Developer: Vicarious Visions
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Gene(s): Sports, Skateboard
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater at one was the most anticipated game from Activision back in the late ’90s and the early ’00s. I was a huge fan back then so I was looking to see what the modern update would be like and whether it would hit the legendary status of the original. Tony Hawk emulated the physics of skating, the skate parks, and characters and their signature moves. They combined all these and a hugely competitive side to Tony Hawk and allow you to chain ridiculous (but satisfying combos). Tony Hawk was the de facto standard of skating games and the bench for all competitors.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a faithful update of the original games with some added features too. The most obvious update is the graphics, the levels, and character design has been meticulously brought to modern generation consoles. Levels, textures, and environments are fantastically vivid and vibrant with no draw distance. The original maps from games 1 and 2 and their layouts are as per the original games. Straightaway, there is a newness about the game, it’s bright and just more polished granted it has been 20 years. This is the most obvious and drastic update on the current version of Tony Hawk. It’s all super slick from a visual perspective. The main skating mechanics are just like the original if anything the controls are a bit smoother, it’s combined elements from other moves from other Tony Hawk’s games. Overall, the gameplay is fluid and you have a real sense of control which allows some amazing stunt chains. Sound effects and control mechanics go hand in hand and you feel the skate trucks grinding against edges and the slap when you hit the ground.
Like with all Tony Hawk games, customisation is a huge aspect from skater and to creating skate parks. The create a skater option has a wide variety of face choices, swag, and clothing to choose from if you love the whole create a skater option or you can pick your favourite skater.
Other modes include skate park builder mode where you can create and share your custom skate parks. The tools in the builder are intuitive and will lead to some crazy and fun skate parks, you are unable to set goals or any particular tasks in the skater mode which is lacking.
There is local split-screen play and multiplayer too. Local split-screen is a cool local play option that is welcomed to see. Multiplayer in online mode allows you to play a graffiti mode, horse, tag, score challenge, combo, and challenge. Online play can be competitive or not whichever tickles your fancy.
The game is awesome but so was the original, the minor tweaks to control have made the game feel more responsive. Updated versions of the course bring the levels to life. This game felt like a reboot was needed and they have timed it right. The gameplay is superb and has always been – the strongest point of Tony Hawk. The 2-minute rounds create a sense of urgency and will have you playing the levels again and again. The time limit in the rounds also gives a sense of challenge. It’s one of the few games that there is tons of replay value in the game. This is mainly due to the ability to chain tricks amazingly. Tony Hawk update is a success and is a must-own.