Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

Glitch-ridden and seemingly unfinished, this is a tragic swansong for Tony Hawk's video game career.


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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has finally been updated

Activision's glitch-ridden Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has finally received an update.

Two months on from the game's disastrous debut, developer Robomodo has issued THPS5's 1.03 update, which weighs in at 7.8GB on PlayStation 4.

There are new levels and character campaigns, plus a couple of new features. But what about those all important bug fixes?

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Face-Off: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

Digital Foundry digs deeper into the nightmarish release.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 should have been a triumphant send-off for the beloved, highly popular franchise. Instead, what has been delivered is an experience that feels unfinished, unpolished and in no fit state for release. Filled with multiple bugs and lacking optimisation, the birdman's latest - and most likely final - game suffers from numerous issues ranging from characters clipping through scenery, stuttering music and cinematics, along with noticeable texture streaming issues. With the Tony Hawk license due to run out at the end of this year it seems likely that developer Robomodo had to work to an extremely tight deadline to get the game out on time, resulting in a product that really needed a few more months of development before it was ready for release.

Unsurprisingly, there is a hefty 6GB patch available to download at launch, in addition to the 7.8GB of data directly installed directly from the disc itself. There have been reports that the main missions remain locked until this patch has been installed, but we found that this is not the case: the core missions, along with the 'create a park' and tutorial modes are all available right off the disc without having our consoles hooked up to an Internet connection. The day one patch is something of a necessity though, particularly on PS4, as it improves the stuttering opening logo cinematics, the slow streaming of textures and smoothes out the frame-rate to a certain degree during gameplay. Meanwhile, on Xbox One, the update adds an opening video consisting of skateboarding clips present on the pre-patched PS4 version. However, beyond this we see hardly any difference in other areas before and after the update is applied.

To illustrate, it takes between 15-30 seconds for high resolution assets to load on Xbox One, with blurry areas easily visible across parts the ground, walls, and half pipes - something the patch doesn't seem to fix. Matters are improved on PS4 - all assets usually resolve on-screen within a few seconds once the patch is installed. The way the game deals with streaming assets after a location is loaded also appears to have a noticeable impact in performance on Xbox One too. Frame-rates are more severely affected while blurry artwork is on-screen, and we suspect that streaming in assets during gameplay is causing a noticeable performance bottleneck.

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Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 review

In 2014, four years after its original release, Skate 3, the third and most chaotic entry in EA's series of skateboarding video games, was reprinted. The game had become an unexpected hit on YouTube. A bevy of bugs and glitches made it the ideal text for let's players and streamers, those presenters who typically seek games that elicit reactions of laughter or fear on camera, those extremes of emotion that most appeal to audiences in this newly minted medium. One early compilation of ragdoll pratfalls and gravity-shanking stunts led the charge. It now has close to 5 million views. Sales rose, skaters collapsed and EA found itself an improbable pioneer as the publisher of a game whose success was founded upon failure.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5

Publisher: Activision

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has a day-one update larger than game itself

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has a larger day-one update than game's main install size.

The skateboard sim revival installs at just 4.6GB, but you'll then need to download a 7.7GB patch (thanks, GameCabin).

Pro Skater 5 is available today in North America and here in Europe on Friday, both as a digital download and physical disc. There's no knowing how the game will play without the download - so best install it first.

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 gameplay footage, post-graphics change

Earlier this month, Activision quietly revealed that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 had received a change in art style.

The game's visuals had been given a brighter, more cartoon-like look. The skating game now had a slightly cel-shaded shine.

Developer Robomodo has since spoken out on why the change occured, and described the shift as part of an "evolving process".

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Less than two months from launch, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 changes art style

We played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 back at E3 in June and while it looked and felt a little dated, that was kind of the point - it looked and felt like an old Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game.

It controlled the same, its maps had the same collectibles, and some of the same old faces are still present on the roster - albeit noticeably older.

Two months later - and less than eight weeks from the game's 29th September launch - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has been shown off at Gamescom with a new art style.

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 reveals first gameplay trailer

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 reveals first gameplay trailer

See multiplayer and level editing in action.

Activision has released its debut trailer for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5.

This latest entry in the skateboarding franchise will feature 20-player simultaneous online multiplayer on current-gen consoles. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, however, will feature no online play whatsoever.

THPS5 also includes a level editor, so you can craft your own skate parks.

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Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 release date announced

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 release date announced

First gameplay footage revealed.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is due on 29th September for PS4 and Xbox One, the famed skateboarder revealed on Twitter.

Its Xbox 360 and PS3 versions will follow later this year.

This latest skateboarding sequel is being developed by Robomodo, who previously made Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred.

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