Having fully failed to learn how to skateboard myself, I'm always a little envious when I see groups of skaters hanging out. Maybe they're sitting on some steps, watching one person pop tricks. Maybe they're going down the street together. Ah, they just look like they're having a good time. So I am curious to see that replicated digitaly inside Skater XL, which is preparing to add ten-player multiplayer. The feature's not quite ready to launch yet, but if you're feeling daring you can now try it on the public beta branch.
"This is being released first as a beta on PC to 'stress test' the system and servers at scale with a large variety of users, see what unexpected unknowns we uncover, gather data and player feedback and further develop some of features with a large user base before rolling the basic Free Skate mode out cross-platform," the devs explain in the beta launch announcement on Friday.
If you have Skater XL and want to try the beta, right-click on it in your Steam Library, go to Properties, then select the "beta - Open Beta" branch to download it. Or you can wait for them to finish it and launch it properly.
Skater XL's multiplayer supports up to ten players, with both rando public lobbies and private skatezones. Replays do work, so you can save your sessions and edit videos showing off everyone's moves. You can play custom maps in multiplayer too, though can only see people's custom gear if you have the mod installed yourself. Best coordinate with the gang if you want to enjoy everyone's fresh looks.
Skater XL left early access in July 2020, and is available on Steam for £31/€34/$40.
I'm laughing revisiting Brendy's 2019 assessment of Skater XL's prototype and how its skating was dishonest because the ragdolling flubs certainly bore no relation to his real-life skillz, which were immense and admired by many. Still, he managed to skate for another eight months before breaking his collarbone. Classic.