Skate 3 Multiplayer Impressions

Yesterday, I took a day trip up to EA Redwood Shores to drop-in on some Skate 3 multiplayer sessions with producer Chris "Cuz" Parry and some other journalists. Skate 3 supports up to 6 players online in both competitive and cooperative events.

We started off with a few cooperative challenges, which shared across offline and online modes. Additionally, everyone in the game will progress his or her own career, which is ubiquitous in Skate 3. While waiting for the challenges to be proposed, everyone is free to skate around the current zone. During freeskate, collisions are on, but during challenges and events, players will not bump into each other so people play honorably.

The first challenge we tried was to grind a rail coming out of a bowl and down into the bowl on the other side. It was relatively easy. At the end, all players choose a photo to represent their completion. Other players will show up in these photos, which allows for some cool moments and memories.

Cuz and I were skating on Hardcore mode, the hardest of Skate 3's new difficulty settings, but the other play was on easy mode. For cooperative modes and non-ranked competitive modes, each player can skate on his or her own preferred difficulty. This makes it easy to skate with friends that aren't as skilled as you might be.

Another large bonus to multiplayer skating in Skate 3 is the ability to move objects online. While you won't be able to use the Object Dropper to create your own objects, you can move the provided rails, ramps, tables, etc. All of these improvements play into the new "team" mechanic in Skate 3.

Teams are like mini-clans for Skate 3. Team members will share custom graphics and the team's skate park as well as get some nice social features for quickly jumping into games with and seeing new content or notifications from teammates.

Next, we skated a 2-on-2 domination, which had us competing for high scores on specific objects within the competition space. The objects flipped back and forth between ownership during the session, but eventually Cuz and I (hardly a fair battle) scored a resounding victory.

Next, we grabbed two more skaters and did a 3-on-3 Hall of Meat challenge, scoring players based on the damage done to a skater during a bail. It's definitely not aimed at the realism crowd as player and player ollied from the top of a parking structure into a nonsensical tube to a ramp catapulting them toward a billboard with a target painted on. Everyone had a good time on this one and there was much shouting.

Skate 3 has gameplay for every type of fan. If you're just looking to have some casual fun, throw on easy mode and do the Hall of Meat challenges. Realism nuts looking to film the perfect line will crank up the difficulty and create their own skate parks or customize a location by placing rails and ramps.

Since everyone will get credit for his or her career while playing online and footage can be culled, Skate 3's online scene should be a bit more populated than in Skate 2 or OG Skate. You'll also see continuous updates about what your friends are doing in Skate through Skate.feed. Did your buddy just upload some new footage to Skate.reel? You'll know as soon as it happens.

Skate 3 will be released on May 11 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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