Feet-On with Tony Hawk: Ride

Tony Hawk Ride, Guitar Hero Changes
Activision held a press event Wednesday night featuring several of their games coming this fall. After showing it briefly to media at E3, Activision drummed up a significant amount of interest in Tony Hawk: Ride. With tweaked controls and new stages to play at the media night, they showed that this game is one people should have at the top of their wishlist for 2009.

The game starts with a simple and very quick configuration of the board and its sensors. This only has to be done once per groups of gamers; over 30 journalists tried it out without having to recalibrate at all. Once you’re ready and choose the stance you prefer, you can load up. A mostly downhill ride and a halfpipe were on display this time around, showing two very different types of gameplay.

The downhill ride was set on a guided mode where the player didn’t have to actually direct the board every moment. Instead, in this mode, gamers can focus on trying out tricks and getting used to the feel of the board. There are points where the path splits, and at these the player needs simply lean in the direction they want to take. With multiple ramps, rails, pipes, and other interactive parts of the stage, things never get boring.

The ease of use is truly shocking. Players need absolutely zero knowledge of how to skate before playing, and in just a few moments will be linking tricks together. It’s more satisfying than inputting button presses into a controller; when you pull off a trick, it’s because of what you’re physically doing. Trick linking is especially key on the halfpipe, and when players grab good air, they’ll have the opportunity to really show off the capabilities of the skateboard controller.

This is a tough game to accurately describe, as it really is a unique experience, something never before found in gaming (counting arcade games that have featured skateboard controllers). If Activision can get Tony Hawk: Ride in front of people and let them try it, it will be a huge hit. Intuitiveness, unique stage design, and a whole new way to play all add up to being one cool game, and just one of the many reasons Activision will be taking your money this fall.

More to come next week from Activision's Press Event

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