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Skate 2 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Incredible controls
  • Huge location and challenge variety
  • Near-complete trick set
  • Fiddly walking
  • World can feel disconnected
  • Doesn't feel as fresh the second time

With its laidback vibe, slower pace and intuitive controls, Skate felt like liberation from the Tony Hawk series’ arcade intensity, million point combos and complex button mashing. So the worrying news – initially, at least – is that Skate 2 feels vaguely bewildering and oppressive. Odder yet, several beguiling, varied and challenging hours later, EA’s sequel reveals itself as a multi-layered labor of love and unquestionably the best skating game ever.

New San Vanelona teems with security guards and skate-proof metal blocks on many rails and kerbs. You start the game in prison, before a tutorial section (which can be skipped) set in a gritty, industrial warehouse. Pop a trick, and a new combo meter bursts onto screen, adding pressure to do tricks quickly or lose your score multiplier – betraying the lazy vibe of the original. Walking is clumsy, the variety of new tricks feels overwhelming and – for veterans, at least – it’s all a bit familiar.

Five hours in, you’re beaming wildly – amid the odd swear – and giddily awaiting each fresh location. If the original’s Career mode lacked variety, this is the perfect rebuttal; one minute you’re leaping 60 feet off rooftops into cracked pools, the next performing fiddly tech moves on miniature rails. Scenery lurches from industrial wasteland, to gleaming quayside, to rolling hills, to monstrous, jutting architectural oddities (wait until you see The Wall, a 100 foot near-vertical bank with huge, jutting rails at teasing angles). It’s hard to imagine a real-life location that isn’t represented somehow.

The combo system and new moves (more later) are initially overwhelming. When you land a trick, however decent, you feel invisibly burdened by the weight of how much better it could have been – making you feel guilty for not knowing the intricate moves better. The good news is that the objectives reign in the potential madness, and reward you for what you know, rather than what you don’t – building you up bit by bit, before cutting loose. Initially, it’s stuff like leaping off a ramp to grind a rail but, just as it starts to feel stifling, there’s a liberating trick off against Danny Way on high speed, rolling ramps. After popping three-foot heelflips, you’re doing 540° backflips at breakneck speed over 60 foot humps.

One memorable Rob Dyrdek challenge asks you to perform unique grinds on simple ledges – but while doing mid-trick gestures using the D-pad (there are loads of new gestures, like Thumbs Up, Cool, Flip the Table etc). The races are thrilling, with bespoke, twisting, mountainside circuits designed by the SSX team, a welcome contrast to the make-do, city streets of the original. You can really power slide into bends, and it’s possible to go flying off a cliff. One task asks you to leap through a stone circle and drop vertically through another circle set at 90° below. Object placement isn’t tricky, but timing leaps is merciless – striking a perfect balance between skill and frustration.

More Info

Release date: Jan 21 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360 (US)
Jan 23 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Sports
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Language, Mild Violence, Sexual Themes
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending

13 comments

  • adge112 - October 2, 2010 7:17 p.m.

    This game is freakin sexy?
  • masterdabrin22 - February 19, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    fun game wanna get it ☺
  • mbmax20 - January 3, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    best game ever!!!way better than any tony hawk game. ive only plyed the demo but im getting it 2day and the demo waz amazing! every1 should at least try this game
  • nos5lazyboy - February 10, 2009 6:40 a.m.

    I bought Skate 2 and its awesome. You should not rent it, you should buy it.
  • xico_carvalho - January 27, 2009 12:30 p.m.

    that was the best skate game ever...
  • purpleshirt - January 22, 2009 1:37 p.m.

    I thought foreshore you guys were going to bitch about how fucking retarded you camera man looks. I liked it in the last game where you never saw him at all.
  • GalenMarek - July 16, 2009 5:24 a.m.

    tony hawk is nothing to skate. its like skate is a mansion and tony hawk is a cardboard box across the street from the smoke shop
  • rsk - April 1, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    the best fricken game of skte ever!!!!!!!!!!!1
  • patarman12 - March 23, 2009 1:23 a.m.

    ehh, i still like skate better....skate 2 is fun though
  • nclshrn - March 2, 2009 2:05 a.m.

    My friend lent me Skate 1 and I loved it (it sucks that I had to give it back) so now I am buying Skate 2.
  • jmtinfinitet - January 24, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    us as people need to stop buying games that are the same shit over and over, games are repeating themselves to much, give us something new and innovative and you can have my money again. peace out game industry
  • bernie10 - January 22, 2009 8:38 p.m.

    sounds pretty good
  • ZombiePirate215 - January 22, 2009 3:19 a.m.

    Hmm, I guess I'll rent this. I didn't like the first skate much since most of the early photo challenges were just ridiculous, but this one looks better. I knew the walking was going to suck since they announced it

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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