With the HD remake of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Activision is trying something truly revolutionary: they're taking a fairly popular game that fans hold a certain amount of nostalgia for, and updating it with contemporary graphics to make it more palatable. Actually, that sounds exactly like every other HD remake. But this is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater we're talking about so we'll let it slide.
Speaking at GDC, the Birdman himself shed a little light on the HD remake, and where he and Activision would like to see the property go. For now, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD only features popular levels from the first two games, although mechanics introduced in later iterations have been thrown in, but with DLC there is the potential for more.
According to Hawk, the downloadable version of Pro Skater's sales will determine whether or not levels from THPS 3 or 4 make it into this version. At this point in time that seems the more likely scenario — including new levels as DLC — rather than an HD remake of other Tony Hawk Pro Skaters.
"The dream of doing this is we can throw levels from 3 and 4 and make them downloadable in this. We can use this as a foundation and platform for that. I really want this to be a foundation we build on so we can do more levels, more skaters, more content that you can download because this is kind of revolutionary to do a franchise game as only downloadable."
It's plain to see that the ultimate goal would be for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD to continue long after its release date through DLC packages of iconic maps from all versions of the game, but that's just pre-release talk. There might be a few restrictions on which tracks make the cut based on their size, but developer Robomondo, who took over for Neversoft with Ride and Tony Hawk's Shred, seems more than up to the task.
Based on the first trailer for the game it appears that nothing was lost in translation, or transition if you will, from one generation of consoles to the next, but a lot of Tony Hawk's success will be in the controls. Something fans will be able to experience a little later this year.
Which of your favorite tracks do you hope make the cut, or at least included as DLC? Would you like to see the Tony Hawk franchise continue on in this iteration or move into full retail releases again?
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is targeting a mid-2012 release on the PSN and XBLA.