Preview: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD
This is the high definition reboot that fans of the Tony Hawk’s franchise have been waiting for with trepidation.
Name: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD
Multiplayer: Online Multiplayer
Platforms: PSN, XBLA
Release Date: July 18 2012 (for XBLA, PSN delayed)
This new reboot consists of levels from both the first two games in the franchise, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, and is being developed by Robomodo. Robomodo are the developers behind Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred which were abysmal failures financially and critically. Many doubts waver about in my mind, and many fans I assume as well. But there is a great deal of potential here for a successful restart to the franchise.
This return to the roots for the franchise is a very warm welcome to a series which has lost the plot over the past few years, leading to the franchise falling prey to Activision’s death grip and an abundance of peripheral associated game releases. With both Tony Hawk: Ride and Shred solidifying the failings of the franchise; a ‘back to basics’ approach was in dire need. Utilising online platforms such as XBLA and PSN was a nice surprise for the distribution of this HD remake of two classic PlayStation 1 games. The game itself is a combination of gameplay mechanics from the first two games, moving away from the gameplay changes that followed in the wake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, Underground and American Wasteland which is where the franchise began to veer off into oblivion.
This will of course mean a great deal of grinding rails, performing vert tricks, ramping off objects, catching air and performing a monstrous string of tricks to pull off combos. With this HD remake, objectives will be the primary driving force of the singleplayer experience such as collecting the letters to form the word ‘Skate’ and finding hidden DVDs (which will replace the tapes of the earlier iterations in the game series).
Not much has been said of the multiplayer side of things but I expect the return of multiplayer ‘Trick Attack’ and ‘HORSE’ modes in full force, reminiscent of the first two games in the series. There will also be the return of classic skaters to this remake’s player roster such as Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen and now included is Tony Hawk’s son, Riley Hawk.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD isn’t a mere HD enhancement of the first two games slapped together. It is essentially a re-imagining and amalgamation of the first two games using the Unreal 3 engine which means the game boasts some seriously stellar visuals. The soundtrack for the game promises to be bring back half of the old school tracks we know from the original games with the rest of soundtrack being composed of newer songs. I would have preferred more songs from the old soundtrack due to the whole nostalgic factor of a game release like this, but it’s not a huge problem.
Yet, the game is looking promising and with future downloadable content in the form of stages from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, the development direction seems positive. Only time will tell if this HD reboot will be a success. I surely hope it will be.