Session: Skate Sim Review
As the Dark Souls series and other FromSoft games have risen to prominence, so too has the discussion around difficulty in video games. But the games that drive that conversation are usually seen as difficult but fair by virtue of their design and mechanical balancing. While the developers at Crea-ture Studios are undoubtedly extremely passionate and sought to set a new bar for realism in the skateboarding genre with Session: Skate Sim, what seems to have been forgotten was that at their core, games are meant to be fun.
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It seems that when Crea-ture Studios was presented with a choice between realism and fun, the studio chose the former. In no single area did the devs lean harder into that commitment to realism than in the level of control granted the player. Between the analog sticks, the face buttons, and the triggers, the player has an unprecedented level of control over their in-game character’s feet, specifically. But that control also means that the player is asked to manage even the most minute movements in Session.
At the default difficulty, Session offers very little assistance to the player to facilitate a smoother, more enjoyable experience. The actions performed by the player from the execution of the controls to the timing of inputs are exactly what is translated on screen in a completely unforgiving manner. While the lack of assistance makes sense for a simulation game trying to deliver a faithful experience, that realism makes even the simplest tasks tedious. Session’s mission tricks and objectives are well-thought-out and definitely demand a lot from the player, but when one trick or set of tricks takes more than an hour to land, the entire experience starts to drag.
Early in the tutorial, the control scheme feels new and exciting, but as things continue to get more complex even skating in a straight line or ollie-ing up onto a curb becomes daunting and difficult. The moment at which Crea-ture chose to assign the…