Skate 2 review

  • 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

The ability to get off your board is clumsy. Your skater twists on-the-spot like the early Tomb Raider games, making precise alignment fiddly. It’s awkward, but still handy – think of it as a tool you never had for climbing up steps, rather than skating the long way round. The game never punishes you for it – so there’s no cruel platform-style leaps. Retrieving your board is easy, too, with a deck ‘magically’ thrown into your hands from off-screen.

New tricks – like No Complies, Finger Flips and Handplants – fill obvious gaps in the controls, and obey logical rules. Finger Flips, where you flip the board mid-air using your fingers are performed by ollieing, grabbing and doing the standard kickflip motion to represent the flip motion. It’s logical, hierarchical and timing dependent, so while we fluffed our first few tries, we punched the air with a “Yes” upon nailing our first; minutes later, landing them every time. As ever, the controls mimic skating’s real-life exponential difficulty curve. Only Flatland tricks are omitted, but since they effectively ruined the Tony Hawkseries, allowing cheap on-the-spot mega-combos, it’s no great loss.

The enhanced Hall of Meat mode awards points for breaking bones. You can even deliberately bail during big leaps, and use the right stick to pose – think Pain meets Burnout’s Crash Junctions. Your mobile phone sets session markers, and can be used to call friends – Big Black will clear out security guards, while you can arrange races with pros or get a friend to crowbar blocks off rails.

Problems? It’s so convenient to leap between objectives on the map – split into clearly marked Street, Tranny, Bonus, Race etc categories – that you rarely cruise around, but teleport about the world blasting through tasks, so the world can feel a little disconnected. The enhanced Video and Face Editors are less flexible than you’d hope (with the specter of paid-for DLC Filmer packs to reinstate effects like Sepia tint that were free in the last game), walking’s fiddly and – for veterans – the core experience burns slightly less brightly than the first time you mastered Skate’s incredible controls and physics. The soundtrack’s arguably less feel-good, despite the presence of War’s Lowrider from Mark Gonzales’ part in the seminal Blind video.

Skate 2’s biggest thrills, however, are those you create yourself, sticking to a spot and creating your own goals. Sure, you can ollie that gap, but can you 360° Boneless over it onto the rail below? Or Hardflip off the rail into a manual? The possibilities are endless, and thanks to the Replay Editor, you need only land one impossible trick in a hundred to lord it over your mates forever. In typical EA fashion, every killer move is rewarded – “You’re on fire” shouts your cameraman as you bust out a triple multiplier, with a deliciously slow-mo whirring sound as you clack the tarmac.

With developers Black Box being closed down by EA, there’s a real possibility this could be the last Skate game ever – and, if so, we’re almost glad. It’s so complete, with such replay potential, there’s a danger of its true riches being overlooked by the rush of the new, or a gilded-lilly, fan-led third sequel. It’s not quite as fresh as the original, but a near-perfect sequel in almost every way.

Jan 21, 2009

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


  • 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

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