Review – Skater XL (Playstation 4)

Originally announced and released some time ago as the spiritual successor to the then-current skateboarding genre, primarily the EA Skate series, Skater XL is one of the big releases I missed last year. It’s kind of odd to address this issue now, considering that the landscape of skateboarding competitions has changed in recent months. Skate is back, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a critical and commercial success, leaving the once-promising indie community behind. I wanted to try it anyway. Let’s see if I made the mistake of leaving him unattended for so long.

Thanks for reminding me that E3 is gone, Skater XL. Now I’m depressed.

Unlike Tony Hawk’s ridiculous approach, Skater XL isn’t about achieving goals or performing unnecessary stunts. It is a pure skateboard sandbox that gives players access to a huge urban environment based on real life around Los Angeles. It is based on realism rather than escape and relies on a system of physics tricks: Each stick controls each of your legs individually and makes turns by pressing them in different ways and at different times. If you z. B. grind, you need to jump close to the rails, turn your skateboard in the air to land properly on the surface, and then control your feet individually to maintain proper balance.

As you can already imagine, it’s not easy to do tricks. They don’t make 900 here. It took me a long time to do a 360 kickflip, and I eventually gave up on the idea of doing helium shots at the level I did in the first half of the game. It’s not a control system for everyone. The game teaches you the basics like spinning, jumping, spinning and doing kickflips, but the rest is up to you. The idea is interesting: Use the world as a playground, draw towers, use physics (sometimes separately) to your advantage. Unfortunately, the Skater XL is not very good, even if he is full of good intentions.

Trust me, this simple exercise is easier said than done.

The game’s biggest problem isn’t even its horrible graphics or inappropriate soundtrack (Interpol in a skateboarding game? Really?). The main problem is simple: There’s nothing to do here. There are z’s. B. no targets. There are no points for stunts, there are no leaders. There are only half a dozen levels to choose from, completely devoid of characters to interact with or even other human objects just scattered around to make you feel like you’re not in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Accessing the game is very difficult at first, even after so many months.

The XL skater had a trick up his sleeve: Mode Support. The developers hoped that the game would create an engaged community that would eventually create new levels for players. Unfortunately, the idea failed miserably. I’m playing the game almost six months after its release, and I found four levels on the mod page. 4. This is insane.

Yes, it’s still a beautiful buggy after almost six months.

For comparison: Now, if I go to the mod page for the PS5 version of Planet Coaster (aka the least recommended way to play Planet Coaster), I find at least two dozen new rides, maps and sets built from scratch, including some from the Star Wars series. Skater XL failed to engage the community, so the game will likely be content-free forever, especially after the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and a few months before the release of another promising spiritual successor to Skate, Sessions.

Hey, hey, hey, hey… Anyone in the area?

Skater XL is a game full of good intentions, but it is not only completely devoid of content, but also of the community to develop new levels and new assets for other players. Unfortunately, I see no reason to give this game a chance these days. The Tony Hawk franchise is back, Skate is being relaunched by EA, and even Next Sessions seems more polished and heavier than the nearly six-month-old title. Bad luck. It happens. At least you’re not as bad as professional skater Tony Hawk 5.

It still runs at a very steady 60 frames per second, but Skater XL is still pretty ugly, as a PS3 game at best below average. Game control is the main selling point. It emphasizes realism, which means that performing stunts can be very frustrating at times. Unfortunately, the game has some physics issues, so your character will constantly fall down, even when they shouldn’t.
While the licensed Skater XL soundtrack isn’t bad on its own, bands like Interpol and Band of Horses don’t really play the skateboarding game. Where are the punk bandits? The basic concept is interesting, but Skater XL lacks focus and overall content. There isn’t much to do here, the control system isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and while it has support for mods, there isn’t a large community to provide the additional content the game desperately needs.
Last block: 6,0

Skater XL is available now for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Skater XL was provided by the publisher.


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