Name Is Earl star Jason Lee) as a strange selection of very odd characters who all live in a small American town. It’s a silly but very well produced little video, and it kicks the game off in extremely amusing style. After that, players are asked to choose their desired difficulty setting (and younger ones should definitely plump for ‘easy’ at first) and then they’re shown the ropes by a cartoon version of Jason Lee, reprising his very funny role as ‘Coach Frank’.
After those tutorials are done and dusted, players are launched straight into the game’s fictional city of Port Carverton, and can move around it however they like. They needn’t worry about getting lost though, because instead of forcing you to run around and find missions on your own, you can jump straight to them via a very straightforward menu that is accessed by pressing the start button. The online portions of the game are equally simple, and they all encourage friendly co-operative play rather than just aggressive competition. There are plenty of missions to be completed online, and the best of these involve getting your friends to help you out.
Skate 3 is a very good-natured and extremely entertaining game, and the way that (for the first time) younger players are welcomed in, makes it even more likable. There are loads of things to do, and the story missions have real variety to them, so if you’re finding something especially tough you can always move onto something else and return to the more troublesome quests later on. It’s easily the best episode in the Skate series so far, and it makes for a very pleasing package. It’s happy-go-lucky and a real blast to play, and comes very highly recommended.