Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 remaster coming this September

The first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games are coming to modern platforms with a remaster called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, publisher Activision announced Tuesday. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 will be released on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One on Sept. 4.

Vicarious Visions, which remastered the first three Crash Bandicoot games for 2017’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, is developing the new Tony Hawk collection.

The remastered collection will include the original levels, pro skaters, and tricks from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, as well as tricks from later games, like the revert, lip tricks, and wall plant.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 will also feature “a large majority of the original soundtrack,” Vicarious Visions said; “only a small handful of songs” didn’t make it in. The remaster’s reveal trailer confirms at least one song — Dead Kennedys “Police Truck” — and returning artists Goldfinger, Powerman 5000, Bad Religion, Millencolin, Naughty By Nature, Papa Roach, Primus, Lagwagon, and Rage Against the Machine.

Image: Vicarious Visions/Activision

Local split-screen and online multiplayer modes are also in, as are the games’ Create-A-Park and Create-A-Skater modes. The Create-A-Park mode will offer a more robust editor, the developer says, and players will be able to share their parks online with friends.

“Create-A-Park has really evolved from what it was,” Vicarious Visions studio head Jen Oneal told Polygon in an interview. “You are going to have access to a full suite of a skate park pieces: your ramps, your rails, your halfpipe, etcetera. But what makes it so different now and now you actually get to deform the pieces, and you can make any kind of crazy amusement park-like skate park that you want because you’re able to manipulate the rails to make crazy spirals if you want.”

Oneal added that players will be able to share their custom parks with friends who can in turn remix those levels.

I asked Oneal the question that’s probably on everyone’s mind: Didn’t Activision already try to remaster those classic Pro Skater games with 2012’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD?

“I think our goals are different than that particular game,” Oneal said. “We really focused on faithfully remastering the first two games. So when we started development of this project, we didn’t look at [Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD], we looked at the first two games. We also listened to what the fans were asking for; it’s clear that they want a faithful remaster. They wanted something where we included all the original levels, that’s something that we made sure of. Anything that we thought that they would expect out of this […] we made sure that it’s there. So every single level, including the secret levels are there. We brought back all the original skaters.”

Image: Vicarious Visions/Activision

The roster of playable skaters includes Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Steve Caballero, Geoff Rowley, Andrew Reynolds, Elissa Steamer, Chad Muska, Eric Koston, Rodney Mullen, Rune Glifberg, Kareem Campbell, Jamie Thomas, and Bob Burnquist.

“The other thing that we’re hearing is people love the memory of being able to do that endless combo line,” Oneal said. “And so we went a little bit beyond in not just including the tricks that were in Pro Skater 1 and 2, but the additional ones that would allow you to chain together your tricks. So really, it was all about listening to the fans more than anything.”

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 certainly reaches a higher level of graphical fidelity than Pro Skater HD, which was released on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2012. The new remaster will support HDR lighting and 4K resolutions on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, as well as capable PCs. The new remaster will also come with revamped menus and other modern quality-of-life features, as well as necessary features like lightning-quick reloads of levels when a run doesn’t go as planned.

Also paramount to the THPS experience: that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 unequivocally feels like the original games, Oneal said.

“We actually have former Neversoft employees [at Vicarious Visions], many of us have worked on the franchise in the past, and we remember and we know what it feels like,” Oneal said. “We dug into Neversoft’s codebase we were able to pull the handling code out of there, bring it into the engine that we’re in now and update it to make sure that we are making that feel exactly the way you remember it but updated with modern animation. It just looks incredibly smooth and the fidelity is fantastic.”

Nailing that feel also requires adapting the first two games’ controls for modern game pads, Oneal said.

“We had to spend a good amount of time to make sure that the game feels great whether you want to use the d-pad or the [analog] stick,” she explained. “I think some of the people who are the hardcore, old-school players, you’ll see their thumbs wandering to the d-pad. That’s what their muscle memory draws them to. And then of course, the newer players don’t know how to play any other way. So for us, we had to make sure that the handling felt good no matter how you play the game.”

Image: Vicarious Visions/Activision

In terms of what’s new for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, expect a better tutorial experience for new or lapsed players, and just more things to do in every level.

“Now, people expect a certain amount of onboarding, so we did add tutorials to help people who are new to the game or maybe they’ve forgotten how to play it to get back into the swing of things,” Oneal said. “I think the other thing that people will appreciate is beyond the initial classic goals that you’re familiar with — your collect S-K-A-T-E letters, the combo letters, videotapes, etcetera — we’ve added a whole lot more to do and accomplish through each of the levels.”

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 is priced at $39.99, and a digital deluxe version with “unique content and in-game gear” costs $49.99. A collector’s edition will also be available for $99.99, and includes the game’s digital deluxe content and a limited-run Birdhouse deck. Those who pre-order a digital copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 will receive access to a playable demo, featuring the original game’s warehouse level, ahead of the game’s launch in September.

Vicarious Visions has “a bit of post launch support” planned for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, but Oneal couldn’t provide specifics on what the studio has in the works. “I’m just super excited to get the game out there and have people play it […] and see what the response is,” she said.

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