We’re not kidding: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is one of the best games of the generation

A franchise icon that fell on hard times, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater had a huge impact on gaming across the generations until somehow, it lost its edge – and its relevance, with the abysmal THPS5 in particular hammering the final nails into the coffin. However, while the original game is over 20 years old now, there’s still magic there and I’m astonished by what developer Vicarious Visions has delivered with its remake of the first two series entries. I’ll put it quite plainly: for my money, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is one of the best games of the year and it’s my personal favourite release from Activision across the entire console generation. It really is that good.

You can play it on any platform too. Yes, it’s a touch blurry on the vanilla Xbox One, but frame-rate is still solid – just as it is across the other systems. The original games ran at 320×240 on PlayStation 1, and not surprisingly, the situation is somewhat improved on today’s hardware. Xbox One X sits at the top of the pile running at 1440p, as does PS4 Pro – though the Sony console leans on dynamic resolution and can drop to near 1080p. PS4 Amateur runs between 864p and 1080p, while Xbox One seems to vary between 720p and 900p. The pixel counts don’t quite tell the full story though: Unreal Engine 4’s excellent TAA upscaling ensures that image quality punches above its weight. There’s also a superb HDR implementation backed by excellent calibration options.

Technically sound then – but what’s important here is that this remake feels almost perfect. The team worked from Neversoft’s original codebase to nail the handling, while very carefully designing the remade maps to perfectly replicate the original skating lines. As a result, it feels remarkably authentic while rivaling any other modern 2020 game in terms of visual quality. No matter which console you choose, the boost in detail is unmistakable. Remaking classic maps is no easy task but the developers have managed to perfectly capture the atmosphere and feeling of the original levels while massively boosting overall detail, making the game look great for today’s hardware.

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