Black Box have always been keen to support the Skate series with regular DLC updates. Some are better than others, but nearly all require you to shell out your cash on Xbox Live or PSN. Thankfully then, the After Dark pack is free this time.
As the name implies, this is the first time that virtual skaters can hit the streets at night. I’m not sure why they’ve never tried out the concept before, as sneaking into spots under the cover of darkness has always been a pretty common activity for the urban sport.
The nocturnal setting is restricted to the new Sanitarium locale, a mix between the DIY park found in Skate 2’s San Vanelona and a creepy mental asylum. It’s all very quiet and mysterious, filled with urban graffiti and abandoned spillways. The Sanitarium is surprisingly large and is a much needed contrast to the colourful and cheerful city represented in Port Carverton. I’m not condoning the constant use of muddy browns and urban textures, but the styling of this DLC pack felt like a breath of fresh air.
There are a few new challenges thrown into the mix, including a photo shoot, film sequence and a couple of Own The Spots. I thought that the film sequence was surprisingly tricky (hitting that rail from the launch pad was insane), but otherwise you can finish up the tasks in about half an hour. Perfect for a quick evening’s entertainment.
Over 40 new pieces of licensed gear are included in this pack too, although I found most of them to be pretty lifeless and uninspired. Still, when the content is free it’s hardly worth complaining is it?
Players who purchased Skate 3 first hand can download After Dark for free. Simply launch the game and open up the start menu, from there accessing the DLC option (it’s X on the 360, presumably square on the PS3) – and as long as you’ve used the Skate Share code already, you’ll be able to download the update straight away. If you’ve bought Skate 3 second hand, you can still buy the DLC by paying 400 points on the marketplace.
In my eyes, free DLC is always a good idea. It makes the developer look genuinely thankful for their customers and loyal to the progression of a franchise. Whether it’s a big or small update, you’ll never feel like you’ve been ripped off. I wouldn’t recommend paying 400 points for After Dark, but if you need a new spot to session this is certainly worth checking out.