If you’re impatiently waiting for a new Skate or Tony Hawk’s game (mobile editions aside), there’s a new title that’s just hit Steam‘s early access platform you might wanna know about. It’s called Skater XL and so far, the reviews have been pretty great.
If you’re not familiar with early access, it’s a term used to describe a game – usually from a smaller developer – which is essentially incomplete, but available to play. Indie developers will often work on games this way to get feedback from fans on how they can improve it, add new and better features, or just carry out general bug testing. In other words, Skater XL is playable, but it’s far from finished.
If you purchase it right now, you’ll get a bunch of tutorial videos and a single level called the West LA Courthouse, an actual location which has been recreated in the game, ready for you to shred the fuck out of. There are no points or scores, just an open playground for you to skate. Of course, this will likely change as development continues, but it’s cool to see the concept in action even at such an early stage.
Have a look at the trailer below.
What sets Skater XL apart from classics like the Tony Hawk’s series, is how the controls work. Assuming you have a controller, you control each of your skater’s feet with a control stick. To ollie, for example, you pull down on the right control stick and let it go. To kickflip, you do the previous motion, as well as flick the left control stick to the left to spin the board with your other foot. The result is a slightly more simulated approach to skateboarding, but one that also feels incredibly organic. Not only that, pulling off the same trick multiple times will look and feel different each time.
You can get a feel for the controls from the video below, posted by YouTuber, Nightspeeds.
“It’s been 8 years since the last significant contribution to the skateboarding genre by a big publisher,” developer, Easy Day Studios, wrote on the Steam page. “As an indie, we chose to spend the last four perfecting the thing that really matters for a new big step in the genre – the gameplay and controls.”
Skater XL is available now for $28.95, but depending on how you feel about early access titles, you might wanna wait for more content before you drop any money into it. Either way, it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.