Skate is a skateboarding game series created by the late EA Black Box. It is most well known for its innovative "flick it" controls. The player character is a customizable Heroic Mime skateboarder in the fictional city of San Vanelona.
Skate (stylized as skate.) was the first game in the series, released in September 2007. It introduced the games analog-stick-based controls. In this game, the player character begins his career in San Vanelona, recovering from being hit by a bus, becoming more famous, unlocking new areas with new challenges and activities, getting sponsors, and being featured on two magazines. A Wii and DS spin-off called Skate It was later released, with the Wii version utilizing the Balance Board.
Skate 2 was the sequel to the first game, and was released in January 2009. This game added the series' "Hall of Meat" feature, where players can control themselves while bailing and receive scores for the damage caused, distance, speed, rotation, etc. It also added the ability to play as a female character. The player is released from prison several years after the first game and most of San Vanelona has been destroyed by a disaster. It was rebuilt by Mongocorp, a corporation with a very anti-skater agenda. Mongocorp has gone out of its way to discourage skating by posting security guards at many places and putting caps on rails, making them impossible to grind. Much of the game involved freeing areas from Mongocorp's grip and unlocking new areas.
Skate 3 released on May 11, 2010, and featured new modes such as Hardcore mode and Create-a-Park. The game also put a much bigger emphasis on creating online skate teams and doing challenges online.
On June 18, 2020, EA announced during their EA Play Live online event that a new Skate game is now in development with series creative directors Cuz Parry and Deran Chung working on the project. On January 27, 2021, it was announced that a new Vancouver-based development studio called Full Circle was created to develop the game, with former Xbox Live GM Daniel McCulloch leading the team.
The Skate series provides examples of:
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: If what Reda is saying in the intro is of any indication, the protagonist of Skate It is not the same guy as the protagonist of the main installments.
- Ascended Extra: Previously only shown in a few cutscenes in prior games, Shingo takes the role of cameraman in the third installment from Reda.
- Benevolent Architecture:
- Much of San Vanelona is designed as the perfect skateboarding city.
- In Skate 3, Port Carverton is pretty much a Skate Heaven on earth.
- Demoted to Extra: In the first two games, Reda was the snarky camera man. In the third, he opens up a skateboard shop, puts himself in charge of sales, and hands the camera over to Shingo. He still calls you from time to time to constantly remind you that you should do photo shoots and other stuff.
- Downer Beginning: While there is an aura of jokiness, none of the installments begin on particularly high notes:
- Skate starts with you being hit by a bus and being escorted to the SVGH for some Meatgrinder Surgery.
- Skate It has an earthquake occur while an unknown skater is riding around, destroying a good chunk of San Vanelona.
- Skate 2 begins with you leaving prison after doing time for an unknown crime, only to find that the city was rebuilt by a zealously anti-skater Mega-Corp.
- Skate 3 has you lose an endorsement with Video Skateboarding after a botched jump that ends with you landing face first.
- Excuse Plot: Although there are a lot of events and challenges to do, the plot seems mostly to get you to explore every part of the map.
- Heroic Mime: Your character has no voice. Reda (or Shingo in the third game) basically talks for you.
- Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: To prevent you from going anywhere you want, the game usually just has high walls or water. However, there are certain patches of grass that make you bail out or instantly reset you outside their boundaries when you step on them.
- Jumping the Shark: Literally, in Skate 3. The very beginning has you trying to jump a shark statue, only to overshoot and utterly faceplant. The second time is more successful, and nets you a Thrasher cover.
- Level Editor: Comes in two flavors in the third installment. There's your standard skate park editor, with hundreds of objects to choose from and four different parks to build in, and the Object Dropper, which lets you, well, drop random objects into the game world.
- Lighter and Softer: Skate It, being aimed for a more casual audience, ditches all the teen-level objectionable content in the typical games to score an E rating from the ESRB.
- Made of Iron: You can jump off of entire skyscrapers and smack face-first into the pavement, and the only thing this does to your character is give him/her a few minor bruises and cuts. However, in Hall of Meat mode, you do suffer broken bones, but this is purely cosmetic and does nothing to actually hinder your character. And it gets better. Exploit the physics engine and your character can twist, turn, and teleport in impossible ways, only to stand up afterwards unhindered and looking perfectly normal.
- No Fourth Wall: While San Van/New San Van/Port Carverton are supposedly real in-universe, Reda, and more recently Coach Frank, find no need to stick to the fourth wall. Heck, EA Black Box sponsors most of the in-game events. Skate 2 and 3's megaparks are sponsored by themselves. Once you can use the Object Dropper in Skate 3, characters do notice. Failing pros even ask who programmed them.
- No Name Given: The Player Character was never given a Canon Name, or even a nickname. The closest they had gotten to a moniker was with "Prisoner #3325" in Skate 2's intro.
- Additional, their signature in the same intro is a simple "X".
- One-Word Title: It's a game about skateboarding.
- Police Brutality: Security Guard Brutality: Security guards have no qualms with flat-out slamming you to the ground if it gets you out of the "No Skating" zones. They'll even go to such extreme lengths as to tase you if they can't reach you.
- Prison Episode: The second game's intro starts out with the Featureless Protagonist being checked out of the big house, with guest appearances from each of the pro skaters in the game.
- Silliness Switch: The third game is noticeably wackier. Certain cheat codes and unlockables allow you to play as a shorter version of your character with big hands and feet as well as a literal slab of meat, and one cheat makes all the pedestrians act like zombies and chase you down.
- Shows Damage: Your character starts to bruise more if you bail a lot. Damage shown on your character's model is dependent on the clothes you're wearing, with characters who are nearly naked getting much more banged up than those who cover themselves properly. Your clothes also get dirty as you get knocked around.
- Shout-Out: In the Hawaiian Dream Downloadable Content for Skate 3, a couple of the decks and shirts will look like a a certain mechanical hellion on a Judas Priest cover.◊
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: In a skating game, no less, but Fabio dies of unknown causes after the events of the first Skate. The skaters even have a memorial built for him atop the San Van Dam.
- Take That!: In the ads for Skate 2 Eric Koston, a veteran of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, is quoted stating that it is best skating game to feature him.
- The Cameo: One code lets you play as Isaac Clarke on a futuristic skateboard in freeplay in 3.
- Version-Exclusive Content: The Nintendo DS and iOS versions of Skate It have content that is not in its Wii version, which conversely has mechanics that are not in those other versions:
- In the Wii version, you can visit Rob Drydek's Matrix Plaza and survey the damage the earthquakes did to it. Gameplay mechanics that are Wii-exclusive with respects to the game include the Hall of Meat injury system, the own/kill challenge completion system and additional milestones to complete while free-roaming.
- The Nintendo DS and iOS versions feature several maps and environments that are not in the Wii version, such as the Lake Sherwin park and the streets of San Francisco. These versions also have mandatory missions where you have to compete against local and professional skaters in a variety of games, including S.K.A.T.E. duels, all which are absent in the Wii version, in which the skater and Reda are its only major characters.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- In addition to the amusing reality breaking physics, the second and third games have an explicit game mode called Hall of Meat, where the entire point is to try and inflict as much bodily harm on your player character as possible.
- Skate 3 adds a function where you can hit passing civilians with your skateboard, but annoy them too much and they'll tase you.
- Wide-Open Sandbox: The series' cities provide so much stuff to skate on.
- You Have Researched Breathing: Much like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, the sequel gives you the ability to walk around on foot.