What - did you think the Birdman was going to sit this year out? Goodness no. Activision announced today that Mr. Hawk is planning a visit to every console worth owning. (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2 and Nintendo DS - and probably a cell phone and PSP somewhere down the line) If the arcade-style sprints of Downhill Jam on the Wii and recently released on PS2 (today's review) weren't enough to tide you over, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is bringing the game back to a more personalized and immersive direction.
It looks as if Proving Ground will see an end to the Californication of Project 8 and American Wasteland, heading back east to locations like Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. In addition to the freedom of customization we've come to expect from Tony in recent years, the press release alludes to branching pathways, where the choices you make affect your character's story and style.
Just in time to contend with EA's dauntingly realistic Skate, the promising analog stick-based Nail the Trick mode from last year will be fleshed out, via the new Nail the Grab and Nail the Manual expansion. There's was also talk of moving beyond the scripted events seen in past iterations, and towards alterable terrain, similar to what we've seen in racing games like Motorstorm and Sega Rally Revolution. Oh, and something called Bowl Carving?
Apparently Proving Ground will also feature a more seamlessly integrated online mode. Couch skaters can kick their feet up in their customizable Skater Lounge. Hang out, chat, and there's even the potential to share your own skate videos, which you can cut together yourself using as much exaggeration as you see fit, employing editing tools and visual effects found in the new Video Editor feature.
Click here to see screens of the Video Editor and Nail the Grab feature. We should have more info for that ass soon. And don't worry about Tony, he's got plenty to keep himself busy. Those Bagel Bites, Apple Computers, and Jeep Wranglers aren't going to hock themselves.
May 14, 2007