Proving Ground - extended hands-on

What with the "Nail" trick system being the preserve of the Career-type skater, we then moved on to goofing about with the Rigger-type. These guys can permanently add furniture to the game world - up to 30 pieces at any one time, within each of the game's three districts. These will remain in place when you call friends over to your game world via Xbox Live, whenever you want, by using an in-game phone booth.

Riggers can place cameras around the world, too, to take shots of themselves as they pass in front of them. When this happens, you flick to the camera's lens for a slow-mo view of yourself, and click the right stick to take the shot as and when you want. You can also change the size of the area over which each camera can capture your trickery, too. And if you bail, the camera keeps rolling...

From there, we get dirty with the Hardcore skate type. They can give themselves extra speed by hitting R1 (or RB) with rhythm, just as their off-board foot hits the ground; it works well in practice, and becomes a valued boost when approaching kickers and ramps. You can also use scenery and cars in this manner, pushing off them with your hands to maintain speed during lengthy manuals.

And while we're on the subject of manuals, the traditional balance bar has been replaced. It's no longer a curved meter that pops up next to your skater. Instead, and smartly, it's now a coloured line that stretches across the whole screen. Why so smart? Because now you can work on maintaining your balance without having to keep your eyes fixed solely on your skater.