Skater XL: Skating in Downtown LA map

Skater XL - Lemos4

Skateboarding video games are few and far between, and usually, it’s Tony Hawk Pro Skater that comes to mind for many. Since then, we’ve had a few different ones including the Skate series and Session. This summer we’ll be getting a new skateboarding game, Skater XL, a newcomer in the scene that marks the first time a skateboarding game is launching on all major consoles since over 10 years ago.

Skater XL is developed by Easy Day Studios, a small studio with 10 people working on the skating game day in and day out, each with a high connection to skateboarding. The team’s goal is to have hardcore skaters appreciate the game while also making it easily accessible to a wider audience.

The game will make you feel like you’re skateboarding, but instead of using your feet, you’ll be emulating them with the two analog sticks. The left stick represents your left foot and the right stick represents your right foot. This is very intuitive and allows for a lot of freedom in honing your skills.

Another cool feature from Skater XL is the control players have over the skater’s feet and board. Other skateboarding games would use trick animations to emulate the cool moves, but with this game, you can actually create, combine, and style your tricks.

Even though the game is getting a proper launch this summer, gamers and skateboarding fans were able to do tricks and flips in the game’s early access since late 2018. Its reception has been very positive by Steam users.

During a preview event, we were able to see a big chunk of the downtown Los Angeles map, and it’s a huge playground for skaters. It’s not one-to-one with the real DTLA, but the studio tries to capture the spirit while also making it fun and engaging. To give you a taste of how big the area is in the game, the map is about the size of four full city blocks.

Skater XL Staples Center

Iconic spots include One California Plaza, Staples Center, and Los Angeles Convention Center. (Those who follow E3 will recognize the convention center.) The map also includes some known spots from Koreatown and Chinatown that were featured in popular skating videos from the early ’90s and mid-2000s.

The studio is currently focusing on Downtown LA, which is almost done. What other maps are being worked on? It’s currently focused on polishing the game, so we can only hope that there will be more announcements soon.

Skater XL has a thriving mod community, and the modders have pumped out thousands of maps that have been complementing the gameplay. They have even created fake skate brands, fake videos, and fake magazines, and Easy Day Studios has been embracing the community. For example, YZ Magazine, created by community member “5uds,” digs deep into the latest in Skater XL.

In July 2020, Skater XL will finally leave early access to get ready for the launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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John Nguyen
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