Review: Skate 3
Shred & Grind Inc.
In Skate 3, as the old T-shirt slogan goes, "skateboarding is not a crime" - and even if it were, it would be a white-collar crime. Departing from the anti-establishment trappings of Skate 2, the latest game in EA's kiss-our-butt-Tony-Hawk series is a tale of skateboarder as capitalist. After founding a new skateboard company, you set out to move 1,000,000 units. ("I have to pay for my summer home," growls your delightful business partner.)
On the face of it, Skate 3's quest looks a lot like its predecessor's. In the skater mecca of Port Carverton, you pop ollies, flips, and grinds to complete a huge array of challenges peppered across the cityscape. Except this time, instead of security guards and pedestrians chasing you away, they applaud and reach for their MasterCards. And while Skate 2 asked you to free your hometown from an oppressive corporation, Skate 3's Port Carverton is a blank canvas for you to deface with branded stickers, posters, and billboards.
The distasteful corporatism is leavened by the casual charm of the cast, composed almost entirely of real-life professional skateboarders. For people like me whose knowledge of the skating scene is limited to, well, videogames like this one, Skate 3 begins with a funny, beautifully produced music video that reintroduces pros like Joey Brezinsky and Rob Dyrdek. (I assume those names mean something to the right people.) The skaters voice digitised versions of themselves in the game, turning in surprisingly good performances with an easygoing camaraderie that makes you feel like one of the boarding elite.
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