7 tips you need to master the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 Warehouse Demo
Activision, Beenox and Vicarious Visions have teamed up to bring Tony Hawk and friends back to consoles – and the latest demo proves the series is as essential as ever in 2020
The Birdman is back with a brand new Remaster of gaming’s most celebrated skating games. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is Activision’s latest attempt at bringing back the PSOne classics and introducing skateboarding video games to a whole new generation. And so far, developer Vicarious Visions has absolutely nailed the feeling and vibe of the original games.
But if you’ve not played a Tony Hawk’s title since the original games that arrived on the PlayStation back in 1999 and beyond, you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock – these games aren’t straight-up HD ports of the original. No, these are wholly new games that have been built from the ground-up to pay homage to the originals whilst also introducing some new quality of life changes and mechanical improvements.
So, with that in mind, here are some key tips you need to know before jumping into the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 Warehouse demo that’s available from August 14.
Make the most of the Manual
Manuals were originally introduced back THPS2 – but the Remaster has them available for the player to use from the beginning of the game (including in THPS levels). Manuals are essential for maximising your score – traversing along the ground with a Manual accrues points and adds a multiplier to your combo chain every time you pull one off.
Hit Up and then Down super quick on your pad when coming in from a jump or travelling at speed to start a Manual off. To be able to hold your balance, you’ll need to pay attention to the balance bar that appears to the left of your character on the screen. The more wildly you nudge the balance up and down, the more difficult it will be to keep the Manual going.
Aim to Manual out of every single trick you land – even if you haven’t got enough momentum to reach another ramp, lip or rail: you’ll still get a couple more points and increase your multiplier by one. Learn modified Manuals (like the Nose Manual) to switch up your moves and accrue more points by alternating which trucks you skate on.
Learn to Revert
More recent Tony Hawk games included a feature called the Revert – it’s a simple technique that allows you to knit even more combos together by linking vert tricks into other combos. Thanks to veteran players’ automatic habit of trying to revert all the time, the development staff made the decision to add this move to the game even though it wasn’t in either of the originals (it originally arrived in THPS3).
In the demo, a quick tap of the trigger on either side of the pad will cause your skater to rotate 180 degrees when they’re coming down from a vert trick. Combo this into a Manual and you can carry on a string of tricks from a halfpipe or lip quite easily. It may take some practice to get the timing down, but once you nail it you can start to rack up big points very quickly.
Know your Gaps
The key to getting the biggest possible score in the demo – and the game overall – is chaining as many moves together as possible to nudge that multiplier into the double figures (and beyond!) An easy way to rack up the multipliers is to take advantage of Gaps; each one you jump over, grind through or perform a trick on will give you bonus points and +1 to your multiplier. To discover which gaps you’ve mastered, and which you’ve yet to discover, simply open the menu, head to ‘Game Options’ and select ‘View Gaps’.
Here, you’ll be given a quick rundown of all the Gaps available to you in the selected level. Some are obvious – using visual stimulus for their names – but some are a little more creative or vague. Grind every rail, jump every gap, trick off every surface and eventually you’ll nail every special location in the level (and earn some ridiculous points for doing so).
Know when you’re beat
With such a tight time limit on each session, it’s vital to land as many tricks as possible – sure, you may not always get up to the 100,000+ mark with your combos, but every little helps: it’s better to land a trick that nets you a messy 30,000 points than it is to bail and overestimate yourself. Failed tricks, top-heavy Manuals and broken knees don’t help anyone – if you think a combo is going south rapidly, land it safely and carry on.
You’ll also lose Special if you bail – you need this in order to pull off the best and most high-scoring tricks in the game. Even a couple of thousand points is enough to fill this up, so you’re going to want to maximise the effect of it for as long as possible. Getting a fat lip off a rail or pipe will reset the bar: bear that in mind if you’re going for a risky combo.
Learn to land cleanly as soon as possible
If you manage to land cleanly, you will get an extra 1000 points to each of your combos. You need to do at least a 180 or 360-degree spin in the air in order to prompt this bonus, so make sure you’re rotating your left stick as much as possible when performing tricks. Then, as you land, make sure your trucks and wheels are perfectly aligned so you can land straight when coming off a rail or a jump.
It doesn't seem like much, but this little bonus can make a pretty spectacular difference when you’re pushing for a high score or trying to tick off certain challenges. Later in the game, we imagine there will be actual progression-related challenges based around coming in clean, too, so it’s better to get the hang of lining yourself up properly sooner, rather than later. Don’t let the game correct you for too long, or you’ll get into bad habits.
Familiarise yourself with the Special Moves
By hitting the Pause Menu, and then tabbing over to Skater, you’ll get to see the various moves you can pull off in the Warehouse. You can set a few here yourself in the demo, and it’s worth learning what’s what: these are the moves that’ll give you the big scores.
Once you drop into a Session, ensure you’re able to charge your Special bar (honestly, a quick grind or Manual chain will get the ball rolling) and then you can start busting out the big boy moves. Some of the animations of these tricks take a short time to occur, and you’ll bail if you don’t have enough time to see them activate properly. Don’t try doing 5-0 Overturns or Rusty Slide Manuals in small spaces!
Don’t be afraid to restart
The benefit of a game being rebuilt from the ground up with the current tech we have in the industry is that developers can better optimise the game for the way they know players approach it. Sessions in THPS games last two minutes, and basically challenge you with scoring as much as you can in the time limit – use every single available second to your advantage.
Opening the menu and hitting ‘Restart Run’ takes no time at all, and you’re immediately loaded back into the same level you were playing. Even the music continues playing in the background. The developers know that you’re going to bail, that you’re gonna fluff that 1,000,000+ point combo a few times. So never be afraid to reset early in the run if you’ve wasted 30 seconds on one combo you never managed to land.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is set to be released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 4, 2020