There's only one word that matters in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland: seamless. Rather than simply presenting a series of different, totally discrete levels to olly and kickflip your way through, American Wasteland - the seventh Tony Hawk's game in seven years no less! - offers a huge, freeroaming world for you to explore and trick about in, big style.
A giant, streaming environment that never pauses to load in new areas or scenery. Like we say, seamless. Oh, and it's all set in 1980s Los Angeles too, so make that three words that matter: seamless and old skool.
Not forgetting the fact that American Wasteland is also the first Tony Hawk's game to allow online play through Xbox Live in Europe (four words, dammit: seamless, old skool and online), making this the biggest leap forward for the series since Tony Hawk's Underground debuted the idea of plot-driven gameplay and the ability to hop off your board mid-combo for some properly sick high-score action.
While the content of the online game has yet to be fully revealed, as a single-player game American Wasteland follows a similar tack to Underground. Would-be Hawkster's can either crank out the combos and hunt down the letters S, K, A, T and E - again - in Classic mode (which uses a medley of the most popular skate parks from the Tony Hawk's games of yesteryear, revamped to take advantage of American Wasteland's new graphical sheen) or take to the streets of L.A. to become a world-renowned skater in Story mode.
This is where you'll find the real beef of the game, cruising around Downtown and the Hollywood strip, performing missions and interacting with the characters you'll meet roaming the city. You'll even be able to pop into the boutiques and barber shops, San Andreas style, to ensure your threads and barnet never look out of place.
Plus, what with this being a new Tony Hawk's game and all, you can expect a new selection of kicks, flips, plants and general trick-out weirdness. Although, rather perversely, the biggest area of change is to your moves OFF the board, the coolest of which is the ability to physically run up walls. We can only imagine the kind of crazy combo possibilities that opens up.
So, something for everyone then - even for those who felt jaded by Underground 2's lack of innovation. Perhaps that's four words that should matter: seamless, old skool, online and frigging awesome (oh alright, six words then).