Built on a new engine, Tony Hawk's Project 8 is designed to be the most complete and well-rounded game in the series to date. Tony and his crew are looking for eight promising skaters, so single-players in "Career" mode must show the pros they can grind, heel flip, and spin better than the competition. Gamers may select their avatar from one of five characters each with their own abilities and a specific trick, and then begin to complete the objectives found in each environment.
Missions range from grind challenges to bail contests, and each activity has several variations. Players may also hook-up with photographers for picture challenges that require skaters to perform tricks and follow instructions while keeping up with the cameraperson. "Puzzle" goals make players adjust the rails, vehicles, and other objects within the closed course to create a skate-able path to travel without touching the ground. A text messenger will also beep in from time to time to alert gamers to newly opened goals or contests.
An in-game feature called "Nail That Trick" allows a player to slow the action down as the character enters the air, so that gamers may create new skills or perfect old ones by using the avatar's feet to flip the board in any direction. "Nail That Trick" can be accessed at any time, and can be used to transition into the next combo. Of course, there is a "Free Skate" area where skaters can spend time practicing tricks and earning upgrades. Skill enhancing bonuses are given while players are in "Free Skate," and can increase such attributes as spins, vert tricks, grinds, and airtime. All progress can be viewed in the move chart. Players who want live competition can access the Internet and engage in two-player challenges, a new game called "Walls," and more.