At long last, it seems we’re finally getting a proper Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game for the current generation. It’s been a while since we got a good Tony Hawk game, and the massive flop that was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 seemed to have been the final nail in the coffin for the Tony Hawk video game franchise. THPS5 had poor graphics, janky controls, and a disappointing lack of content considering it was made for the current console generation.
As consoles evolved and the Tony Hawk games switched developers from Neversoft to other developer teams, the Tony Hawk games stopped getting better. The games that came after the ones developed by Neversoft for the PS1 and PS2 generation were like underwhelming rehashes of the older games, and their lack of innovation within the skateboarding game genre caused many fans to lose interest. It also didn’t help that skateboarding games generated much less hype in the late ‘00s and early ‘10s, as the worldwide popularity of skateboarding, in general seemed to have peaked in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.
Now that skateboarding seems to be once again rising in popularity in the age of social media, it would be a good time for a new skateboarding game to sweep up the sport’s new fans as well as the now-middle-aged fans of the old Tony Hawk games, and it’s perfect timing for the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. The remake features all the classic stages and skaters of the original games, with everything redone in 4K HD. It’ll also have most of the original games’ soundtracks, which is another thing to be excited about, but perhaps the most exciting thing about THPS1+2 is the fact that it’s being developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision, who respectively developed and published the Tony Hawk games of the Neversoft era.
THPS1+2 promises a lot of the old stuff we liked, but also new modes and features from the other previous Tony Hawk games. While Vicarious Visions and Activision are still tight-lipped on the details of the upcoming remake, we’re patiently awaiting the announcement of some key features we loved in the other games.
Here are five features we’d love to see in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.
The trailer for THPS1+2 revealed that the game would support online and local multiplayer, but didn’t specify what modes would be available. In the previous games, there were some wacky multiplayer modes like Firefight, which was like a Twisted Metal multiplayer mode that had you shooting fireballs at enemy skaters, and Graffiti, which was like a capture the flag-type game that required the player to “tag” as many objects or locations on the map by doing specific tricks and gathering points to create a tag.
The Tony Hawk games reflected the zany state of the ‘90s and early ‘00s pop culture, and game modes like Firefight and Graffiti offered goofy ways you could play these supposedly realistic games with your friends. While they might seem out of place for an HD remake, these multiplayer game modes would definitely be a welcome addition to THPS1+2, if nothing else but for the nostalgia. I’d even love to see a multiplayer split-screen mode.
One of the lesser-known Tony Hawk games is Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam. It was released for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and the PS2, which is why it didn’t gain as much popularity as the other games. Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam is a departure from the usual Tony Hawk games as it’s actually a racing game, and it features the same level of wacky that you’d expect from a timed Nintendo exclusive (it was only released for the PS2 a year after its Wii release date). You could even think of it as Tony Hawk’s Mario Kart.
The fun of Downhill Jam was that it played like the SSX games of the previous console generations, and while we can’t expect a goofy Mario Kart-like game in the upcoming remake, Downhill Jam-like stages would be great to have in the game. It wasn’t just skateboarding games that declined in popularity as time passed, but other extreme sports games too, and more downhill racing stages in THPS1+2 would be a fun addition to the usual game modes. It would make for a great multiplayer mode, too.
One of the strongest features of the Tony Hawk games were their customization modes, which gave players a wide variety of choices for customizing their character and the playable levels.
The Create-A-Skater character creators from the previous games allowed players to dress their skaters up with the latest sneakers and clothes from brands like Zoo York, Vans, and DC, and creating your character was every bit as fun as the rest of the game. It was the coolest character creator around, when skateboarding and skateboarding fashion were at the peak of their popularity, and when you’re done playing dress-up, you get to let your character run wild in a stage of your own making through the Create-A-Park mode.
There’s no doubt that THPS1+2 will have some form of Create-A-Skater and Create-A-Park modes, but here’s to hoping that they’ll be just as stacked with options as the previous games.
Tony Hawk’s Project 8 introduced the open world mechanic to the Tony Hawk games, and while some games before it already had stages large enough to give players an open world feel, it was Project 8 that gave players a whole city to skate in. While the upcoming remake will probably offer classic stages from the original THPS1 and 2, I think it’s safe to expect some kind of open-world or large-enough level for a current-generation game.
An open world in THPS1+2 would allow players to explore more and to try out tricks in environments that are closer to real life than the extravagantly laid-out stages of the original games, and the addition of an open world would suit THPS1+2’s more life-like graphics. Who wouldn’t want to attempt to grind a rail down a police station’s stairway?
This might be the feature or mode we can least expect in the upcoming THPS1+2 remake, but if the developers ever plan to enhance the original games’ Career modes, tying them all together to create a single-player story mode would be a great enhancement to the experience of playing the original games.
The Underground and American Wasteland games featured story modes that gave players the feeling of progression: you unlocked new outfits, skateboards, and other items as your player-character made his way up in the skateboarding world. Story modes in sports games also give players the experience of being in league with their favorite athletes, and if THPS1+2 were to create a story mode for a custom character, it would be cool to have the final mission be a skate-off with the Birdman himself.
So those were five features we most want to see in the upcoming remake of the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. At this point, we can’t say for sure just what modes and features are going to be available in the game once it’s released, but you can bet that we’ll be covering it as soon as it’s announced. Till then, we can still hope for a Firefight mode. Maybe.
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