Before Activision had Call of Duty to release every 9 months, even before they had Guitar Hero to release every 6 months, their biggest franchise was Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Not so much on Xbox 360 and the last generation of consoles, but more for the ones before that – PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube. The first four games of Tony Hawk Pro Skater are amazingly fun. They had rewarding, deep, and fun single player campaigns and they also had amazingly addictive split screen modes too. Tony Hawk Pro Skater was the best franchise game fifteen years ago, it was almost as big as Madden was back then. That’s why I was pumped to have the franchise come back.
That said, I can’t help but be a little disappointed in the launch of the game. Following the trend of launching unfinished titles, you can say that’s definitely the case with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. The update patch is bigger than the actual game itself, and what’s been played is best described as a glitchy and buggy mess. I had moments where I was catapulted in the air for no apparent reason and I spotted some huge clipping errors too. The physics and the gameplay here are messes but hopefully they’ll be amended.
The single player mode in Tony Hawk is what I’ve gotten the chance to play so far and its fun. The missions are timed and are goofy and fun – they kept true to that formula that was featured in the four previous games. Along with that the single player levels are fun and addictive. There’s also a create-a-skater mode and a create-a-skate-park mode – something that existed years ago but couldn’t be used as effectively as it can be now.
Overall Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is somewhat fun. We’ll be updating the review throughout the week for you to check out, but just on the initial impressions of the game I can tell you that it’s not something you want to pick up at launch. It’s probably best to wait a few weeks or even a few months until they can get all the bugs worked out and maybe expand things a bit. I can’t help but think that Activision might have missed something here – skating is getting to be extremely popular again – and kids need this game to be good again. Hopefully that happens with this title but so far it doesn’t look good.
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