Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 is Activision’s first new entry in the Tony Hawk series since the abomination that was 2010’s Shred, and developer Robomodo and the legendary birdman are hoping the new game can appeal to both mainstream gamers and those who grew up on a steady diet of kickflips and ollies.
In a new behind-the-scenes video, Robomodo staff members express just how much pressure there is to create a return to form for a series that has such a dedicated fanbase.
“The pressure to live up to the Tony Hawk franchise is because of that: it’s a franchise that people have loved and played for years,” sound designer Ben Crossbones says. It’s also a franchise that has seen significant deviations from the core skating formula. Although it’s called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, it’s hardly the fifth game in the series: it’s the fourteenth, not counting the HD remake of the first game.
Robomodo designed the new game to be instantly playable by longtime fans of the series, including “all the key mechanics of Pro Skater,” but the studio has also introduced a new feature that seem to defy the laws of physics. When you’re airborne, you can now “slam down” to grind on surfaces underneath you. Of course, the Tony Hawk series has never been particularly known for its realism, anyway.
What Hawk says will really appeal to the gaming community, however, is the create-a-park mode. Instead of simply creating a skate park from scratch, you can edit existing levels with a “slew” of tools at your disposal, and these can then be shared with the Tony Hawk community, which will separate the wheat from the chaff by voting for the best creations.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 will launch for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 29, with a last-gen release following later. I’ll have to get my old Vans out of the closet by then.