Genre: Sport | Players: 1 - 4 | Developer: Robomodo
It’s sad when the most you can hope for from a beloved game franchise is that the next entry isn't as weak as the previous one you played. The joy that’s associated with a purchase is replaced by fragile hope or, in the case of THPS, an expectation of disappointment. Having played the game I'm left with the paradoxical feeling that lingers when you expect disappointment and you get disappointment.
It begins in the Warehouse, the first level in the first ever THPS game. It was and still is the perfect place to start for new players and it presented an equally perfect opportunity for developer Robomodo to introduce seasoned pros to any tweaks made to the game’s control style. But right from the off it’s clear that more time was spent making the levels look a little prettier than was spent on bringing a very old control method up to date. I read some place that they had full access to Neversoft’s code, but you’d never know it.
It’s an amalgamation of the first and second games only, so the moves available to the player are limited, but that’s no excuse for the arbitrary way something will work one minute and fail the next. Take Venice, for example; you don’t need to be near the spray cans to pick them up, but jump directly through the middle of the secret DVD and it’ll not even register. Collecting S-K-A-T-E is a game of chance based more on luck than skill. Doing what’s required to perform a specific trick will either do what's expected or do something completely different. And those green fences are the work of Satan; they're so broken.
Subsequent DLC added the ability to revert and offered up three levels from THPS 3 (Canada, Airport, Los Angeles), but my love for THPS 3 keeps me from buying it.
There’s no two player split screen (why the hell not?), but there are online modes (not on PC) for up to four players, including Graffiti, Hawkman, Trick Attack and a new mode called Big Head Elimination.
I sincerely hope that if there's ever another home console Hawk game it manages to capture what made the pre-T.H.U.G games so appealing, so that I can once more give the series the praise it used to deserve.
2 face-plants out of 5