Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

New tricks, same old dog.

To give a little credit where it's due, you have to hand it to Neversoft for managing to keep the Tony Hawk franchise alive as long as it has, in spite of losing the Pro Skater tag and dragging the series away from its board-based roots into the more surreal, motorised contraptions found in the two Underground titles.

That said, you also have to wonder if there's anything left to throw into the mix without completely destroying what has traditionally made the games so damn playable - especially after the reprehensible attempt at cashing in on the popularity of MTV's Jackass in last year's offering, THUG 2.

Certainly, the appearance of Classic mode in the last game provided Neversoft with a little respite from the angry masses, who found the free-roaming zero-to-hero story mode a little hard to swallow. But it seemed to be more of a confused attempt at pleasing all of the people all of the time than a worthy addition that would prevent the series from becoming tired and stale. The very fact that the classic style of gameplay has been reintroduced should give some indication that the series has perhaps taken things too far in the wrong direction, creating too radical a diversion to keep even the most ardent fans happy. Presumably, this is the reason for American Wasteland trying to take things back to basics in many ways. And while the classic mode is back in play to satisfy the desires of the clock-watching adrenaline junkies, the single-player story places a much heavier focus on traditional skating than we've seen since the original Pro Skater titles.

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Tony Hawk's Wasteland news

More modes! Xbox Live! BMXs!

Neversoft has fully unveiled the seventh game in the popular Tony Hawk's series, confirming that it's due for a release on PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, DS and GBA later this year.