As The Birdman himself will attest, you can’t master the art of skateboarding without taking risks and falling down. The two most recent entries in the Tony Hawk franchise certainly reflect that, as the plastic-peripheral-packed Ride and Shred were unquestionable disasters. All parties involved have pulled themselves off the ground after that brutal spill, though, with a classic trick in mind for the next leap off the ramp — an HD reimagining of the original Pro Skater and its sequel’s best levels.
Pro Skater HD includes far more facial definition than previous games in the franchise. Who knew there was so much rage in skateboarding?
We got to check out the iconic Warehouse — the first stage of the debut THPS. On one hand, it’s not the ideal locale to showcase the HD upgrade given to Tony’s old proving grounds (it’s browner than some of Gears of War’s dullest levels), but it did provide a glimpse at how the game will stay true to its skating roots. Not a single element of the stage was out of place — the rails, ramps, and bumps in the road were exactly where we remembered them, and the hidden tchotchkes were in the same spots as before, too. Though when Tony blasted through the glass-encased room above the half-pipe, we could have sworn we saw a disc in place of the tape…
Other parts of Pro Skater HD are similarly skating between honoring the classics and treading newer ground. We know manuals will be included, but an Activision rep couldn’t confirm the presence of THPS 3’s revert or Project 8’s “nail-a-trick” option, stating that Robomodo is trying to “take the best of the old games.”
If Robomodo limits the feature set to the first two THPS games, grinding will be essential for nailing high scores.
The iconic soundtracks are also in the air. Due to the nature of music licenses, Activision can’t pluck the original tunes from the first or second THPS without again paying the artists involved. The publisher’s social-media guru (and former OXM editor) Dan Amrich noted the most likely scenario would be to see a “mix of some classic tracks with new music.”