Review – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

For as much as I was looking forward to the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, I was also worried. This is Activision we’re talking about. I hadn’t forgotten about the nuclear disaster that ended up being Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. I was worried this new remake was just going to be a half-baked improvement over last gen’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, which featured a small assortment of levels from the first three games, ported to the Unreal Engine, just like this one.

My worries were dismissed the moment I played a small demo featuring the Warehouse level last month. I then had little to worry about. I just wanted to finally play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and be transported back to the year 2000. Activision and Beenox definitely didn’t screw things up. They fully delivered. Grab your Fu Manchu shirt, your Vans sneakers, and a pair of elbow pads; we’re in for a ride.


Downhill Jam is back. And I still hate it.

Before we begin, I need to clarify that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 isn’t a simple remaster. This is a full-fledged remake of the first two games, not only in terms of visuals, but also gameplay and overall content. You get all of the levels featured in these two games, completely reworked from the ground up, with the same objectives, but a few new ramps, rails and gaps to improve your score. You also have access to brand new, Unreal Engine 4-esque visuals, lighting effects and physics, as well as tricks that were only introduced in later games, such as the wall plant, spine transfers and reverts.

There is new content in here as well, not in the shape of new levels or objectives, but in the shape of tons of new skateboarders, songs, online modes, and items for you to customize your own park. Yes, Create a Park is back, and this is the deepest and most customizable it has ever been. You can easily lose hours designing a level without even noticing, and you can upload it to Activision’s servers. That also means that you can obviously play other people’s creations.


I am totally going to crash in 3, 2, 1…

There lots of new skaters in here, but all of the classics, such as Tony, Bob Burnquist, and Chad Muska, are featured here as well. This is easily the largest roster in the history of the franchise, with a noticeable increase in the number of licensed female skaters. As always, you can also create your own skater. Finally, the soundtrack is comprised of all of the best songs featured in both Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, such as “Superman”, “Evil Eye” and “Guerrilla Radio”, but with the addition of some new tunes, such as Billy Talent’s “Afraid of Heights” and Charlie Brown Jr.’s “Confisco“. The game also does something really smart with its sound design, as the background music gets louder the higher your special meter is. In short, this is the best soundtrack in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater history.


How do they do that without breaking their arm in two?

Finally, the game just feels great to play. As previously mentioned in my hands-on impressions, I noticed how the the physics are a bit more realistic than before, with jumps feeling less floaty, and grinds requiring more tilts on the analog stick in order for you not to fall down on the ground. I got used to these new physics pretty quickly, however. The rest came back to me naturally: all of the tricks, grabs, flips and grinds are performed just like they used to back in the day. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a joy to play, especially due to its rock-solid performance, almost always reaching a buttery smooth 60fps.


This isn’t an accurate portrayal of Venice Beach. It’s too clean.

I just feel happy playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. After feeling disappointed with the re-release of another childhood gem of mine, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, I was worried this game was going to be another case of a poorly aged title that relied more on nostalgia than its actual quality. I’m so glad I was wrong. The game looks great, plays great, sounds great, and it’s adequately challenging. It just makes you smile from start to finish.


Graphics: 8.0

Without a doubt, the best looking and best performing Tony Hawk game of all time, even if that’s not that impressive of a feat.

Gameplay: 9.5

The physics aren’t as floaty as they used to be, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 still retains the franchise’s core “easy to learn, nearly impossible to master” gameplay philosophy.

Sound: 10

By featuring the best songs from both Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and its sequel, as well as a ton of great new songs, this game features the single best soundtrack in the entire franchise, bar none.

Fun Factor: 9.5

It’s a blast from the past that received the right amount of 21st century upgrades. It’s still as fun as it was 20 years ago. The amount of challenges, an interesting progression system, a park builder, and online multiplayer ensure that you’ll play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 for the foreseeable future without ever thinking about stopping.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was provided by the publisher.