The past several years haven’t been kind to the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise but that’s hopefully set to change soon. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is out on September 4th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC via the Epic Games Store, providing a remaster of the first two games. What sets it apart from the classic versions and what should you know before buying? Here are 15 things that should help.
Will “Overwhelm” Hardcore Fans
Given the general notoriety that the franchise has garnered with recent iterations, how exactly did the remaster come about? According to Tony Hawk, it was Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick who suggested it to him. Speaking to IGN, Hawk felt that it was an “answer to a call of the hardcore fans. When people think of the first games, they have a certain nostalgic view of it. They don’t really realize how truly low resolution it was. I truly believe that the hardcore fans of our original series are going to be satisfied and probably overwhelmed by how good this is.” Considering how much effort is going into the remaster and Hawk’s own seal of approval (especially after the failure of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5), there’s plenty of reason to stay positive.
All Tricks, Levels and More
While designated as a remaster, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a lot more than that. It’s more of a ground-up remake, which still maintains elements of the classics to provide better visuals but with the same gameplay feel. All of the tricks, levels and more from the original two games are included and then some. Compared to the underwhelming HD versions that released years ago, this collection is a completely different beast.
4K Resolution Support and 60 FPS
Developer Vicarious Visions has already confirmed 4K resolution support, redoing all assets for the original 19 levels in the process. This bring a crispness and modern feel to the games but won’t be changing how fans play them (more on that in a bit). Both titles can run at 60 frames per second, though the PC version will likely offer higher frame rates.
Similar Level Geometry
Neversoft’s original code for the handling is still intact with some modernization done so it should control exactly as fans remember. However, Vicarious has also worked on the level geometry to make sure that the skating lines are just like the classics. So despite all of the assets being updated for 4K, levels will be familiar in terms of feel.
Revert, Wall Plant and More Included
The handling has seen a bit of adjustment but the developer has modernized the first two games in other ways. Along with all of the original tricks, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 will also include tricks from the sequels. The Revert and Lip Trick from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 along with the Wall Plant and Spine Transfer from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 are here, and should open up even more crazy combos.
37 New Tracks
The iconic soundtrack is here…or at least most of it is. “Superman” by Goldfinger, “Blood Brothers” by Papa Roach, “Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine and many more have returned though each game has three tracks excluded (likely due to licensing issues). To help fill that void, a whopping 37 new tracks have been added, from The Ataris and Zebrahead to Machine Gun Kelly and American Nightmare. Whether you’re into ska punk or 90s rap, it’s all here and should mesh well.
All of the pro skateboarders are back but there’s a catch – they’ve all been aged. Tony Hawk is now 52; Elissa Steamer is 44; Chad Muska is 42 – you get the drift. So committed was the development team to this that they digitally rescanned everyone to get their likeness down. There will be different outfits and such but Vicarious has yet to confirm whether their classic appearances can be unlocked.
The original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games are credited with cultivating skateboarding culture so it only makes sense to include up and coming pro skateboarders in the remaster. Thus far, eight new pro skateboarders have been confirmed including Leo Baker, Aori Nishimura, Riley Hawk and Tyshawn Jones. Each will apparently bring their own unique tricks to the line-up, providing some interesting new possibilities for veterans.
New Tricks, Secrets and Challenges
In terms of other new content, you can expect new tricks, secrets and challenges along with more goals in levels. Vicarious hasn’t gone into too much detail for all of this – which is understandable because why spoil the surprise? Regardless, there should be enough to sink one’s teeth into.
Local Split-Screen and Online Multiplayer
Two players can compete against each other in local split-screen multiplayer, just like the old days. However, online multiplayer is also included, allowing you to compete with the best of them thanks to leaderboards. “Brand-new” online modes have been promised, which still need to be elaborated upon, but we can likely expect Graffiti, Trick Attack, Tag, HORSE and Free Skate to be available if nothing else.
Create-A-Skater and Create-A-Park
Create-A-Park and Create-A-Skater have always been integral to the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater experience. So it’s good to not only see them carried over into Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 but also expanded upon. Along with a variety of new customization options for skaters, players can now share parks online, adding to the available roster significantly. You can even “remix” available parks in different ways.
No Microtransactions at Launch
Compared to its main flagship titles, Activision’s remakes have been handling microtransactions rather differently. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy didn’t have them while Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled added them after launch. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 +2 won’t have microtransactions at launch – Vicarious studio head Jen Oneal confirmed to GameSpot that everything can be unlocked with gameplay. However, the studio might look into paid content afterwards if players are interested in it. It’s a given that updates and post-launch support could be added if the game is successful enough, but there’s nothing currently on the cards
Potential Cross-Platform Play
Cross-platform multiplayer is a more interesting deal though, with Oneal stating that, “When the time comes we will say more.” Does that mean multiplayer between Xbox One, PS4 and PC? Multiplayer between different console generations, like Xbox One and Xbox Series X, even if the remaster hasn’t been confirmed for next-gen consoles? Again, more details are needed but something is seemingly in the works
Those who pre-order the game will receive the Warehouse Demo, which goes live on August 14th. There’s no other means to access the demo and its exact content hasn’t been laid out (aside from featuring, well, the Warehouse level). Nevertheless, skeptical players can use this as a way to try out the gameplay and see how well it really matches up to the original games.
Standard, Digital Deluxe and Collector’s Edition
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 will have three different editions when it launches, each offering access to the Warehouse Demo when pre-ordered. The Standard Edition offers the base game for $39.99. The Digital Deluxe Edition costs $49.99 and features the base game; retro outfits for Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero and Rodney Mullen; Powell-Peralta’s “The Ripper” skater; and retro content for Create-A-Skater. The Collector’s Edition retails for $99.99 and offers all of the previously mentioned goodies along with a limited edition, full size Birdhouse skate board deck.