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.
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.
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.