Previews

Skate 2

Now with less skating!

Rewind to 1985. In one of movies most iconic moments Marty McFly skates towards a car, rolls the board under the vehicle, runs over the top and then hops off the back and skates away. In Skate 2, you are Marty McFly.
Okay so car running antics aren't yet confirmed, but Hippie Jumps are in. By pressing and releasing the two push buttons - a and x - you'll leap off your board and hurdle obstacles as your deck slides underneath. Approach a bench and you'll sprint along it and then drop back down to skate away in style. The way we see it, moving vehicles are just the next logical step. Don't fail us EA.

Zoom

And the added moves don't end there. Clicking RB when you approach a lip throws you into an invert, after which the triggers can be pulled for various tricks. Grinds can now be tweaked by adding grabs, and fingerflips have made the cut too. Flatland moves are disappointingly absent, but with more than double the tricks of the original there's plenty to keep your thumbs busy and your brain ticking.

New tricks are all well and good, but what if there's nowhere to perform them? It's been five years since the events of Skate, and San Vanelona has undergone a change thanks to what the developers are calling The Disaster That Must Not Be Named. If Wii and DS spin-off Skate It is to be treated as canon, the city fell victim to multiple natural disasters and its very infrastructure was torn down by earthquakes leading to a mass evacuation. If so, San Vanelona's since been rebuilt and repopulated. Big Brother is back, and he's cracking down on skaters.

Exploring San Vanelona Mark II is easier for newcomers than for veterans. Favourite spots are no longer skating havens thanks to the skatestopping plugs now rooted to classic lines. To make matters worse, more cops and security guards have been hired to keep you off the streets. Forget what you remember from the original; this is a new city with new rules.

Which is where y comes into play. One tap and you'll hop off your skateboard and start walking, instantly placating any nearby authorities. When Tony Hawk first allowed you to step off the board it came under fire. Many believed the running (and jumping and climbing and hanging) diluted the experience. Many were wrong.

Skate's major problem wasn't the anti-skating areas but that you could only tackle them when rooted to your board. Accidentally slipping off a ledge, or even a pavement, was a costly mistake. Unless you had the foresight to lay a waypoint every few seconds you'd need to build up speed and circle away from your intended goal just to attempt to hop back on. Now these frustrations are a thing of the past. Running about cuts down on skating time but, in a strange twist, also increases it. Previously inaccessible areas encasing sweet spots are now ripe to explore, and the staircases you could never be bothered to bypass are direct routes to higher ground. Could Skate 2 be the perfect sequel? It would have to try pretty hard not to be.

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