Tony Hawk has been freaking people out with his skateboard antics since before many of us were even born. Still, as creative as he is with his plank, the games that bear his name had begun to stagnate with formulaic gameplay, dragging a once proud franchise into yawn-tastic territory. But this is the next generation, and all the stops have been pulled on Tony Hawk's Project 8, the newest board-riding banquet from the Hawkman.
When Neversoft (developers of the decade-spanning series) dropped by our offices, they had a lot to show us from Tony Hawk's Project 8, and we'll get to all that in a minute, because there's one ultimate jaw-dropping feature that we need to talk about first.
It's called Nail the Trick, and it leaps beyond anything you've ever seen in a skateboarding game. At any point in the game, you can pop an ollie and, by clicking both analog sticks, sink into a hyper-technical, slo-mo freestyle trick creator. Once you've initiated the Nail the Trick feature, the camera zooms in on your skater's legs, giving you complete control of his footwork by assigning each leg to an analog stick. It sounds complicated, but executing kick flips and other aerials is smoothly accomplished with only minor flicks of the sticks. Your board reacts like a real physical object, twisting and spinning with each nudge of the toes or whack of the heel, because it actually is a physical object within the game world - the board becomes a character of its own. Trust us, it's going to freak you out when you see it.