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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 drops the always-online requirement, but only for Steam Deck

Cool! Also, eh

Following three years solely on the Epic Games Store, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2’s recent Steam launch was a largely happy occasion – save for it carrying over the same always-online requirement as it has on Epic. Yesterday’s 1.1 patch for the Steam version has now made offline play possible, but in a move that simultaneously makes loads of and absolutely no sense, it’s only available on the Steam Deck.

Like. Okay? I guess? If you’re going to cut an always-online requirement – especially one as nonsensical as that of THPS 1 + 2, which supports both solo play and local multiplayer – then the most obvious beneficiary is going to be a handheld like the Deck, which will regularly be carried outside the comforting warmth of a home Wi-Fi network.

But then if it’s clearly fine to hit the pipes offline on the Steam Deck, why not let all Steam players do the same on their PCs? Why not all PC players, including the Epic crowd? Maybe it’s favouritism – the Deck does look a little bit like a skateboard.

No disrespect to Valve’s handheld, obviously. It’s lovely, and normally I’d be well up for developers making the effort to ensure their games function properly on it; Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, has a Steam Deck-specific preset in its graphics options. To make a platform exclusive out of such a basic quality-of-life improvement, however, is the polar opposite of parity-seeking.

That said, maybe it won’t just be the Steam Deck for long. Hopefully someone at Activision Blizzard, recent recipients of $68.7 billion, notices how the presence of THPS 1 + 2’s new offline playerbase is not quite devastating enough to tip its vast media empire into the red. A punk can dream.

In any event, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is still a good’un by most accounts. Former vidbud Colm (RPS in peace) named it one of the best games of 2020, writing that "The greatest compliment I can give THPS 1 + 2 is that it plays as well as my memory of the originals."

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