Tony Hawk's Project 8 Hands-On With the Sixaxis

We tilt and turn our way around Tony Hawk's new challenges with the Sixaxis controller.

So far, most of the early uses of Sony's tilt- and turn-sensing PlayStation 3 controller, the Sixaxis, seem to be fairly basic. Some games will let you steer, others use it for a quick melee attack, and so on. Activision and Neversoft appear to be going quite a bit deeper with Tony Hawk's Project 8 on the PS3, letting you use the tilt and motion sensors on the controller to control almost all of your movement, balance, and tricks. Taking into account that you still need to hit the face buttons to execute tricks, you could almost play the entire game with one hand.

Tilting the controller to maintain your balance manually is just the tip of the iceberg.

Most of the Sixaxis implementation feels obvious and natural. You'll steer with slight twists to the controller, and all of your rail and manual balancing is done by tilting the controller sideways for grinds or forward and back for manuals. A quick down-up or up-down motion will get you into a manual, and a quick twist will do reverts if you're landing on a vert ramp or pivot if you're in a manual. From there, things get a little more complicated, because you can also do all of your tricks by hitting the face buttons while moving the Sixaxis around. The controls are mapped the same way they'd be on a D pad or the analog stick, so simple tricks like kickflips and heelflips are left or right and the square button. Diagonals get you varial heelflips and such, and double-tap tricks are done by moving the controller in the same direction twice. You can even pull off a no comply or a boneless by jerking the controller up before letting off the X button.

While many of the controls are just the same Tony Hawk controls mapped to a new style of input, a few things change more dramatically when you start tilting the controller. New to Project 8 is "nail the trick" mode, a slow-motion mode similar to the focus mode found in previous games but with a lot more depth. You drop in to this mode by pushing in both analog sticks. When you're playing with the regular controls, you need to grab both analog sticks and hold them in various directions, with each stick corresponding to one of your skater's feet. When the board is in the proper position, you can then move to different directions to branch off into another trick, or if the wheels are facing the earth, you can left off and put your skater's feet back on the board. With the tilt controls turned on, you still need to hit both analog sticks to drop into slow motion, but once you do, you tilt the controller around to do tricks, the idea being more that you're controlling the spin of the board, rather than each of your skater's feet. It seems as though nail the trick will take some time getting used to regardless of which style of control you use, but it also immediately seems like a powerful new addition to the series with some great scoring potential.

Dude, I'm totally gonna grind on Congress.

If you're at all squeamish about any of this tilt-controller madness, you can adjust the sensitivity to your liking or even disable parts of it. So if you want to use the tilting only for balance, you can. This seems like a good way to work your way up to full Sixaxis tilt control, as just grabbing the controller and going at it is pretty tough at first. It's a lot to think about, and Project 8's high speed doesn't give you much time to think. We didn't have enough time to go through the entire learning curve, but after 20 minutes or so, turning and balancing grinds felt pretty good, and landing simple tricks didn't seem too difficult, either. But completing the game on the "sick" difficulty still seemed like complete insanity. Look for Tony Hawk's Project 8 to come to the PlayStation 3 in November.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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Discussion

162 comments
xrateddan
xrateddan

Looks better then the version for the PS2, which you would expect from the PS3, i'm not sure how much more this series has to offer in terms of new features. The slow motion (Board-Time) doesn't really work on the PS2 but should hopefully be more polished and work better on the PS3. Otherwise looks sharp as ever!

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

Sounds very good to me! Hell, the SIXAXIS is already making me forget about rumble, which I turned off anyway except it didn't work! The 6XIS also takes off some of the hype about the "Wiimote" and I can't wait to find out how other developers continue to make better use of this controller.

Hikiera
Hikiera

I wonder what new tricks you can do?

desert-sniper24
desert-sniper24

Looks awesome, but couldn't they seem to make it a little larger like the size of a 360 controller, and include a rumble as well? Just even a small one?

fender_ketchup
fender_ketchup

I always turned the rumble off anyway, so it's absence means nothin'.

Minpindo
Minpindo

gonna suck to fall and not get a rumble. i think that will really hurt this game. also, i can't see how doing bluntslides will be possible in a lot of situations due to how long it would take to tilt the thing twice.

Kbs64
Kbs64

Holly Axis Batman

Lion_heart_
Lion_heart_

@barnett666 First you say this: "But I do know that the 360 version sticks to the format that everyone loves and is use to, and seems like the best since THPS3." and then... "truely great, new and engaging." Its definetly not new, and seriously not engaging. Its the same old concept over and over again, without any new gameplay element added. And engaging? When you're used to something, its not engaging anymore. the PS3 version is superior over the 360 version by far. Have you even read the whole article?! It states you can CHOOSE whether you want to use the SIXAXIS tilt sensor or not. Just disable it if you dont like it. And people who want something new and engaging, they enable the tilt control. Simple as that. If you want something challeging for Tony Hawk, dont say 360 is the best choice. Thats just biased.

_Sam_
_Sam_

it looks pretty good so far

ccubegman
ccubegman

sounds good to me, can't wait to test it!

yugimasa9999
yugimasa9999

This IS a great IDEA for a game design dreamer like me !!!

CLeRKSfan4life
CLeRKSfan4life

This looks like it will be quite hard to get used to.To me, the tilt function seem to fit with the Wii's Tony Hawk Downhill Jam as that game is totally different. It's more of racing game with a lot of snow/skate boarding type elements thrown in. TH Project 8 though is a sequel to an already well known formula. I'm not saying the "SIXAXIS" will make the game crappy. I'm just saying that maybe the regular method of control would work better for this game.

barnett666
barnett666

Lol. i know that getting the sic scores will literatly be impossible with this controller. who cares about what might be in 2-3 years. not gonna wait that long. not gonna screw several years of playing games through spite of hating a system. But I do know that the 360 version sticks to the format that everyone loves and is use to, and seems like the best since THPS3. truely great, new and engaging. Realease this game for the love of god! (not that he exists ofc, just a way of expressing my desperation of wanting this game to come out :) )

Murpheus007
Murpheus007

Not a Hawk fan, but still looks kinda cool.

lextexrex
lextexrex

Why wouldn't this be online? 3 and up were. It's free anyways. (However, I myself would practice a bit before Iheadonline so I didn't look like a total idiot). How can you incorporate slow motion during online though?

andypipkin85
andypipkin85

People say the Wii sucks because it implements and sells itself on its main gimmick, the "wiimote" which costs a fortune to use to its fullest potential as you need to buy the analog stick part of it seperatly (not working out so cheap anymore now is it?!), where as the PS3's "sixaxis" gives you the CHOICE of either playing your games like normal, or using the new next-gen gimmick, (motion sensing gameplay) WITHOUT having to buy MORE controllers, like Nintendo want you to do if you dont want to play with the stupid "wiimote". The Wii also sucks due to its immense lack of processing power and the fact that its not even a next-gen console and basically is just an upgraded Gamecube, which isnt a good thing.

11rage11
11rage11

I KNEW IT! as soon as everyone found out that PS3 had moition sensitivity in the controller everyone would go Hey thats cool! but everyone else says the wii sucks BECAUSE of that feature! HA! But still the game looks cool

faridmon
faridmon

its more like Tony hawk project 8 X downhill jam to me, i mean the tillt looks more like how the wii-mote tillt and especially in Tony Hak project 8. but i love tony ahwk games, so i will buy ths foe my PS3 cough*after 3 years*cough* and Downhill jam, the Wii is the Extreme dude, totaly

ChancreScolex
ChancreScolex

It's not dualshock 3 because there is no vibration mechanism inside of the controller as of yet.

kairnz
kairnz

sweet, sixaxis all the way!! But i still hate the name. Why can't it be named dual shock 3?!?!

audioust
audioust

Not a big fan of these games, but the new sixaxis control might make me want to try out a Tony Hawk game.

The_Tay-Man
The_Tay-Man

I think there should be a choice, there is already a tony hawk game coming for the Wii, I'm sure PS3 owners don't want to have to but an Xbox 360 just to get a next gen clasSICK(lol) tony hawk game, Sony should release two controllers on with 6axix the other with rumble. oh and for everyone who is arguing "original this rip off that" let me say: is halo 3 original or is it an improvement?, is Devil may cry an original? is Zelda original or are there a billion other medieval adventurers? Original smiginal, i don't care, so long as the game is good.

Eclipse83Lives
Eclipse83Lives

""""No online no thanks.""""""" LOL Man I leave this place for a while. And you still got a crew trying to discredit the PS3 LOL. That's done over and finished. Well its already done in a sense of if you know?? :P But back to normality,,,yea the game looks sorta real bright clean. A lot of light colors this time around. I sorta like the atmosphere change some. Hopefully as you go threw diffrent areas that will switch up. But THUG always had that Back ally brooken street look and feel, which was good. But it just got to much of the same over a period of games. Thats the one thing that stick out to me. Is it just has a new look really. Which should hepl add a new feel to the game. I was a huge fan of the first one. but than it just steamed out on me after a while. I like the looks of this one.

Mattyrock
Mattyrock

This is hoping to be a more serious Tony Hawk....in my opinion

darkmind-tvtome
darkmind-tvtome

peterpunkr not sure onlinegeek needs to get a life, certainly some typing/english lessons though, general paragraphing, that kind of thing. i gave up half way through or should i say i gv up hlf wy thru :P

pretzelmeister
pretzelmeister

yeah, the tilt looks really awesome, but it just wont be the same without vibration.

JimRune
JimRune

I love how most of these morons posting here don't understand what business competition is. Le sigh. Anyway, the tilt functionality looks fun.

jimbobb23
jimbobb23

What's with all the copy-cat stuff? People - if motion sensing turns out to be awesme - guess what? XBOX360 will have a motion sensing controller within a year. If all the Wii has for it is motion sensing than it is in for a world of hurt. Its too easy to implement on the more powerful consoles with USB, ethernet ports, wifi, ect. So, stop this dream that its some exclusive. EyeToy isn't a magic exclusive for Sony. It was a good idea, MS copied it. Good move MS. It makes me wonder if the Wii will make it, since it is relatively so underpowered its easy for the other consoles to adapt and match its features.

funkybar88
funkybar88

big difference for vibration how? i never play with it

littlestreakier
littlestreakier

i donno about all of that, that seems like a lot more work than pressing the analog or d-pad for what u want to do. i often move my controller when i play without thinking about it, u can't do that anymore. plus people don't give vibration the credit it's due. it makes a BIG difference. i'm much rather have vibration over motion-sensor. but that's just me.

mackdaddy1342
mackdaddy1342

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

funkybar88
funkybar88

you know what I think, the ps3 makes it easy to port both wii and 360 version of games

Onlinegeek
Onlinegeek

HELLO IDIOTS OF TE FORUM WORLD IM HERE TO SAVE U FROM UR SELVES yeah um im sry in the past everyone was more inovation more inovation more inovation so when sony takes a risk(yes they borrowed idea stole whatever u want to call it from the wii) everyone bails wtf is this folks i mean really mabey if u would open ur lil fan boy crazed minds to the idea u would realize that could be really sick i mean come on analog for ur feet sixaxis for movement adn buttons for tricks it will be the realest experiance out tehre an d the ps3 and wii versions will play completely different because wii involves pointing ps3 involves angles anyone with a brain could see that. Yeah also um 360 owners im sry to tell u u know u wish u had the sixaxis funcition cuz even if it makes one game better tis worth it adn no vibration yeah tis a change but i also know ppl who when vibration came out couldnt stand it so mabey u all should back up adn think holy crap what if that worked.

Element3x3
Element3x3

i commented before on how the sixaxis takes away the vibration, and uhh ya vibration is a big part u just dont notice it because ur so used to it, when my vibration brok on my xbox controller it felt crappy when i went to grind a rail and there was no vibration

CleitonSL
CleitonSL

Watta hell was that???? the guy move the controller everywhere and the character didnt even move. Plz SONY gimme a break, thats no way motion sensative controller.

judge__judy
judge__judy

Grrr how many times do you people have to e told. PS3 basically created motion sensing before WII was even made. No one ripped off anyone it's common sense to add something like motion sensing into games!

blindskatr156
blindskatr156

being that the first tony hawk game i ever played was pro skater 2, im used to using the d-pad. it doesnt make sense to copy the wii and use your own movement as balance. if i am getting into a game, sometimes i move the controller without thinking, and that could completely mess you up. i dont like it, but some people might...

Willy105
Willy105

This is way too similar to Wii.

nintendofox
nintendofox

Wow.....using the Suckasxis controller to move the skateboard around......Where does sony come up with this stuff???? ok, I know....the whole copy-cat thing has been played out already. But really.....every time I hear about this stuff it just screams RIP-OFF to me. I know thats the way the world works and all with the competative, capitalistic nature of buisness........but it also pisses me off and makes me never want to play on a sony consol ever again.

SkyeCupid
SkyeCupid

I must be the only one that was extremely impressed by that. In fact, this seems to be the first game to make good use of the Sixaxis. If I do end up purchasing this game, the PS3 may be the platform for me. Let's just hope the online is remotely adequate.

CCCRT
CCCRT

I now hate that controller even more than when they said dual shock was gone. It looks like he could barely even land a kick flip or keep his balance with that thing. I just don't want to play without it and have no dualshock either. :( Stupid controller in my opinion.

Real720
Real720

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Cunniceltic
Cunniceltic

Are you idiots? Why cant you understand that the games is still UNDER development, the videos you see are not the end product. Man, y dont u learn?

predator1015
predator1015

looks good. but it might cause problems. i hope you can have the option of turning the motion sensor off and playing it the normal way. just in case they fluck with the six-axis

Clan_RoK
Clan_RoK

It looks totaly rubbish.. it seems non responsive... awkward and gimmicky. well done sony... youve lost another customer.