Tony Hawk's Proving Ground - PS3 - Preview

Each year, the Tony Hawk series puts another entry into the extreme sports genre. Every few years or so, the series takes great efforts to reinvent itself with a new shift in focus. They’ve gone from stage-based mission objectives to story-driven single player play to open-ended skateboarding with a bit of a sand-box tinge. The next entry to the series will combine a lot of these elements together in one package, as well as add some great new features and a new mode that lets you create, edit and share your own in-game skating videos. Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground will be a community-centric skateboarding game with great personalization options to boot.

Whereas creating your own character is nothing new to the Tony Hawk franchise, Proving Ground changes the formula by giving you three distinct classes to take. If you make serious bails (taking out tons of people while you’re at it) and perform a variety of extreme stunts, then you’ll gain attributes in the hardcore class. If being a professional and taking challenges from well known pros is more up your alley, then you’ll build up in the career class.

Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground PlayStation 3 screenshots

Finally, and perhaps most interesting is the rigger class. This class is the most “sand-box” of them all, letting you build the environment and create your own sets of grinds and ramps throughout the world and photograph yourself doing it. This mode really will allow the player to make the world their own.

The class development system will feel a lot like Oblivion, as the course you choose to take will determine how your attributes build. You can mix and match them any way you’d like, specializing in one class in particular or two or trying to build them all up at the same pace.

The other big addition to Proving Ground is the new video editor. In the video editor mode, you can record and edit footage of tricks that you perform, splice them together and make a skate video of yourself. You can edit these, changing the camera angles, add music, and even put in effects and filters to give it an added visual oomph. You can post these videos online and show them off to all your friends.

Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground PlayStation 3 screenshots

Another way that the game is working on building a community is with Skate Pads. A skate pad is basically your skaters home, were you can add unlocked themes, furniture and of course, ramps, grinds, and everything to make your skater happy. You can even have friends over to try out your set up (online friends, that is).

Proving Ground is shaping up to be a solid title for the franchise, and one that seems poised to bring together Tony Hawk fans into a cohesive community like never before.

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