At last! After what has been *years* of wanting and begging for someone, somewhere to release a decent new skateboarding title on PS4, it looks like that finally, thanks to Easy Day Studios, we have something to be excited for with Skater XL.
An entirely new skateboarding IP, Skater XL is much closer to EA’s beloved (but sadly departed) Skate series, with an emphasis on more realistic, physics driven movement and tricks, rather than the daredevil stunts of the also dearly departed Tony Hawk’s series.
Skater XL PS4 Gives Sony’s Console A Much Needed Skateboarding Effort
This focus on a more grounded approach to skateboarding is reflected in Skater XL’s rather different control system. Rather than having multiple buttons for grinds, manuals, grabs, jumps and so on, Skater XL instead only permits control through the thumbsticks. Simply put, each of the DualShock 4’s thumbnails correspond to a their respective foot – the left stick moves the left foot, the right stick moves the right foot and that’s it. That’s your lot.
Despite such a seemingly basic control system, Skater XL nonetheless permits players a great deal of creative latitude when it comes to crafting their own arsenal of tricks and eye-opening stunts.
Currently in PC early access, Skater XL is coming soon to PS4 and PS4 Pro with no fixed release date. All the same, you can not not only catch a sweet Skater XL PS4 gameplay trailer at the bottom of this article, but you can also catch excerpts from the Official PlayStation Blog where Dain Hedgpeth, Director at Easy Day Studios goes into depth on Skater XL’s intuitive control system below:
“Fans of the genre have famously been clamoring for a new Skate and a revival of an old franchise, but the question we’ve been asking ourselves at Easy Day Studios is — what would a skateboarding game designed from the ground up today look like? We’ve spent the last few years looking to answer that question, designing and improving Skater XL through Early Access, and now moving towards the full launch of the complete 1.0 game.
The most important thing to understand about Skater XL is that it’s designed to be fun in the same way that skateboarding is fun. The core of the gameplay is designed more as an expressive and creative tool than a traditional video game with pre-set challenges to complete.
The game is unique in that it doesn’t have any tricks programmed into it, only control of the movement through the thumbsticks. Each thumbstick is connected to the character’s corresponding foot — the right stick controls the right foot, the left stick controls the left foot.
This control scheme is consistent through all parts of the gameplay, making it easy to learn and rely on when inventing new tricks and movements. See below where the same movements have been made on the sticks in different modes of the gameplay. The front foot is pushed left and the back foot is pushed right, creating the same movement of the board in each situation.
While jumping and grabbing
and while grinding
There are a range of basic movements, with a ton of freedom in how they are performed. Skater XL uses physics controlled by the thumbsticks to drive all movement in the game, which is a big step away from traditional ‘canned animation’ based systems. Precise movements made through the thumbsticks will make your tricks look and feel different each time, adding a level of expression, personalization, and style to the gameplay.
Below is an example of flipping the board while jumping to create tricks like kickflips and heelflips. How you flick the front foot creates different movement during the trick.
Flicking the front foot fast
This same level of control is available in all types of tricks including jumps, flips, grinds, powerslides and manuals.
As your level of skill and creativity grows, you can combine and chain these tricks together in any way you like. For example, see here three different trick lines possible using just three basic tricks – kickflip, powerslide and crooked grind.
Grind to powerslide down the bank…
Powerslide to bank drop-in
Big kickflip down the bank gap
There are so many ways to combine and style the same few tricks, and there are a lot of tricks possible in Skater XL!
The resulting gameplay is very much free-form, sandbox and creative in nature. Think of it more like a musical instrument than a conventional game.
The final piece of the puzzle is the environment. You can take this set of basic skills and tricks and re-invent the environment any way you like. Whether you push yourself, perfecting the subtle nuances of a highly technical trick, or just want to catch some air, our environments are yours to leave your mark on.”
Source: Official PlayStation Blog