December 4, 2023

Skate 4: Pre-Alpha at a glance

Don’t panic – but Skate 4 is in the works. EA has announced the game will be stylized as “Skate.” But let’s be honest, who’s going to call it that? For the sake of simplicity and this article, we’ll refer to the game as Skate 4. A pre-alpha version of the game has been released to a select few individuals, as EA continues to buff out the many flaws it still has. YouTuber Storme is one of those people, and he recently posted a video sampling many of the dynamics Skate 4 displays in its current form. In the video, Storme performs an array of tricks ranging from ground tricks, to grinds, to downhill riding. Immediately the viewer can place him or herself in the perspective of holding the controller and playing the game for themselves. The pre-alpha version of Skate 4 shows a pigmented skater with minimal definition or detail, to show the true physics of the skater in action. From this video, I have a few bones to pick. First of all, the physics of interacting with objects seems sticky. It’s a pre-alpha, and I understand that, but we’ve experienced much better interaction with grindable objects in Skate 2 and Skate 3. I’m confident the developers will iron out these interaction physics in later versions of the pre-alpha, beta and eventually the full game.

Other than that, I have little gripes about the pre-alpha. This version has many aspects that I’m mega-excited to experience for myself. The first of these aspects includes the ability to explore and interact with other players in the session. A mass-scale multiplayer lobby offers a true sense of community with others in the game. From my understanding, this multiplayer free skate mode allows for a massive amount of skaters to skate with each other in real time in the same vicinity. This is a big improvement from the limited 6-player sessions from Skate 3. Another aspect that the community is sure to enjoy, is the bail animations. From the pre-alpha, these animations look ultra-realistic from a physics perspective. In other skateboarding games that have come and gone; such as Skater XL, and Session: Skate Sim, the bail animations display a ragdoll effect that isn’t realistic. This ragdoll animation is a lazy-out for the developers of these games, as it allows the character to interact with the environment and the objects in it with a false sense of inertia. The ragdoll effect simply isn’t realistic since it renders the skater completely lifeless post-bail. The bail animations in Skate 4 are great however, and are sure to please Hall of Meat fans. I’m a bail fanatic, and I could go on about bails for a while. Perhaps I’ll save that tangent for another article. All in all, Skate 4 is far from release, but it’ll be a game that’s well worth the wait. Heck, we’ve waited since 2010, we can wait a little while longer.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau