Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 2020 review – this ‘90s classic is better than ever in 4K

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Iconic skateboarding titles Tony Hawk’s 1 + 2 have been gloriously remastered in 4K – and they’re a breath of fresh early-noughties air.

We’re roughly two decades on the original release of Tony’s wildly popular skateboard sims.

And it’s fair to say these games – which went on to spawn a successful franchise – are cult icons.

They weren’t hugely complicated, but the simple fun of perfecting a massive combo certainly kept me entertained for hours.

It turns out fully-grown adult me is similarly happy to squander an entire day tracking down those damned elusive Secret Tapes.

If you didn’t play the original games, the concept is simple.

You play as one of a selection of pro skaters, and cruise around beloved skate spots like Venice Beach – or a playful reimagining of New York .

Players are tasked with completing set challenges, like earning a “sick” score or hunting for hidden collectibles.

There are seemingly endless tasks to fulfil and upgrades to earn.

So far I’ve completed all objectives on four skateboarders (unlocking their secret skate movies in the process), so you’d expect me to be royally bored.

But I can’t stop playing: THPS has a brilliant, addictive simplicity.

There’s always a higher score to earn, a new combo line to discover, or a fresh challenge to complete.

No complex Hollywood-esque storylines or pay-to-win systems plague THPS.

Instead, it’s just you, a board, and hours of endless fun.

The magic of THPS is that the raw concept of the game is brilliant – so everything else the game offers is just icing on the cake.

Each skater can be upgraded as you collect Stat Points.

Some Stats Points are tricky to get, so you’ll end up prioritising easier ones, then upgrading your jump stats to tackle harder challenges.

Adjusting these Stat Points on the fly can make or break a challenge – adding some pleasant depth to the game.

Much of THPS’ brilliance comes from its once-again raucous and beat-heavy soundtrack.

Back once again are punky legends like Goldfinger and Bad Religion, with some welcome modern additions like Skepta and Machine Gun Kelly.

I’ve already remade the entire playlist in Apple Music and put it to the test, cruising around London on my own skateboard. As fun as it was, turns out my real-world skills have declined much faster than my in-game ones.

Or so I thought: every multiplayer game I’ve played in THPS so far resulted in a royal trouncing.

But none of that matters, because the game isn’t about winning or losing for me. It’s about having simple fun – something that often falls to the wayside in newer games.

As far as the new graphics go, they’re fine.

The games have retained their old-school visual style, but textures are sharper and more detailed.

The faces of many skaters are strangely wonky – poor Riley Hawk looks nothing like the real thing.

But even the strange graphical niggles give the game an retro charm that sort of works.

In short, I adore these games – just like I did 20 years ago.

My love for the remaster is reassured by the fact that the game has sold a million units in just days.

That’s the fastest for any title in the franchise, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

It’s been a truly terrible year, so maybe we all need to break away for a skate sesh with Tony Hawk.

The Sun says: A cracking remake of a legendary game, with decent graphics and endless replayability. 4/5

The Sun reviewed this game on the Xbox One X.

  • Buy Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 – Xbox / PS4

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