Skateboarding games are back, you guys!
So it seems that everyone got fed up with EA being completely tone deaf and not giving us what we want. For years we in the gaming community have been clamoring for a new game in the Skate franchise and they simply haven't acknowledged that fact in the slightest. While we understand that EA's Black Box studio, who created the first three games, no longer exists, they still own the property and they could put another one of their studios in charge of making it - maybe they have, who knows, but as far as the public is concerned they definitely have not.
Because of that, we now have three different skateboarding games within our reach in different capacities. Skate City, a side scrolling skateboarding game that was heavily featured in images during last week's Apple Keynote, will be available in Apple Arcade starting on Thursday. Skater XL, a skateboarding simulator that's been modded to hell on PC with new levels and features, will be coming to Nintendo Switch next year. And finally we have Session - in my opinion, the clear winner in this race to feed the needs of the Skate fanbase, which releases on Steam today and on Xbox next month.
Mind you, this game is definitely in early access - the map we are going to be given access to is only a portion of the entire thing we will have when the game is deemed complete and it's missing key features such as a story mode, name brand clothing and sponsors, events and other features that the Skate franchise was known for. In this demo you'll be able to skate around in an open area, change the time of day, drop in flood lights for night skating, place items like ramps, boards, rails, kickers and more to create new spots and record all of them with the in-game video editor so that you can eventually share them online.
However, the biggest thing that Session will not have at launch is online multiplayer. To me, especially in 2019, multiplayer in a skateboarding game is essential. Skateboarding has always been such a social sport - to skate around with friends, chatting about whatever as you ollie off ledges and find new spots together - think mid90's, the video game. That's the dream. Without the ability to randomly come across someone, ask them to play a game of S-K-A-T-E or challenge them to a park competition, the game will surely lack. Sure, I can spend hours in Skate 3 skating around by myself hitting new lines but eventually that fun does run out. In the game of skateboarding, the challenge is what's going to keep players coming back as well as the friends that they're going to make along the way.
Now, I'm sure that feature is being worked on, as I said, this is an Early Access title and we have no idea when Session 1.0 will even launch. Also, keep in mind that like I stated in a previous blog post, once the game does decide to officially launch as 1.0, Xbox has a 3 month exclusivity before Crea-ture Studios, the development team behind the game, can even begin looking into porting it to other consoles - ie: the PS4.
Regardless, I'll be keeping my eyes open and watching some Twitch streams of the game today as I patiently wait for that Xbox release. Skateboarding games are back, guys! What a ride it's been.