The Skate franchise is finally getting a new installment, albeit one that still seems a rather far ways off from launching. But I gotta say, after watching the latest Insider Playtest Highlights video for the still-in-development Skate., the potential for player expression is blowing my mind (even though most of what I’ve seen is pre-pre-alpha, barren-assets mode). Honestly, as much as I enjoy Skater XL and Session, it looks like Skate. has the potential to be the top dog of them all.

What we see in this latest video highlights an insanely deep level-altering system that suggests the ability to practically terraform the game world to create whatever Rube Goldberg-esque trick machination one can conjure. Most of this results in hilarious bails and epic fails that would make even the most jaded person vomit in real life, but as depicted in the game, it merely makes me giggle with glee.

But beyond the insane level alterations and vertigo-triggering bank drops, the fundamental character animations and interaction capabilities look light years beyond the janky on-foot mechanics in pretty much every skateboard game up to now. Seeing a player fail to gap between rooftops and seamlessly just grab the ledge to the building and hoist themselves up is literally like reliving the first time you ever saw a video game character hand an item to another character and they actually grabbed it — it’s a literal game-changer.


Or watching a player clamber up a ladder-like structure — this might sound silly to say, considering games have allowed fluid ladder-climbing mechanics for damn near forever now, but in the context of a skateboarding game, it can’t be overstated how miraculous this looks. Just YouTube any skating game, past or present, and see how stiff and stilted the on-foot gameplay looks and feels, and you will be able to appreciate how next-level this really is.

Overall, this short video goes a long way towards getting me hyped for this installment in the Skate series, even if the free-to-play format is reason enough to be a bit skeptical. But, I guess you gotta pay the bills somehow. And this way, you can ask players to buy what interests them the most instead of charging them full-price for the complete package. If done right, this could be the magic sauce that a game like Skate. needs.

There still is no release date or even release window for Skate., and it seems like we might be waiting a while yet still. But if what I’ve seen so far is indicative of the final product, I think it’s safe to say we all might get to exact a little Brother’s Justice whenever Skate. does finally release.

You can check out the February Insider Playtest Highlights video below.

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