Sadly, the thing I hated about SSX3 was the big trumpeted change that seems doesn't seem to be going away: the big mountain. Not every game has to be like GTA. They ruined the last Need For Speed with that concept. And they're doing it to the next Tony Hawk game, too. Frankly, I don't want to be able to "skate all of LA that we were able to render..." especially if it means I don't get the fun variety of locations from the previous games.
I feel the same way, the navigation of SSX3 was kind of a pain in the ass, and I dont want to do a 30 minute race. If you lose, that is a half hour of time wasted. I also feel the same about the new Tony Hawk, though I do think there will be some sort of variety in the levels. I hope there is a Hollywood area that is a bunch of movie sets you can skate on (sort of like the Aggressive Inline Hollywood level). I'm just glad they are ditching the whole "Underground" thing. Bam Margera gets on my nerves after a while, like as in right when he opens his mouth. I can handle him in real life, but I hated him in the past Tony Hawk game.