Do we have rose-tinted glasses on when it comes to Tony Hawk’s iconic Pro Skater entries, or were they really as good as we remember them? Well, Vicarious Visions (who have managed to successfully remake the recent Crash Bandicoot trilogy and Spyro the Dragon series), have McTwisted the old games into one rebuilt-from-the-ground up experience, and after some hands-on time with the demo, it’s safe to say that things are looking promising.
After many trial-and-error attempts, the winning formula of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise has always been its accessibility and level-design, and Vicarious Visions has gone back to harness exactly that for the remake.
Due to this, the foundation remains the same – the game manages to feel like it did back in 1999, with the layout and trick mechanics all working in the same fashion, albeit a little tighter and more in line with THPS 2. Capturing this nostalgic element of the game is clearly the goal, and if rolling down that first ramp into the iconic Warehouse level while Goldfinger’s Superman blasts in the background doesn’t bring a smile to your face, you’re a robot.
The game’s biggest upgrade obviously comes in the form of a graphical polish, which looks great and having the old game’s visuals burnt into everyone’s memory gives a good frame of reference for how much it has evolved. The most notable change is the lighting, which now beams through the Warehouse windows and sun-soaks certain areas of the ramps, which really does look stunning; and the gameplay does run at a silky smooth rate which does justice to just how good the flow of these games are.
From the demo, it’s hard to see all the new additions to the classic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater formula, but it’s clear that Vicarious Visions have understood what made these games so beloved in the first-place, rather than getting distracted with convoluted objectives. It just feels good, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the full release and double-kickflip down that stair-set in School this September.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remake will launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on 4 September 2020.