Preview: Why SKATE 3 Isn't SKATE 2 DLC

"SKATE 3 is just too big to have been released as a downloadable expansion," producer Brian Lindley tells me

"SKATE 3 is just too big to have been released as a downloadable expansion," producer Brian Lindley tells me of the sequel announced just shy of eight months after SKATE 2 arrived.

We're adding several new features and a entirely new city in Port Carverton, so SKATE 3 is an all-new experience," he says. Among the various additions are a focus on team play, new tricks, the Skate.Park editor, the Skate.School training mode, and new challenge modes designed around co-op.

And just how does this focus on forming the "ultimate team" affect the single-player portion of EA Black Box's stick-flicking skateboarding sequel? "Players will still have the freedom to advance their career in single-player, if they choose," notes Lindley.

"We definitely want to encourage all players to take their skater online, whether playing with an online team, or the numerous competitive and cooperative modes," he adds.

"The primary career goal in SKATE 3 is to form your own team and lead it to the top of skate industry. Your progress towards that goal is tracked in the growth of your team's roster, cash earnings, and most importantly, sales of your team branded skateboard. How a player chooses to sells boards and grow their team is largely up to them, and can be achieved through any combination of offline or online play in SKATE 3."

Of course, as with previous SKATE titles, the experience isn't just limited to in-game antics. Players will be able to share video replays--a feature that has provided much entertainment in past entries--as well as custom graphics and parks. Depending on how well their custom content is received, players can earn in-game bonuses.

The game's Skate.Reel replay editor is also being expanded for "team based video creation," but Black Box is remaining mum on the specifics, merely noting that it's "an integral part of our online community" and promising more details soon.

Crafted by series creator Black Box, Skate 3 hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in May.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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