Session: Skate Sim is the latest skateboarding game with an emphasis on realism. In development for several years now, the developers at Crea-ture Studios have been working towards creating a simulation that captures the spirit and reality of skateboarding. With the help of NACON and over 200,000 players providing feedback, Session: Skate Sim just might be the ultimate in realistic skateboarding simulations. What makes the game truly unique is its ground-breaking “True Stance Stick”, where each foot is independently managed using the two sticks on your controller. Needless to say, the learning curve is very steep and difficult to master.
Let’s get some of the obvious out of the way. Session: Skate Sim is a great-looking game. The developers went for realism her so you’re going to see super-realistic environments. The city itself looks fantastic with lots of detail, right down to stuff like amazing pavement textures, wall textures, and even weeds that appear randomly in the pavement. All the objects have this weathered, used look and don’t look all shiny and polished. It’s very dirty like a city should look.
Character models look pretty good too, though some of the clothing could use a bit of work. The look of the blue jeans isn’t quite there yet. Other than the look, the game seems to have great audio and sound effects which should help with the immersion.
Now here’s the part that will cause a ton of frustration at the beginning and that’s the control scheme. It’s very different from any skateboarding game you have ever played. If you thought you were good at skateboarding because of games like Tony Hawk or SKATE, you’re in for a rude awakening. The “True Stance Stick” while innovative, takes an insane amount of time and practice to master. Basically, the two control sticks act at both your feet. The left stick is for your left foot and the right stick is for your right foot. Tricks are performed by a series of stick movements depending on which stance your rider is in. Pushing your board is performed by pressing either the X button or A button – X is for your left foot and A is for your right foot. Lastly, in order to turn, you’ll have to use the triggers. again, the left trigger is to turn left and the right trigger is to turn right.
The hard part here is isn’t pushing. Instead, it’s turning and trying to pull off tricks. Turning requires using the triggers, which is weird because it’s not something we normally use triggers for in other games. So you have to get used to how much you push the triggers in for and for how long. Next are the trick controls. Basically, for most kickflips and ollies, you have to jump off with one foot and then initiate a trick with the other foot. Usually, we just have a button to jump and another button + a control stick direction to perform tricks. The “True Stance Stick” makes sense though in your head, but getting your hands to do what you want them to do can be tricky. It’s supposed to simulate using your feet in real life and that can be difficult to master because no other skateboarding game has ever played like this.
Don’t give up though after the frustration because once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly satisfying. I’m not quite there yet and I’m still in the “Tony Hawk” mindset, but I can see the potential of the game once I get some more hours of practice time in.
So should you pick up Session: Skate Sim? If you’re a huge fan of skateboarding games, I would say yes. It’s very different from anything you’ve ever played before and while it might seem familiar at first, you’ll come to realize just how special and unique it is. However, this is a game that requires a lot of time and practice so it’s not going to be for everyone, especially if you get frustrated easily. The game is still in Early Access too, so there are a ton of bugs and there are still features and maps being added to the game that aren’t there yet. Early Access does allow you to help the devs out so they can make the game as perfect as it can be, or you can wait for the final release, which there isn’t a definitive date set yet. Until then, the game still feels pretty good in Early Access trim.
Disclaimer: Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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