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Airblade is a hoverboard game similar in style to the Tony Hawk franchise. Of particular note is Airblade's heavy reliance on story. The story follows a group of characters as they determine to save their Airblade project from GCP Corporation who are looking to shut down the Airblade project. When Oscar, an employee of GCP, is kidnapped, his roommate and friends get hold of the Airblade and look to rescue him from the corporation's clutches.
Airblade took its influence from Trickstyle, an earlier hoverboarding game also developed by Criterion, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Players have a number of objectives which they must complete before a time limit expires. Challenges may include story-based goals, or side goals which involve getting a high score or tricking off a particular part of the environment. The control system is similar to past skateboarding games, with an emphasis on tricks, suck as grabs and fliptricks. The more tricks that are chained together (creating combos), the more boost the player gains. Boost allows the player to travel at high speeds across the environment. At the end of each level the player is awarded a rank, ranging from 'A' through to 'D'. The ranks do not determine progression in the story; instead they are integral to unlocking further gameplay features and player characters. The tricks and objectives executed and the speed of level completion are all determining factors in the final rank awarded.
The goals must be executed linearly within the time limit. If the player completes half of the goals but the allotted time expires, the player must completed the goals again on the next run. This adds to the game's hard difficulty level. The game's story mode is relatively short.
Other gameplay types are available aside from the story mode, including stunt attack, score attack, and multiplayer modes. Stunt attack dictates a number of tricks and combos the player must pull off. Similarly, score attack gives the player a target score they must reach before the time limit expires.