Maybe I’m a little too stuck in the past, but some of my happiest gaming memories came from the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games. Busting out some wizard moves, gleaming the cube and other skateboarding lingo, resulted in some great nights and moments with my friends.
Which was fantastic, as my actual skateboarding skills in real life left a lot to be desired. But popping an insane trick and landing it? Priceless. Especially when you were split-screening with friends and seeing who could land the highest of scores.
That’s the sensation that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is aiming for, according to producer Dino Verano, who I grabbed for a few minutes at E3 last week. “What we’re trying to do, trying to bring back that classic feel, the time where Pro Skater was kind of its best,” Verano said.
The classic Tony Hawk Pro Skater controls, focus on high scores, combos. Just a game that’s really easy to pick up, fun to play but incredibly difficult to master.
It’s not all nostalgia however. There’sa few modern touches being added to the game as well, as Verano explained:
So one thing that we didn’t have is the ability to push or gain speed manually. But now we’ve added that, so you don’t need to jump up and down anymore to gain a little bit of speed.
You can press R2 or the trigger and just kick your way along. And of course if you add one of those, you have to add a break, so we put that on the L2 and left trigger.
In the classic games you used to automatically consume your special when you git it. And sometimes that left you in an awkward space.
You just got off this big ramp, you just did this big trick and then all of a sudden you’re on the ground, on flat land or between tricks and you have your special meter taken down. So what we want to do is alleviate that by letting you trigger your special meter when you want to.
And that also includes a big focus on online play, in addition to the single-player, with a skate park lobby grouping friends and people together:
We’re going to be twenty players, multiplayer, online. It’s online by default. You just hop on, you hop into a part and because we’re using dedicated servers, the park is already online your friends may be waiting online for you.
Friday night, plug it all in and we connect together and we hop in together and we play.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 will feature nine levels and ten skaters. Skaters who are the cream of the crop right now:
We have a list of ten. We have to have Tony Hawk. We’ve got a couple classics, we’ve got Andrew Reynolds, we’ve got Chris Cole. And of course, the dominant force in skateboarding right now, Nyjah Huston. He’s huge right now.
Of course we’ve got a couple of cool ones that Tony picked out himself like Aaron Homoki. We’ve got Leticia Bufoni, Lizzie Armanto, David Gonzalez and then also of course Riley Hawk.
And maybe even a few bonus characters, although Verano was being tight-lipped about that one:
Tony himself may have hinted at the characters that may be in there. Goes by the first name “Richard”. We’re trying to keep it hush hush on who the special characters are, and what might be coming through the pipes.
I genuinely loved my hands on time with the game. It brought out some good memories, of a simpler time in gaming. When the objective was clear and focused. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5, is hitting all those buttons for me right now. The old meets the new in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. And I’m digging that.
Last Updated: June 24, 2015