Tony Hawk Proving Ground is the follow up to last year's Project 8. Neversoft is back on the board for the game's ninth subsequent iteration and while it was hands-off for most, I was given a chance to dilly-dally with it. First thing I noticed was that the framerate has been cleaned up, which makes me a happy camper. I enjoyed Project 8 a bit, but the occasional framerate hits put me off after extensive play.
Improvements in the game engine seem to be minimal, as skaters seem to feature, more or less, the same quality detailing – not that it's a bad thing. The environments continue to be enormous and you have a lot of room to play with them. What''s great about Proving Ground is that it has a real-time create-a-park feature that allows you to customize any level you're in on the fly. Yes, on the fly. If you need to complete an objective, and that objective requires you get some massive air, you can plop down a ramp in real-time and use it to accomplish your goal. Awesome, feature.
Taking images of yourself by positioning a camera will come in handy when you're in the career mode. You can take photos of you in action and sell them to magazines and progress your career. Overall, the size of the game is 1.5 times larger than Project 8 and the game will even feature a revamped nail a trick that'll allow for more flexibility. And while classic skate parks from the past Tony Hawk games won't be arriving (they're being saved for the 10th anniversary game), you do have the option of playing the game in the classic objective-by-objective format.
Tony Hawk fans should find themselves pretty content with Proving Ground.
Related Game(s): Tony Hawk Proving Ground