Pro skater of Tony Hawk 1 + 2 it may be a remaster, but it is also ambitious. The upcoming collection of iconic PlayStation-era games aims to take players’ favorites to the original titles – skaters, courses, tricks – and update them to make them feel at home in 2020. It’s not as simple as it sounds .
Games, especially early 3D games, do not always age gracefully. This is a difficult balancing act; change too little and the game will feel like a date, but it will change too much, and it may be a different game. Fortunately, from what I̵
The demo I played – which will be available on August 14 for those who pre-played the game – is, of course, a very short part of the overall experience. I could only attend one level (the iconic stage of opening a warehouse), use a skater (Tony Hawk, obviously), and play in single session mode, where you have exactly two minutes to do whatever you want. But that was enough to excite me about the final product.
The most obvious change is the way the game looks. Blocked, muddy characters and environments have been replaced by much more realistic visualizations. The characters, in particular, look great. I liked the way skaters would move their bodies somewhat awkwardly when landing on a particularly difficult trick, and it has a great effect when you delete it as if someone is rewinding a VHS tape. But despite the new coat of paint, things are not so different. The warehouse is located exactly as it was 20 years ago. All the details – the wall you drill through to reach ground level, the hard-to-reach office, the cab – are still there. They just look a lot more realistic.
This extends to the way the game is played. I haven’t played now THPS for many years, so I can’t say exactly that the remaster is completely true in terms of control. But Feels the way I remember him playing; this probably means that the developer’s Vicarious Visions smooths out some of the awkward animations and controls so that the new version doesn’t look dated. Whatever the studio did, it worked. In the best case, THPS it has always fitted into the narrow space between an arcade game over the top and a more realistic simulation and still feels that way. He just has enough realism and difficulty in extracting cool tricks that he captures the excitement of a skateboard without all the frustration. Even if you suck, it’s fun. And you can still do it while listening to Goldfinger and Rage Against the Machine.
There are many more questions about the game, of course. THPS1 + 2 combines two games, with a metagar on top that connects them together in a way that should create a cohesive whole. There are also new online and elements to create, along with a modern cast. These elements will be an important factor in whether the new game has constant strength and I have not yet been able to experience any of them.
But the demonstration is still a relief. One of the reasons fans have been so excited about the remaster is that Tony Hawk series there … well, it hasn’t been very good in years. I would not accuse anyone of being careful about another attempt to revive it, given past attempts. THPS5which was, to put it nicely, a disappointment. That’s why this new demonstration, as short as it is, is so welcome. There may still be issues with the game as a whole, but at its core, THPS1 + 2 does what he says: plays like a classic Tony Hawk while you look like a brand new game.
Pro skater of Tony Hawk 1 + 2 will launch on September 4 on PS4, Xbox One and PC (via the Epic Games Store).