Skydive Proximity Flight Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Skydive Proximity Flight Review



Over the last few days I have been spending my time hurtling towards the ground at break neck speed, thanks to Skydive Proximity Flight, which is now available on the Xbox Live Store. Skydive Proximity Flight sort of came out of the blue for me, as I knew little about it until we were given the chance to review it. The game which was developed by Gaijin Entertainment and published by Topware Interactive, has a premise that is simple, jump off a mountain wearing a winged suit, and fly as close to the rocks, trees and ground as possible without breaking your neck, hence the name proximity flight. Oh, and I should mention here, not to try any of this at home from the roof of the house or even the top of your wardrobe, as hitting the ground for real, actually causes bodily harm and even death.

Moving on, base jumping is probably one of those things in life that I don’t want to experience for real, I don’t mind heights, it’s the thoughts of hitting the ground at high speed that puts me off. Upon starting up Skydive Proximity Flight it immediately gets the blood flowing with actual video of some crazy people flying through the air to some pumping music. Once you leap off that first mountain, you really do get the sense of how insane this high adrenaline sport actually is, and just how fast the surrounding landscape comes at you. Skydive Proximity Flight simulates this sport extremely well, so well in fact you can almost feel the wind in your hair while you twist and turn to avoid the scenery. The game does go to great lengths to simulate realism to certain degrees, for instance your arms and legs will shake and quiver from the shear force that is being exerted on them, as you turn as sharp as possible to avoid that rocky outcrop. The environments are stunning, even as you fly at speed, they are beautifully rendered and truly give a sense of the shear drop below you.

Skydive Proximity Flight is not just a jump of mountain and fly about type of game, as the developers have included a few modes to bring up the excitement level a touch. You can race against computer opponents, take on the challenge mode, which I have to say is a challenge, or you can simply enjoy the scenery while you rack up the points in freestyle. The one thing you must not forget is to deploy your parachute at the end of each flight, just so you can come to the ground with a thud, instead of a splat. There are four viewing options during flight. Besides the default third-person view from behind your character, you can choose to view from either side of the character, or even from the first-person perspective which is as gorgeous as it is stomach churning. One of the features I found myself constantly using at the start, was the ability to rewind. Take for instance, you accidently smash your body into the side of a cliff, as I so often did, you can simply hold B and rewind back to a point where you can then recalculate the turn and miss the obstacle, you will be penalised in your final score for doing so. Scoring is a matter of flying as close to the landscape and trees as possible, and pulling off some stunts while doing so, if you are able to master this, you will rack up gigantic scores in the blink of an eye. Don’t however go into Skydive Proximity Flight expecting an experience akin to SSX, or some other far fetched sporting title, as the developers have tried to keep it real, and in doing so have really created something unique.

Controlling the numerous characters in the game is a simple affair using the controller, but it also caters for the Kinect, take my advise use the controller as with the old Kinect, it is not always a smooth ride. On the subject of characters, there is plenty of scope, with faster and better characters being unlocked as you complete the challenges. To be honest, I don’t know why anyone would want to manoeuvre threw these landscapes any faster, as I found it tough most of the time with the first character. Skydive also brings us locations from around the globe, such as  the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, the Grand Canyon, Hạ Long Bay, and the vistas of Italy, all of which are just as stunning as the last. Some things in Skydive Proximity Flight that I did find lacking, were the lack of on screen display, such as an altitude meter or a simple speedometer, both of which would come in handy at times, if only to find out when I was next going to break my neck. The race mode is frustratingly difficult, because unlike any racing games you are used too, there is no defined path to the finish line. This allows both you and the bots to find the fastest route possible, which of course as they are computer aided, they already know while you struggle to keep up.

Taking everything into account Skydive Proximity Flight is something new and fresh, that we haven’t seen before, or that hasn’t been done in a hundred different ways. It can be somewhat repetitive after you jump for the hundredth time, but what game isn’t repetitive, as we spend our lives running around the same ten maps with a gun in our hand. Simply put, it’s fun, it’s fast and it’s fresh, and I hope the developer continues to bring us such games.