'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD:' Exclusive Hands On With The Revamped Skate Sensation [PHOTOS]

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, the classic challenge-based skateboard phenomenon, will be getting a fresh new reboot this summer. The HD rendition of this nostalgic extreme sporting game definitely stays true to its roots, from the levels players have grown acquainted with to the gritty punk-based soundtrack.

Stages from the first two Tony Hawk games will be revisited and revamped in this graphically enhanced remake. The most striking feature separating this addition from other recent releases is the back-to-basics idea that went into creating the game. Unlike Tony Hawk's Underground, there is no open-world element.  Gamers play through stages that appear in the first and second Tony Hawk games, which are revisited and retouched with enriched detail. In terms of content and the way the courses are laid out, nothing has been changed. From mini ramps to sloped rails, each object remains in its location from the original game.

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The first level to be revisited is the staple Warehouse stage, which has become an iconic part of the skateboard game franchise. With fluid controls and a nice color boost, players will glide through the stage revisiting all the classic checkpoints and markers. The incorporation of sunlight peeking through the shattered windows of the grungy space adds a more realistic dimension to the familiar level.

Each of the four completed stages, which include the Warehouse, School II, Venice Beach, CA and Marseilles, France, feature their own unique color scheme. School II features a bright and sunny backdrop, with the steep staircases and aerial rails that players are accustomed to. The game will also include stages such as Hangar, Phoenix Downhill, and Mall.

Venice Beach boasts a warm, burnt orange overlay with artistic graffiti, giving players some eye-catching visuals to accompany their gravity-defying moves. Marseilles, France, sports a violet-themed tone, with the addition of weather influences, such as thunder, creating a detailed environment. Even the way light reflects off the puddles scattered throughout the stage adds to the detailed surrounding.

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Although visuals are a critical component to any gaming experience, sound quality can be just as important. This is especially true for the Tony Hawk franchise, whose soundtrack has become synonymous with the game's skater-punk feel. The original game has featured artists such as Goldfinger and Primus, and fans will be relieved to hear that some music from previous games will be integrated into the upcoming release. The soundtrack will also feature a modern twist, but the official song selection has not been confirmed.

The controls are swift and fluid, allowing players to grind and kickflip their way through stages, racking up high scores along the way. The variety of tricks are still available in the new title, with flip moves such as the classic shove its, heelflips, and kickflips. Handplants get a zoomed-in camera perspective, with a meter alerting players when they begin to lose balance.  

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But the levels aren't the only part of the game that received a visual upgrade. The skaters are smoother and more polished, creating true to life skating simulation.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD brings back the true virtual skating experience, stripping down the open-world atmosphere and returning to the original intent. With airbrushed and improved graphics, fans of the classic skate franchise are sure to find themselves rocking out on their favorite stages.

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