Skydive: Proximity Flight (PlayStation 3) Review

By Az Elias 04.11.2013

Review for Skydive: Proximity Flight on PlayStation 3

Apart from Nintendo's Pilotwings series, there really haven't been many quality skydiving games. Skateboarding, motocross and BMX are a few examples of the more popular extreme sports that have enjoyed better success in the market, but surely there's a gap to fill for those that wish to experience the thrills of falling through the sky in a video game instead of real life? Gaijin Entertainment seems to think so, and is taking a chance with new game Skydive: Proximity Flight, downloadable now on PS3 and Xbox 360. Who knows - if it does well, maybe there will be more skydiving games to come in the future.

The game might be called Skydive, but it's actually all about wingsuit flying - a sport in which people dress themselves like squirrels in special jumpsuits that enable them to fly through the air at incredible speeds. Sure enough, there is a squirrel wingsuit to use in the game, alongside a selection of other people to play as, each with differing attributes that contribute to their speed, weight and control.

Skydive only has a short list of modes on offer; there are a number of challenges to complete, which mostly involve performing certain tricks and passing through a set amount of rings, plus a few racing events against some AI characters and a freestyle mode to try to rack up big points by sequencing tricks together. Times and scores are recorded and uploaded to the online leader boards, and it's even possible to challenge other people's performances in the same way ghost characters can be downloaded and raced against in Mario Kart.

Surprisingly, Skydive does a very good job of portraying what it might really be like to wingsuit through the sky, falling down what seems like hundreds of miles and skimming the tops of trees and icy mountains at breakneck speeds. Performing tricks like barrel rolling and somersaulting awards points, and by doing these within close proximity of the terrain, huge bonuses are awarded. That said, proximity flying is incredibly risky, as gliding so close to the surface can often mean collisions and failures occurring. Tricks and proximity flying also contribute to an adrenaline rush meter that can be activated to increase the speed of flight for a short period of time. During these moments of near-missing the hazardous rocks of the Grand Canyon or the tropical islands of Hạ Long Bay at such speeds, the thrill is actually quite something, especially when races or challenges are completed without a single crash. A first-person viewpoint to switch to during play also further enhances the stimulation, but then the lack of being able to judge whether the skydiver will hit obstacles becomes a problem.

Screenshot for Skydive: Proximity Flight on PlayStation 3

There will be crashes, though, and obviously that's when things can take a turn for the worst. In races, upon colliding into the ground or walls, the option to rewind a few seconds to then correct the mistake is available. The exact position of the skydiver is never normally returned in the previous way it was earlier upon resuming the play, though, and being kicked on again at the super pace that was initially being travelled at after being stopped dead in the air becomes tricky, with quick reflexes needed to alter course right away. This can often lead into multiple bad rewinds, sometimes rendering all hope lost and a need to restart the entire race - not a pleasant experience when the crashes were made right at the end.

As expected with such a game, motion controls are available for both the DualShock3 and PS Move controllers. Testing out the motion play of the DualShock3, it was unexpectedly decent, in all fairness. There were no standout issues to speak of apart from when attempting certain tricks or turning tight corners; understanding the sensitivity takes some getting used to, as with mostly all motion-controlled games. There's also the fact that using an analogue stick and buttons will always feel superior and more accurate to motion controls, anyway. It's a solid effort, though, and it's recommended to give them a go to find a suitable method.

Games that put to use the 3D ability of such enabled TVs have been rather thin, but Skydive is one that does so. This sadly couldn't be tested out for review, but it is at least the perfect game to try to make good use of it. Playing the game on a standard HDTV, however, it's very noticeable when adrenaline rushing at which points the 3D activates, because the surrounding terrain, mountains and forests all get that red and green 3D filter on them for a short time, which looks rather silly and often takes away from the immersion.

Screenshot for Skydive: Proximity Flight on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There is a trophy in Skydive awarded for playing the game for an hour; in all honesty, that's probably about as long as is needed for this game. It provides the thrills and spills of wingsuit flying, but it just doesn't have enough in the locker to keep players coming back or offer much besides challenging online leader boards once the events are completed. A solid attempt at trying to bring to the market one of the lesser-known extreme sports, but it's going to take more than is presented in Skydive: Proximity Flight to get people interested in such types of games, and they certainly won't do so at the hefty price of £15.99.

Developer

Gaijin

Publisher

Gaijin

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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