Ain't no quarter pipe high enough... if you catch enough air.
For this installment they went with an entirely new concept for the series: A fully interconnected world. Selecting stages was a thing of the past, now it was up to you to go from zone to zone. I will grant it that it was an idea worth exploring, but, but I feel like it didn't work for the franchise. Part of what made Tony Hawk's games so darn good were the ridiculous, off-the-wall thematic stage designs. Sure, here the different zones have their own themes, like 'Suburbia', 'Fun Park' and 'Hilltop', but in their effort to make it feel cohesive the stages lost the ability to have entirely different concepts, like a Zoo stage, a carnival stage, an airport stage and so on. Now you get different kind of towns and skate parks, alongside a factory and a fun park for variety's sake. On the flipside, the world of Project 8 is very colorful and vibrant, so it makes the monotony more tolerable.
Figuring out how to do a few of these can also be a bit annoying. The Spraypaint challenges being the biggest culprits, since there tends to be a lack of hints pointing you to where you should be grinding/manual-ing next. And there also happens too many 'ragdoll' missions, which are rather finicky to pull off and are never fun. Never.
Project 8 introduces a new mechanic: 'Nail the Trick'. This mechanics is not covered by the tutorial but will be explained throughout a few missions. While they could've done a better job explaining it, once you get the hang of it, which might take some time, it's incredibly easy to do. Basically, you jump, while the SPECIAL gauge is filled, tap both L3 and R3, and you get to spin and twirl your board around. Trying to spin it in another direction while the board is not properly aligned will cause you to fall and lose your combo, though! To be perfectly honest, I never used this mechanic unless a mission required it, but it's an interesting idea and adds some variety for potential combos.
While the Skate Park creator is gone, the offline 2Player mode is back and the usual suspects are back: Trick attack, HORSE, Free Skate, etc, so there's nothing to complain on that front. The music however... Music in Tony Hawk's games has always been amazing, but the OST in this game has a few stinkers... luckily you can customize which songs you want to play and which ones you don't. Hilariously, my biggest complaint is probably with the game's intro. The first time you play the game you'll be forced to endure a presentation that seems to last forever. I JUST WANTED TO START THE DAMNED GAME GODDAMMIT! On subsequent runs, however, you'll only be forced to sit through the Activision and Neversoft presentations, the latter which is egregiously long, but at least you'll be able to start skating sooner. Thank god.
6.0 out of 10