We had a lengthy, several hours session with Tony Hawk Ride the other day. We came to the conclusion that Tony Hawk Ride isn't like other Tony Hawk games. It's still all about skateboarding, but it's most definitely a *very* different prospect for the veteran franchise.
If you've not been keeping up, have a looky at the video below. Yes, it's a promo, but having played the game we can say that it's pretty spot on in its appraisal.
Things have been radically overhauled to accommodate the fancy skateboard-without-wheels controller. The series' most fundamental parts have been significantly fiddled with. Because of all the changes, it's no longer so easy to say who, exactly, is going to like the latest Tony Hawk. Just being into skateboarding games isn't enough. So, are YOU going to like Tony Hawk Ride?
You WILL like Tony Hawk Ride if... you've ever secretly wished you could skate, but were too rubbish and/or scared of falling off and hurting your face
Tony Hawk Ride does a fantastic job of creating a sense of actually being a skilled skateboarder. Straight up. Watching the on-screen skater convert your physical exertions on the board into stylish moves is a most satisfying illusion.
Zone in completely and it's easy to forget that you're actually a clumsy, uncoordinated man attempting to manipulate a wheel-less lump of gizmo-enhanced plastic and not, in fact, a fearless urban warrior expertly taming his plywood board stead.
You WON'T like Tony Hawk Ride if... you're expecting the traditional twitch button mega-combo madness
Obvious, really, because there are no buttons to press. But it's important to emphasise that the game has been built entirely with the board controller in mind. And because it simply takes much longer to do things with your feet on a board than with your fingers on a handheld controller, the levels have been designed accordingly. This translates to the skating being less about never-ending chains of flashy moves, and more about moderate runs that are, if anything, at least a little more faithful to the true disciplines of skateboarding.
You WILL like Tony Hawk Ride if... you're into gaming that makes you sweaty
Playing Tony Hawk Ride will get you hot and it will make you sweat. It takes a lot of very real, very physical effort. It may not be as strenuous as a bonafide workout game, but it demands a shit-load more work than any other Tony Hawk title. You're on your feet. You're bending your knees. You're leaning, balancing and fighting friction as you shift the board through various angles. You're definitely NOT slouching on the sofa keeping your ass warm.
Meet Carpet Fluff Hawk on the next page...