E3 06: Tony Hawk's next-gen project

This fall, early adopters of PS3 will be able to get involved with Tony Hawk's Project 8, the first next-gen outing for the skateboarding series. To be released for PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PSP, Project 8 concerns Tony's quest to find the eight best amateur skaters in the world - and you've got to prove that you're one of them. Click away at the image tab above to see a batch of in-action screens.

While the gameplay might be old, with a streaming, free-roaming world like Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, the execution is totally new. Project 8 has been "built from the ground up" according to Neversoft, instead of using its predecessors as a base - a first for the series. Except, of course, for the original game. Duh.

This rebuilding has enabled Neversoft to cram in a brilliant animation overlay system, which blends together the animation that a character is performing. In layman's terms, this means more intuitive gameplay. Because the character can react in a more readable, realistic and noticeable way, you won't need the balance bar to tell you when you're about to lose balance, for instance.

It's a shame to see another next-gen title shotgunned across all the other platforms, but Neversoft's clever animation system means that even old-gen consoles can get a dose of advanced gaming. We'll have a full report once we've kickflipped our way through Activision's playable demo later this week.

May 10, 2006

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.