Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7
Skate 3 is a skateboarding simulation game meant for those who prefer more realistic action than what you'll find in games like the Tony Hawk series. The Skate franchise has made realism the center of their focus, and this iteration follows that same trend. Just like learning to actually skateboard, you'll have to put in lots of patience and time if you hope to succeed. When you first start the game, it will feel like the different tricks aren't possible, but with the proper practice, you'll gain the skill to perform some truly amazing feats.
In Skate 3, one of the main areas of focus is the community. You can use the software to share customized parks you've built or videos and photos you have recorded. Whenever you share something, that content gets saved to the Cloud, and it remains accessible forever. This produces a ton of content that can be browsed through the community.
In the hub area, you can participate in events by yourself, join a team, or perform Story mode activities with local multiplayer. The goal of the system is to provide a sense of continuity between the offline and online worlds. Of course, the system isn't perfect, and you might find yourself joining a free play room with no other occupants.
This game can be played by just about any audience. You can change the difficulty level to any of three available options, and altering the difficulty will make the maps easier to complete and tricks easier to accomplish.
One of the most amazing facets of the franchise is the control system. You can move the board using the right analog stick, and the skater is controlled by either the left analog stick or the D-pad. If you want to be able to perform the greatest tricks and combinations, you need dexterous control over the joysticks.
While it sounds like it might be annoying to deal with an increased default level of difficulty, the sense of skill and reward you'll receive from this game truly raises the game to a new level. When you actually manage to successfully complete certain maneuvers, you'll feel much more satisfied than you would playing a Tony Hawk game that's set up more like an arcade game.
For this version, the graphics haven't really been updated that much. The world is entirely open and free, but that leaves it relatively empty since the environment is supposed to be populated by social aspects of the game. When there's no one else online, the world is dull.
One of the biggest issues with the game is the camera. You can't control the camera yourself, and the camera sometimes switches positions at the worst possible time. This only makes it harder to control your character. However, the camera problem is negligible considering the strengths of the rest of the game.