Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
Why It Sucks
- The game had a very rushed development, with Activision pushing it for release before they lost the license rights to Tony Hawk's name, which accounts for the game's sheer awfulness.
- Due to the game being so rushed, most of the game was contained in a 7.7 GB day one patch while the actual disc had very little content.
- Bland, empty, cookie-cutter levels with no thematic elements or different objectives like in previous installments. The one crazy and over-the-top level in the game, the Asteroid Belt, is poorly designed, with rails that occasionally throw you off mid-grind for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
- The game is horribly bugged and glitchy. For instance, your skater will bail on a flat surface.
- Bad graphics, comparable to early PS2. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 looked better than this!
- There is also an ugly border line around the people in this game. It is believed that this was a poor, last-minute attempt from Robomodo to mask the game's bad graphics by giving them a cel-shaded look; which failed miserably.
- A Robomodo developer claimed that the cel-shaded aesthetic was to make it easier for the game to run at 60 frames per second. Despite that, it still suffers from framerate drops.
- Awful physics. There is a lot of clipping, with characters constantly getting stuck on walls or even the floor. It is difficult to do anything without being sent floating or crashing into what passes as scenery. Usually, your ragdoll character phases through solid objects. Also, sometimes you bail when you are lined up for a proper landing, and you sometimes also manage to land without being properly lined up.
- Awful controls; particularly the "Slam" mechanic, which disrupts the flow of a combo. It doesn't help that there is also input delay, and even input drops.
- There is no way to customize the controller inputs at your disposition, there is no excuse for this since even in the GBA ports of former titles you are able to edit the controls.
- The special moves have been simplified, but not in a good way; upon activating special, every available move becomes a special move. There are no complex button inputs needed to pull them off, and it can make or break score or combo challenges by doing a move you didn't want.
- The game literally does not work on some consoles - it crashes as early as the company logos or even when the console tries to load the disc.
- Parts of the game literally don't work or aren't coded properly; the prompt to hold down a button to start a mission sometimes doesn't function, even if the button is being held down.
- The missions themselves are very uninspired; several of them tend to repeat throughout the game with little variation. There aren't any objectives that are unique to a given level like in THPS2 or THPS3, so it gets repetitive real quick.
- On top of that, the difficulty is rather unbalanced, fluctuating between easy and hard at random intervals.
- Some missions are also misleading; one mission requires the player to score 150,000 points off of a large ramp (no manuals), implying you need to do air tricks. In reality, you can grind the outer wall after leaving the ramp and going from there, which misses the point of the objective completely.
- After all the "real" patches and updates, it's gotten better and is now an actual game, though it's still a little broken.
- The later-released PS3/Xbox 360 versions include the patches on the disc with no downloads needed, making these versions better in the sense that they work without patches.
- When it isn't having any of the technical issues, the game is still very much playable and the sick scores are achievable so long as you know what to do.
- Parts of the soundtrack are alright at the very least.
- Even with the servers shut down, the additional content can still be downloaded, and the single-player is still playable from start to finish (if you have the game in digital format, at least).
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 received unfavorable reviews upon release, scoring 38/100 for the Xbox One version, and 32/100 for the PS4 version, ranking among the top 5 lowest-rated games for both platforms on Metacritic. Within days of its release, it was already considered one of the worst video games of all time.
Caddicarus not only gave the game a 1/10 in his "Current Quickies" review, but he also made a Top 10 video showcasing the glitches, engine crashes, and general performance issues.
Although he never dedicated a video review to the game, Angry Joe placed it at #4 in his Worst Games of 2015 video, criticizing the lifeless graphics, poor level design, broken physics, and the 7.7GB patch. He ended the segment urging everyone to stay away from it.
Youtube user TheSeraphim17 did a walkthrough (link to the playlist here) for the game with the intention of getting all the Sick scores, but refused to do the last three stages (partly because they didn't have any achievements tied to them) because the game was so bad that it just wasn't worth doing them. He expressed disappointment, betrayal, and disgust at how far the Tony Hawk's series has fallen and even hatred towards the new "Slam" mechanic. He was critical of the unbalanced difficulty, generic mission templates, jittery framerate, poor physics, and bad level design. Seraphim also advised his viewers against buying the game, despite stressing that the game is playable and that there is fun to be had when it isn't being plagued with technical issues. He even uploaded a fail video (see below) which showcases the game crashing on the Activision logo screen.
Tony Hawk himself stated in a tweet that even he didn't like how the game turned out.
The game's servers were shut down not long after release due to the terrible reception, which in turn made most of the game unplayable.