Tony Hawk is more than just the world’s most well-known professional skateboarder — he’s also the namesake of a long-running game series beloved by millions.
The “Tony Hawk Pro Skater” series has been endearing players for years across various game consoles. On Tuesday, “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5” was released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
It is, by all accounts, an unfinished mess of a game.
That’s just one of many examples. The game wasn’t sent to reviewers ahead of becoming available at retail — a common tactic used to soften the blow of expected negative reviews and their impact on launch day sales — and now its publisher is issuing an apologetic statement on the game’s many issues:
We are aware of the issues that players have experienced following the launch of “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5” and are working with the developer to address these so that we can continue to improve the gameplay experience for all of the Tony Hawk fans who have known and loved this franchise for more than 16 years.
That statement, non-specific and boilerplate, may not mean much to fans spurned by the game’s many problems. Reviews aggregation site Metacritic has an average user score of 2.5/10 right now for “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5.” Here are some excerpts from user reviews:
This game is absolutely terrible. The controls are clunky, especially with the ‘slam down’ function and the gameplay is executed horribly. You’re dumped into a freeskate mode in which you skate with other players, but there’s literally no reason for them to be there at all. You can’t interact with anyone (besides bumping into them), you can’t compete with them, the whole thing is pointless.
And here’s another, similarly scathing user review:
As ugly as the game is, it still suffers from major framerate drops. The “seamless” online interaction is buggy and even the music suffers from hiccups. All the stages are uninspired and could literally be made in the Create-A-Park mode by anyone with 15 minutes to spare. The controls are just slightly less clunky than in Tony Hawk HD but you will probably be too annoyed with technical problems to even notice. This game is a disgrace to the Tony Hawk franchise and you should avoid it at ALL COSTS.
The reviews from critics aren’t much better. Here’s a snippet from USGamer’s review:
You can definitely see the potential here, but despite having good enough controls and plenty of missions to get your teeth into, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 lacks polish and finesse – and ultimately becomes repetitive.
We’d love to include other snippets from publications, but there are only two that exist thus far — the game only launched two days ago, and no publications got their hands on it until then. We played the game briefly ourselves and can confirm that it’s not a looker, but we didn’t run into any bugs in the short time we spent with it.
That said, exercise caution on a purchase of “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5” — the folks at game website Polygon couldn’t even get the game to load on multiple Xbox One consoles.
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