Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater took the world by storm in 1999 and subsequently became one of the most popular gaming series of the early 2000s. This was followed by multiple successful sequels before the release of a number of poorly received games, especially when the series tried to adapt to the motion controls era. The attempt to return to the glory days was a total fail with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 back in 2015, but finally the series looks like it might be back with the upcoming release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. With that release set to come next month, Activision has released a demo for the game and we got the chance to check it out.
The impending release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a remaster of the original two games, which is set to include all 19 stages from the duo. Even with all of the stages to choose from, it is incredibly fitting that the level chosen for the demo was the first and most iconic level in the series, the Warehouse.
Developer Vicarious Visions has taken the original assets of the Warehouse and redone the visuals to give it an upgraded look that fits right in with other modern video game releases. This is far from the first time the Warehouse has been remastered, but it obviously looks better than ever here. The fact that the Warehouse is such a small level means you will be playing through the same areas over and over again here, giving you a really up close sample of what Vicarious Visions has managed to pull off with this remaster.
On top of the visuals, they also took the original code from Neversoft and added some modern handling on top of it to improve the controls. This is similar to how Vicarious Visions handled the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and it works just as well here. Not only do you have access to the moveset from the original two games here, but they also threw in some later additions to the series like the Revert and more that you can try out here as well.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater in 2020 Compared to 1999
This demo only lets you control Tony Hawk himself, and the handling when playing as him is top notch. This is a major problem that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 had that does not seem to be a problem at all here as you are transitioning from a ramp to a rail and any other tricks in the book. For a game like this, you really have to have tight controls that require you to be precise and they work exceptionally well here so far.
While you can only use Tony Hawk here, the game actually lets you customize skaters with what are known as special moves. Tony has his classic The 900 and two other moves, but also have two other special moves that you can set from a long list of options. It appears that you will be able to set 10 total moves per skater in the full game, but slots 6-10 are locked in this demo. This looks to be a really cool feature to have included, as it will add more versatility to each skater in the game.
The game’s pause menu also has what are known as Game Mods available, which include changing the moveset to Classic Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and Classic Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 if you would like. This also includes some options to make the game easier for players, such as adding perfect rail balance and no bails. Having the classic options are a cool addition, but the new control scheme introduced by Vicarious Visions really feels like the best way to play here in the first stage at least.
30 Minutes of THPS Gameplay
Those looking for a full scale version of the Warehouse stage in the demo, which will be made available to those who pre-ordered the game soon, will likely be a little disappointed. For the purposes of this demo, the Warehouse level is purely for skating to get the highest score in Single Session mode. This means you won’t find any of the additional tasks like finding the SKATE letters, finding the hidden tape, or smashing all the boxes. The boxes themselves actually are scattered around the stage here, but hitting them does absolutely nothing. Instead, you have two minute runs at a time to get the highest score possible. This isn’t exactly a bad thing though, as this means they were confident in the skating itself and wanted that to be the sole focus of this demo.
You can’t have a good Tony Hawk game without a quality soundtrack and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 is slated to return most of the original soundtracks, along with some new songs as well. As soon as you first start up the Warehouse, you are greeted with “Superman” by Goldfinger, which is the same song that played for this level in the original game. This brought back a wave of nostalgia that only made the experience all the better. By going to the pause menu, you can even choose what song you want to listen to and turn off songs in the playlist. For the demo there are only four songs, but it would be assumed that the full game will have more of the songs to choose from in each level. These included two classic songs and two new songs to the series, which was a good sampling to show what we can expect.
The trailers and gameplay footage we’ve seen for Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 were already a good showcase of the game’s visuals, but the Warehouse demo’s goal is first and foremost to show off the game’s controls and handling, both of which appear to be really solid so far. There are a number of announced features that are brand new to the games like additional challenges and online multiplayer, in addition to a much improved create-a-park mode as well. Hopefully everything else maintains the quality of the upgraded visuals and gameplay found in the Warehouse with the upcoming full release of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2.
- This article was updated on:August 12th, 2020