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A closer look at Skater XL’s controls, out today on PS4

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A closer look at Skater XL’s controls, out today on PS4

Take a deeper dive into the 100% physics-based controls.

Hey everyone! Skater XL launch day is upon us and we honestly could not be more excited to bring the evolution of skateboarding games to the PlayStation platform!

Without a proper entry into the skate genre in over a decade, and fans clamoring for a new title, the question that we had to ask ourselves was; 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 game.

From early in development, we were very decided on bringing something new to the genre. We felt there was another big step that this genre could take and we were very well positioned to have a go at it. This is our interpretation of the skating game people really wanted the whole time.This is where things were moving to.

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.

There are a range of basic movements, with a ton of freedom in how they are performed. Skater XL uses physics controlled by the sticks to drive all movement in the game, which is a huge shift from traditional ‘canned animation’ based systems which all past skateboarding games have been based upon. 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. 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.

And while much work was put into pushing and evolving the controls and game mechanics, careful consideration and testing were put in so that the controls were not difficult to learn. One of our goals in developing the controls and gameplay for Skater XL was to make skateboarding accessible to anyone with even a casual interest in skateboarding. We didn’t want the controls to be the challenge of playing the game, but rather have them be intuitive and allow the player and challenge themselves to develop their skills, allowing a huge amount of depth for those who choose to progress their skill-set and creativity. We’ve seen countless times in testing and through the game’s Early Access that once players have experienced the level of control available in Skater XL, they can’t imagine ever taking a step back to previous control schemes.  It’s that satisfying.

And while the core gameplay mechanic is at the center of everything Skater XL was designed around, the environments, pro skaters, customization, challenge system, and community content provide the authentic window into the skate world that make the game a must have for anyone with even a casual interest in skateboarding.

In building Skater XL we feel that we have really created something that gives people the tools to enjoy, express and appreciate skateboarding, and we can’t wait to see what PlayStation fans create with it. Thank you so much for all your support.

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24 Comments

  • So. Insanely. Excited this finally coming to consoles! Been following this game for years, and anxiously awaiting when it would leave “early access” and become something I could play on my PS4! Thanks for bringing back a genre deeply missing from the current generation of video games. Things like Olli Olli and Skate City are fun, but nothing compares to a high-definition, open-world skate simulator! (Thanks for including community maps at launch as well! Hopefully this will be an ever-evolving game that allows the community to continue to support it for years to come!)

  • I do love skateboarding games and have a few still active on my ps3 and ps2. I also longboard myself. However the price is big when you’re taking a chance on gameplay you’ve not been able to try yourself first. A playable demo to get the feel of the controls would have been good to consider buying day 1 or wait for reviews. Unfortunately I can’t spend that much to take a chance without a demo. I know you’re a smaller team, but even a 5min timed demo would help since it’s a new series….sorry I have to wait for reviews or a sale at this price. I would also miss people walking around the city. I know they get in the way, but it makes a difference (FF15’s empty world is an example)

    • I completely agree with this. There’s no way I can commit without a demo, as the controls in this sort of game are really important for my enjoyment. I remember sinking about 5 hours into the Skate demo when it came out, and it was only then that I was happy to commit to the full game.

      I’m really sorry, as I would love to support this. But without having a go first, I don’t think I’ll be able to bring myself to buy it.

    • My feelings exactly.
      A new, unusual, innovative control scheme sounds great but also sounds risky from a consumer’s standpoint. I don’t want to invest my money on something that has a control scheme that I might never be able to feel comfortable with. A demo would be ideal.

    • There’s a fair few videos explaining the controls on Youtube for the PC version which is the same. Check them out.

  • Is there any information at all about Skater XL being digitally available one day?

  • It’d be nice if you guys could link to the game on the store. So Its easier to buy and pre-order games.

  • I saw this at the store today, i didn’t know it was only 1 player. Seemed odd.

  • Absolutely CANNOT wait to play this. My copy should be arriving tomorrow

  • This looks amazing definitely gonna start saving up
    The controls sound very interesting. It’s a risky idea but I like the freedom it gives. Graphics look phenomenal for a small studio such as yourselves too!

  • good morning the game has everything to be a success, we are orphans of skate games, but after playing for more than 7 hours I couldn’t adapt to the controls, when I prepare an ollie I can’t use the analog controller to turn left and right , I have to use the buttons L2 and R2 to turn or to make a 180 and this is not natural. My suggestion was to make the controls the same as the Skate EA game or at least give that choice to the consumer. The graphics and sound are excellent, the only problem is the controls are too difficult

  • Guys I bought this game for 40 euro. And I feel I got ripped of really bad. Its essentialy a demo with couple of maps, unstable framerate witch is a surprise because the game looks crappy and unpolished. Its also buggy and glitchy as hell.

    Animation looks crap and stiff. They say the controlls are realistic, they are unnececery and unintuitive. Also they say its phisics based, it does not feel like it is because you dont feel the actual weight of the skater. Interaction with curbs , ramps erc is crapy.
    What are tese guys thinking selling a demo with no actual content for 40euro. Its insane

    • Thanks for the heads up, sounds like I just dodged a bullet. I’ll wait for THPS 1+2 next month instead. May try this if it’s a tenner one day.

  • DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS GAME. I downloaded this game yesterday for $40 and its def not worth it. At first I thought the two footed control system might be cool but its completely disfunctional. As soon as you do a 180 the controls get jumbled. The L2 + R2 direction control sucks, you can use the left d pad to control but if you push it too far you start doing tricks unintentionally. Grind controls are no better, sheer luck if you lock in to something. Not sure if you can blunt slide. And I think they left out manuels completly. All and all I feel completly ripped off. I’d rather play Skate 1 on my PS3.

  • It’s great to see another Skateboarding game, finally. However I there’s a total lack of life in the levels, no traffic, no pedestrians, no time of day or weather system, I don’t even think the clouds move.

  • You will see two to three types of comments. controls suck(people don’t take the time to learn) , nothing to do(it’s a skaters skating game go do a line and film it, it’s not tony hawk arcade), why can’t i do (insert tony hawk thing).

  • Should be able to mark the tricks you want to learn

  • Me parece una entrega increíble y me gustaría que el juego se siguiera desarrollando más, si tiene unos contras, lo cual no tiene historia o multi jugador, en PS4 no se puede descargar mapas y más. Por el resto del juego está muy bien hecho…

  • Dose skater xl save the amount of km done each session because I heard it doesn’t (Ps4)

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