Tony Hawk gets digitized again

Hawk's presence will grace the video game world once again. Courtesy Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD

Digital clones of Tony Hawk and his flock of top-name skateboarders will return to gaming consoles this summer with the release of the 15th video game bearing the Birdman's moniker.

Promising "ridiculously high-scoring trick combos," Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD will cherry-pick classic levels and skaters from the series to create an all-new and up-to-date skateboarding game experience, according to a press release.

"We're going back to the core of what made the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games so popular, while leveraging today's console power and online capabilities," Hawk said in the statement. "We've updated many elements to reflect today's skateboarding scene as well. Longtime fans of the series will appreciate the huge amount of polished content at a very low price." The game is scheduled for digital release only, for about $15, Hawk added.

Earlier this month on the red carpet of Spike TV's Video Game Awards, Hawk emphasized that the new game will have "the same control scheme [and] a lot of the levels and characters that people knew and loved. We're bringing them back ... in high-rez."

The series return to the successes of the past is a well-played rebound of sorts, considering the lackluster reception of its 2009 Tony Hawk: Ride and the subsequent Tony Hawk: Shred. Both of those installments replaced the traditional joystick with a foot-activated skateboard-shaped controller covered in sensors that required gamers to get up off the couch.

Gamers with muscle memory of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, which was released in 1999, will find themselves back in their comfort zone this summer. They'll also recognize staple characters from the series, including Andrew Reynolds, Rodney Mullen, Eric Koston, and Hawk himself, joining Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, Nyjah Huston, Chris Cole, and Hawk's son Riley.

"Tony is not only a legend in the skateboarding world, he's an American icon that has had a major impact on video games. We couldn't be happier to be working with him again," said David Oxford of Activision Publishing. "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD just feels right -- we're simply giving fans what they've been clamoring for."