The warehouse level demo for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is pretty bare bones. It’s just one skater, Tony Hawk, running two minute sessions through the remake’s version of the very first level from the original THPS. It immediately and without fanfare answers the question “Is this a good Tony Hawk game?” Yes it is.
The demo level, available Friday for Tony Hawk preorder customers on consoles and PC, is the game’s original warehouse level, only better. You ride that steep slope into the level, jumping the gap. You smash through the windows of the bit overhanging the short halfpipe. The textures are all high definition with tons of detail. Tony looks outstanding. When he falls he doesn’t just randomly tumble. You can see the disappointment in his face before the game’s interesting rewind effect gets him back on his wheels.
The controls are instantly familiar, combining tricks and techniques from the first two games as well as advanced moves from later ones. I can manual and wall ride as I could in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, or I can use mods to limit my moveset to the first game, for the sake of purity. New players (and ageing veterans) can even add balance assists and turn off bails.
There are no challenges to complete. No S-K-A-T-E to collect. Just two-minute sessions of video game skating perfection, over and over again. It’s not a lot, but it gives me hope that we’re in for an excellent time when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 arrives on September 4.