A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is an arcade skateboarding sim that features questionable lyrics in some of its songs, including references to sex and drugs. The characters have major wipeouts, and they don’t wear protective gear, so parents will want to ensure kids don’t try these crazy moves in real life (and certainly not without protection). Finally, parents should know there are a ton of advertisements, and multiplayer is unmoderated, potentially leaving players open to inappropriate content.
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What's it about?
The first all-new Tony Hawk Pro Skater game in more than a decade, TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER 5 returns to the game's roots to deliver an arcade-like skateboarding simulation for those who want to play by themselves and complete various challenges or venture online to play against others in various cooperative or competitive multiplayer modes -- including a 20-person online mode for the first time. As with past games in the series, you choose which pro skater you want to play as -- including Tony Hawk, Nyjah Huston, Lizzie Armanto, Chris Cole, David Gonzalez, and others -- and then choose (or unlock) an indoor or outdoor park. Then, you engage in a game mode that has you compete for a high score, collect strategically placed letters to spell words, or pull off as many sick midair tricks, grinds, nose slides, and ollies as you can within a specific amount of time. In total, the game offer more than 100 missions. Players also can build their own skate parks from more than 250 objects such as ramps, rails, objects, and more before having fun skating in the park you made or uploading it to an online community to download and play.
Is it any good?
Here's what you need to know about this popular arcade-like skateboarding sim: It's not quite finished yet. There's a decent (and long-overdue) sequel here, without much competition. Both seasoned gamers and newbies to this genre should get a kick out of the many moves and combos you can pull off, the comfortable controls, and the many modes. The problem is that the game is incredibly buggy -- whether it's unpredictable crashes, sluggish online multiplayer and frame rates, or graphical glitches, it all winds up marring the experience. Apparently, Activision is working on a downloadable patch that repairs these assorted and annoying issues.
The game also feels incomplete because of the lack of skate parks and skaters. Paltry compared to previous games and the now-defunct Skate franchise from EA, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 ships with only eight levels and 10 skaters, so Activision is promising two additional stages and five more skaters to be added in a future update (though there are no details on what will be added and when it'll be available). One last problem, which likely can't be fixed with an update: some repetitive or unimaginative challenges. The game isn't a bomb -- it has potential -- but publishers can't get away with shipping incomplete games, especially when fans shell out $60.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. Though it's not as violent as a lot of games, does the lack of protective gear provide a bad example to kids? Should a game promote something that could be potentially dangerous for kids?
Talk about song lyrics. Could Activision choose different songs without offensive lyrics, or are edgy songs part of the skateboarding culture? If the developer is going to go with mature lyrics, should the game not try to be rated “Everyone” or “Everyone 10+"?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99 ($39.99 for older consoles)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: October 1, 2015
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Lyrics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.