After the poor reception to to Tony Hawk: Ride and Shred, fans had high hopes with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. Envisioned as an arcade-y revival of the franchise, initial gameplay footage showed characters doing the same old jumps, flips and board grabs, but this time they would be able to electrify their boards and fire projectiles from them. However, this didn’t go down well with fans at all and a recent visual update, which changed the semi-realistic look of the game to a more cartoon-y cel-shaded one has also been received badly.
Many have questioned why the game’s developer, Robomodo, chose to change the entire look of the game just one month before its release. It is true that the original visuals weren’t exactly being praised by fans (some said they look like last-gen visuals rather than current-gen) but the new look has proved to be even more polarizing. Speaking to GameSpot, Robomodo CEO Josh Tsui explains that “we have always been confident in the look we were going for, but it took a while to ensure we could maintain the framerate with this style”.
Tsui tells the publication that “it was essential that the game run at 60fps at 1080p, even with 20 people skating online in the same session. We’ve achieved that, so now fans are seeing a better-looking game.” He also states that the fan reception to the original ‘realistic’ visuals of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 had nothing to do with the new change and that he wouldn’t describe the new look as ‘cel-shaded’. Instead, Tsui says, “it’s more over-the-top–the lighting has been improved and we’ve pumped up the game’s colors” and that things like motion blur, depth of field and outlined have all been altered in order to put more focus on the player, rather than the environment.
Additionally, Tsui points out that “no matter what, a new Pro Skater game on PS4 and Xbox One was going to look a lot different”. Many fans would agree with this as the technological improvements of the game’s platforms would obviously allow for different graphics.
Furthermore, given that so many other games on PS4 and Xbox One have received backlash for being below 1080p (most recently Metal Gear Solid 5: A Phantom Pain), Robomodo may have dodged a bullet in that regard. But with many fans also disagreeing that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 has a style that is “playful and inclusive but still harkens back to the classic titles” (as Tsui describes it), Robomodo may have actually made the backlash worse.
Do you like the new look of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5? Or do you think that Robomodo should have stuck to the game’s previous visuals? Leave a comment and let us know.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 is set to release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 29, 2015. A PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 release will follow on November 10.