Tony Hawk's Proving Ground - hands-on

There are, as is par for the course, three levels of goals. One of the first amateur challenges we skated got us started on the career skater path by attending a photo shoot. The object was to grind a rail, ollie a fire hydrant and snap a few pics of it. However, not just any photo would do, the game rated our pics, and the first time we didn't score high enough because we had our back to the camera. The really neat part of the challenge was that, besides wanting to see our beautiful smiling face, the camera was looking for brand names - on our board, shoes, shirt, whatever. We were told it makes sense because our sponsors would be willing to pay us more money if our brands were showing. Still, it's a bit ironic to have to keep the made up sponsors happy by making sure theiradvertisements show up.

The hardcore goals have nothing to do with sponsors because real skating isn't about the fame and the money and the video games. Real skaters have to deal with things like thugs. Apparently, our skater had driven a group of thugs out of a skate park that they had been thuggin' in (or whatever thugs do), and now they were out to get us. They got the jump on us and knocked us off our board. We responded by Skate Checking them - which is a move available to through the hardcore career path - until they ran away. It was a minor hardcore challenge, but it was built right into the world and didn't interrupt anything - except for our skater's butt hitting asphalt. We were told eventually, if we stayed hardcore, we'd be invited to secret skate competitions and become well known as an underground skater.

The last career path stays away from the showboating career skaters and doesn't have time for the petty power struggles of the hardcore skaters. The object of the rigger goals are to gain a vast assortment of skate park building skills that you can use to alter your environment and accomplish goals. We got the most hands on time with rigging in our Skate Lounge, which is a customizable warehouse where you can display objects earned through winning challenges and competitions. It also contains your own custom-built skate park, if you're up for building it.