Skip to main content

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground review

Older, trickier, more feature-packed and a bit intimidating

So should you buy Skate or Proving Ground? They're different enough to co-exist, we reckon, operating in distinct ways. Skate's like some violin that you coax along with careful analogue strokes; Proving Ground's a xylophone that you rattle away at with ludicrous hand speed. Both make sweet, sweet music when played well, and offer tremendous scope for expression and feeling like a badass. Skate has an edge, since it is to skateboarding what Fight Night Round 3 was to boxing games: a fresh interpretation. But it doesn't dismiss the fact that Neversoft has bent over backwards to cram in enough new ideas to make Proving Ground worthwhile, and is at pains to teach you how to use them all.

But if you're a newcomer, surely Proving Ground is the best place to start? That's debatable. Even though its early objectives are welcoming, the learning curve needs one hell of a run up. Tony Hawk games, remember, are a lot like Russian Dolls, and the skills you pick up from one game are transferred virtually wholesale to the next. So you could happily rinse Project 8 first before moving on to Proving Ground ready-programmed to get stuck in right up to the elbow. Or not, of course. Just be wary you're diving into the deep end of a series that's spent nine games evolving, with Proving Ground as its pinnacle. Nailing its trickiest challenges and wringing every bit of mileage out of its fearsome feature set will probably take as much time as becoming boss hog of every one of Oblivion's guilds.

More info

DescriptionTony Hawk returns with all new online functionality, a video editor and fresh Nail the Trick modes.
Platform"PS3","Wii","DS","Xbox 360","PS2"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"","","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)