Without fail, with each passing instalment of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, developer Neversoft ups the bar and peers down watching the various copycats leaping this way and that in a vain attempt to reach it. Unfortunately for them though, the money-printing franchise faces stiffer competition than ever this year in the shape of Acclaim's Aggressive Inline and BMX XXX, and THQ's MX Superfly amongst others.
But Neversoft isn't about to drag its heels suffering at the hands of feature creep in an attempt to usurp the usurpers. No. Instead, the veteran of three groundbreaking skating titles has applied the final touches to the fourth iteration in the series and shipped it off to manufacture. The game is due out on PlayStation 2, Cube, Xbox and PSX on November 22nd, alongside a third party GBA adaptation of the game.
Activision has been crowing about the game for a while now, and claims that this really is a revolutionary step forward once again, although it does borrow heavily from the borrowers, with no time limit this time out and NPCs who provide specific goals - both tenets of the Aggressive Inline school of skating chic. Hopefully Neversoft can retake its crown through innovation rather than providing a smoother version of what's come before though, lest they risk becoming a copycat themselves.
Activision also announced the game's extensive soundtrack yesterday. There are 35 tracks in total, featuring the usual mixture of hard-hitting rock, rock-metal, metal and all the associated genres. Artists vary enormously, ranging from the Sex Pistols and Iron Maiden to NWA and System of a Down. It's a monstrous soundtrack nevertheless - an example of licensing at its best, Activision hopes.
We'll have our review of Hawk's latest outing around the time of its November 22nd release date.