We've been massively enthusiastic about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 in the past - Vicarious Visions revamped and modernised a brilliant game for PC, PS4 and Xbox One consoles while retaining the core genius of its original incarnations. It's one of John Linneman's top games of 2020 and I'm happy to report that the next generation update for the game is highly impressive - though the upgrade process itself could be better, and if you've already bought it, Activision wants more of your money for the latest rendition of the code. The good news is that the upgrades themselves are excellent - at least in our experience.
With that said, it seems that some users have had issues and we're not entirely sure why, as we didn't encounter any problems with the game during testing. Maybe the fact that we were given specific Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 review codes allowed us to side-step some of the problems others are facing - no upgrade was needed, no existing code was sat on our hard drives - but the fact is that the game just worked with no problems in the time we spent with it. Your mileage may vary of course, but fingers crossed that any outstanding issues will be resolved sooner rather than later because whether you're gaming on PS5, Series X or Series S, the improvements are palpable.
At the core, THPS1+2 brings performance and fidelity modes to the table for all three consoles. I began by looking at Xbox Series S, stacking it up against Xbox One X. Graphics improvements are incorporated and that starts with improved temporal anti-aliasing, giving a much more stable image in motion and fewer untreated edges. Post-processing also gets a small revamp: some have noted black crush in the new version, but to my eyes, it seems to be a new colour grading set-up designed to give a punchier image. Bloom effects are heightened, light beams have higher visibility and shadow quality is also markedly improved.