Hands-on Preview – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (PS4)
I forgot the last time I was this excited for a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game. The series was one of the most beloved back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, with a streak of games that constantly improved upon their predecessors. Like most Activision franchises back in the day, the series eventually lost its mojo due to mass saturation, eventually dying out after the release of the abysmal Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. Even though that game was worse than sin, I couldn’t help but shout for joy when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was announced. Now after playing its small preview demo, I’m even more excited for the final product.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is exactly what the title implies. It’s a remake, not a remaster, of the first two Tony Hawk games released in 1999 and 2000, respectively. It’s running on a modern engine, with better physics, graphics, and tricks that weren’t present in the original game, such as manuals, wall plants, and spine transfers. The demo was extremely short, only featuring one skater (good ol’ Tony, of course) and only one course, the iconic Warehouse.
As to be expected, the short demo was only comprised of a two minute free run mode, without any objectives or secret tapes. I didn’t this mind at all, knowing the game will feature classic objectives at at launch. I was more eager to check the brand new engine and see how well a Tony Hawk game would behave with humanly believable physics for once.
It took a me a while to get used to these new physics, not to mention the fact that manuals and grinds were harder to pull off due to more realistic balancing. There’s also the fact that I was playing as Tony, a vert skater, who is old and slow in here. That being said, playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is all about muscle memory. I was soon pulling off 100,000+ point tricks with ease, as if I was nine years old again. The fact that the demo featured Goldfinger’s “Superman” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Guerrilla Radio” also helped. A lot.
This demo helped to showcase that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is finally ready for the current-gen debut it deserves. It looks decent, it runs at a steady 60fps, it’s nostalgic as all hell, and most importantly, it still plays like a dream. Surprising considering the physics are way more realistic this time around. This was all I needed to make me even more excited for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2‘s final release in just a few weeks. My body is ready. So is my Less Than Jake t-shirt.