Only two months before release graphics have changed from this...
... to these more Cel-Shaded style visuals which we actually prefer.
Another older pre cel-shaded, screenshot.
Back in the early 2000's Activision's Tony Hawk franchise was a breakout success with annual updates generating more and more interest and pushing the franchise to bigger and bigger heights. With eight games over eight years it was a monster franchise that, almost overnight, just disappeared as a franchise and has been missing for almost a decade now.
The great news for skateboarding fans is that the franchise is about to be resurrected with Activision set to publish a new game in the franchise but rather then Neversoft on development duties that has been handed over to Robomodo and Disruptive Games however the developers have been consulting with the original development staff to ensure authenticity, and consistency, to previous titles.
Another screen with the new THPS5 visuals.
One can only hope that the new developers Robomodo manage to capture the fun of pulling off tricks on a skateboard, and in the game you will be able to play as one of 10 pros including Tony Hawk, Nyjah Huston, Riley Hawk, Aaron “Jaws" Homoki, Ishod Wair, Leticia Bufoni, Chris Cole, David Gonzalez, Andrew Reynolds, and Lizzie Armanto. If you don't want to compete as one of the professionals you will be able to create and customise your own skater for the game.
Impressively Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 will feature over 80 missions across 8 environments however the game will also allow you to compete in skate parks with up to 20-players playing simultaneously online. As long as this is a smooth, lag-free, experience this should be a highlight of the game.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this release, besides the 20-player online mode, is the Create-A-Park which allows you to build a skate part using over 250 different obstacles and then share your creation online for friends to play too.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 includes 10 pros.
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 isn't the most exciting looking video game but what you may notice is the change in visual style to some of the images. Indeed even as recent as E3 in June we expected a plain looking skating title, however when the game showed up at Gamescom in Germany in August - and only 2 months prior to release - the game has been given a visual overhaul with characters and levels now having a much more impressive cel-shaded appearance with bolder outlines on the skaters and objects.
With a release targeting September 29 in America, and October 1 2015 here in Australia (the PS3 version will appear a couple of months later) it's fair to say that this game could go either way, however if the gameplay matches that of the earlier titles in the franchise, and if the 20-player online mode is as fun as we hope, then this may be a game worth checking out especially given the cheaper launch price then most other games here in Australia.
Below is a trailer for the game released which also shows some of the skate park creation tools.