Also On: Xbox One
I don’t even know where to begin. I knew something was wrong when we didn’t receive a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 review copy until launch day. For me, I was once a die-hard Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater fan. My personal favorite was part 2 simply because they kept with what worked in the original, and then added just enough new content and features to help the game standout. I can’t say the same about most of the other sequels. The series took a more story based direction with the Underground series, then got a bit wacky with American Wasteland, then decided to follow the simulated SKATE experience with Project 8 and Proving Grounds, which is really where I stopped paying attention.
It got even worse from there. Someone thought it was a good idea to make a skateboard peripheral and a game called Tony Hawk: Ride, and this was the beginning of the end. Enter developer Robomodo, who has since been tasked with the last couple of attempts at the series, including the lukewarm HD Remake of THPS. All I have to say is, they don’t have a very good track record and hearing about them working on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 left me concerned.
In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, from the moment I had control of Tony himself, I knew this was going to be a Downhill Disaster. Glitches by God! There were so many bugs in my first five minutes of playing that I figured maybe they sent out early beta codes. How wrong I was. This is indeed the final release, and to make it even better, it’s a full retail release at $59.99. I know this isn’t my closing statement however, PLEASE DON’T PURCHASE this game. I wouldn’t give it to my worst enemy. Ok, maybe I would.
The traditional level layout in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is mediocre at best and every challenge feels tacked on. In order to start one of the challenges, you need to skate over an icon. Guess what? There is a 99.99999999% chance that it will not work and you then need to pause the game and select the one you want. Who thought this was a good idea? I’m not sure why they felt the need to have to load every single challenge individually. Some of the core elements like collecting SKATE and finding the DVDs and VHS tapes are there and you can do those without a screen prompt. It was nice to see them bring classic things like these back but it’s not enough to justify everything that fell through the cracks.
I tried to play online the first day and couldn’t get into a successful session without the game crashing. This allows me to not discuss what my online experience could’ve been. Mission Accomplished. Is there anything to like? Maybe? I haven’t found it through my sessions. The level design is bland and uninspiring which was really an important trait from the previous games. Levels like the Hanger and the School were staples and gave players an enormous amount of replay to top their scores in HORSE or just free skate.
Not one level that I reached in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 felt memorable or made me want to play more. It’s truly a sad day in video game history when a series like this can just become a shadow of its former self. I am not a fan of talking down about a game series I love, but the damage is done and the last game to do this to me was Resident Evil 6. There isn’t much else to say other than; this should’ve been a digital only release at maybe $15 max. Even then it’s too much. With that said I’m going to wash my mouth out with soap, go on eBay and get an N-Gage QD to play the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. That has to be a better experience. Right?