Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 on PS5 Delivers More of the Same, Just a Little Bit Better
Last year, Activision remastered the first two games in the iconic Tony Hawk's Pro Skater [...]
Last year, Activision remastered the first two games in the iconic Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise with incredible success. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 is the perfect blend of nostalgia and modern gaming, giving the classic skateboarding series a well-executed overhaul for a new era. Of course, with the launch of the next-gen consoles, it was only a matter of time before the new remaster was given yet another upgrade, perfecting it for systems like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Having had the opportunity to play the PS5 version of Tony Hawk a little early, I can say that it's a safe and solid upgrade to the already impressive game, but it doesn't exactly break any new ground.
In terms of actual content, the version of the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X is exactly the same as what was released on the current-gen systems this past August. That's totally expected as that's what Activision announced. This new edition is simply enhanced for next-gen consoles.
The actual presentation of Tony Hawk on the PS5 is stellar. As you would assume, given the power of the next-gen consoles, the game looks incredible in its upgraded format. The colors are a bit sharper, the motion a bit smoother, and the details in both parks and skaters stand out more than ever before. Granted, the jump from PS4 to PS5 is nothing compared to the leap made from the original to the remaster. It's not like the change is drastic, but it's still an improvement on an already great picture, which is always a good thing.
As great as the game looks, and as smooth as it plays, there is one disappointing aspect to the next-gen version, specifically when it comes to the PS5. Aside from the overall power of the next-gen systems, the biggest change in the PS5 from its predecessor is the new DualSense controller. The technology in these controllers puts players deeper into games than ever before, letting you feel what your character in-game feels, and creating a more unique experience with its adaptive triggers. The upgraded Tony Hawk doesn't really utilize any of these controller features, even though they seem tailored to a skateboarding game.
When you play Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on the PS5, you feel the kickback of your weapon in your hands, creating a more immersive experience. In Destruction All-Stars, you feel the crunch of your car and the vibration of a flat tire. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater had the opportunity to do something equally as interesting with its next-gen upgrade, but the controller enhancements are hardly noticeable.
Despite those disappointments, the lack of new controller features isn't exactly a flaw of THPS. It would have been an awesome addition to the game, and it's a little frustrating considering Activision mentioned controller enhancements, but it doesn't actively take away from the game.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 was great when released on PS4 and Xbox One, and it remains great with its next-gen upgrade. The fact that the upgrade to next-gen is free is just the cherry on top.