All the original levels from the first two games have been recreated with a modern lick of paint on them. I don’t think these visuals would blow anyone away, but it looks like a reasonably effective modern recreation of those levels that were originally made with big blocky polygons.
This remake is also taking care to bring back at least some of the musical artists from the original soundtrack, with acts like Goldfinger, Dead Kennedys, Powerman 5000, Rage Against the Machine, and Primus already confirmed to be returning. We’ll have to wait and see which tracks made the cut.
They’ve also confirmed that the entire roster of professional skaters from the first two games will be returning for this remake, although it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to include the unlockable Spider-Man from the original release of THPS 2 unless they want to cut a large check to Mickey Mouse.
The Create-A-Skater and Create-A-Park modes return, to let you custom-create a human avatar to act as your skater, and to custom design skate parks, which can now be shared online.
Based on the gameplay footage released so far, it does look like a reasonably accurate version of what I would expect a Tony Hawk remake to look like in 2020, and the movement and physics appear to be faithfully recreated. Vicarious Visions studio head Jen Oneal told Polygon:
“We dug into Neversoft’s codebase, we were able to pull the handling code out of there, bring it into the engine that we’re in now and update it to make sure that we are making that feel exactly the way you remember it but updated with modern animation. It just looks incredibly smooth and the fidelity is fantastic.”
I’d need to get a controller in my hand to know for sure, but that certainly sounds promising, and it is a technique that was used for the Crash Bandicoot remake to great effect.
It’s available to preorder now, and anyone who does preorder will get early access to a demo, featuring the iconic warehouse level. I think I can still remember where the hidden tape is on that one.