We started with the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 demo. How did that go?
I was quite excited when it was announced that Tony Hawk Pro Skater would be re-released in a polished version. At the same time, I was skeptical. I am a fan from the very beginning. And the Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD previously released in 2012 was a disaster. So much so that I didn’t even consider trying out the later Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. Then how about Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2?
The game will be released in a month. If you have placed a pre-order you can start with a demo since this week. Apparata has also been busy with this demo. It’s a small preview of the full game. So you only have one map (Warehouse) and only one skater (Tony Hawk). The possibilities are therefore somewhat limited, but that now turns out to be a masterstroke. That’s how I discovered.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 plays very well. The creators have managed to get almost the full old feeling in this new game. That has not been 100 percent successful. For example, I had to double check whether the vibrations were on in my DualShock 4 controller. During grinding, the controller on your PlayStation and PlayStation 2 used to almost shake out of your hands. That is now a lot more subtle. Secretly, I would rather have had that old feeling. Nice and raw.
Other innovations compared to the original is how your skater recovers after a crash. That has become a fairly modern animation that you have to lie down. The skater also shouts all kinds of things. For example if your Special bar is full. That has been a choice. After a while that starts to get quite annoying.
Except for these (small) things, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 plays very well. You forget, in my case, to be a grown man for a moment and feel like a teenager again. How beautiful is nostalgia, isn’t it? The graphics look slick and yet all the details of the old game remain. Now we only got to experience it with Warehouse, but the other folders also looked good in the trailers shared so far.
Another strong element of the old Tony Hawk games is the music. Fortunately, the soundtrack is taken from the past. Old rock songs, interspersed with delicious rap tracks, sound through the speakers. A nice effect is that the sound of the music becomes slightly louder when the Special bar is full. As if it were some kind of reward that you got that Special meter full without falls. With the soundtrack of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 the audio cannot be loud enough as far as I am concerned.
The demo is limited and as I wrote at the beginning of this first impression, it is a masterstroke. I want to keep playing. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 made me very curious about the other maps, the Create-A-Park mode, the other skaters and the multiplayer. You can also customize your skater in this new game, just like your deck (skateboard). A level system has also been devised so that you stay happy with the game in the long term. Not all elements were available in the demo, so we’ll get to that in the full game.
If you’ve played a lot of Tony Hawk in the past, this is a worthy one trip down memory lane. Finally, because Pro Skater HD was a dragon of a game that we can now forget.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC from September 4.