Tony Hawk's Proving Ground coming soon to everything

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 sprintsof Downhill Jam on theWiiand 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 CalifornicationofProject 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, wherethe choices you make affect your character's story and style.

Just in time to contend with EA's dauntingly realisticSkate, 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 towardsalterable terrain, similarto what we've seen in racing games likeMotorstormandSega Rally Revolution. Oh, and something calledBowl 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 yourselfusing as much exaggeration as you see fit,employing editing tools and visual effects found in thenew Video Editor feature.

Click here to see screens ofthe 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, andJeep Wranglersaren't going tohock themselves.

May 14, 2007