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Tony Hawk's Project 8

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Though getting to grip(-tape)s with the new system saw us bone-fracturingly flubbing more landings than we made, in true amateur skater fashion you'll want to get right back into the air and try it again. The sense that you're actually doing your own moves, rather than pressing a button to see one the developer prepared earlier, is Project 8's biggest thrill - and when you're used to the timing, instead of putting your feet back down on the board you can kick it around into another trick, and another...

Project 8 seems to be all about freeing up the Tony Hawk's experience - you barely need to look at the balance meter any more, since you can feel it from your skater's posture and the pad vibration. And the single massive American city level, from suburb to skate park to schoolyard to city centre to dockyards, has stepped back from the previous games' rollercoaster combo lines, feeling more like a solid, real world just waiting for you to use it.

Of course, those combos haven't been thrown out, and with the whole level loading in the background as you skate, it'll be possible to make one that stretches from one side of the city to the other.



Above: Nail the Trick will offer big bonuses but big risks if you flub the landing

But if there's still a healthy dose of unreality, you won't find yourself floating along uphill grinds quite as easily as before - you can really feel the effects of gravity and momentum. It's waving the physics wand around without it being all about explosions and tumbling boxes.

Coupled with your created skater being a much bigger, chunkier presence on screen now (except in the flailing bails which, in a comedy touch, you can now steer Burnout Takedown-style, aiming to break as many bones as possible), Project 8 feels like the perfect match of Pro Skater craziness and next-gen realism.

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