Skydive: Proximity Flight Review: Where Eagles Dare

skydive-logoDeveloper: Gaijin Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3
Genre: Extreme Sport

Skydive: Proximity Flight is an extreme sport, motion-control game about wingsuit BASE jumping. If you’re not familiar with the concept of wingsuit flying, you might be more familiar with the extreme and rather silly example of the Wile E. Coyote batsuit. Except it actually functions properly here.
Skydive is built around two primary activities; going as fast and as dangerously as possible, and pulling off tricks that would very likely result in your death. These two tasks are where the majority of the appeal of this title comes from, and it pulls it off surprisingly very well.

The game comes with a handful of modes which include Challenges (following a set path and hitting check points, score attacks, and pulling off stunts), Adrenaline Race (four courses where your only goal is to beat other racers down the path), and Freestyle (do what you like, and not get smeared across the countryside in the process). Although there are only a handful of courses and modes, the game makes up for this by giving you a lot of different options to meet your diving style. There are 14 different skydivers to choose from, each with their own unique attributes. Most are pretty serious, but there’s a few fun ones thrown in just for laughs, such as a flying squirrel and Dracula.

skydive1When it comes to getting your adrenal rush, Skydive does NOT disappoint. The game is fast and furious, and you’ll find yourself needle threading, flipping, and barrel rolling like a pro in no time. Having as much control as possible is the name of the game in this title, and Gaijin makes absolutely sure that you have every possible option under the sun available to you. The expected way to play the title is with two PlayStation Move motion controllers (simulating each of your wings), but for those who can’t or won’t play with motion based games, Gaijin has you covered. Your additional options include playing with the built in SixAxis controls (which I do NOT recommend), or going with strict analog control. Personally, I enjoyed being able to pull out my Move wands and was having an absolute BLAST. Unfortunately, SkyDive suffers the same fate that many other Move controlled games do with constant calibration required to maintain accuracy. Although incredibly finicky, when the calibration is consistent, the game responds incredibly well and is definitely on my list of top motion games ever made.

Gaijin has pulled off some rather interesting tricks in the visuals department, which is notable purely becasue of the speed at which you’ll be playing. If you’re playing Adrenaline Races properly, you’re going to be hauling down most of the courses as fast as you possibly can, and yet every breathtaking landscape is perfectly crisp and in view. As you go through each course, you can tell that extra care and attention was taken to make sure that each landscape was unique onto itself, and no two courses are the same (although there are admittedly few of them).

skydive2In the sound department is where this review starts to take a turn for the worse. The 90’s brand high-octane guitar style music drove me crazy. The second you fire up the game, it’s in your face and the music NEVER STOPS. For a game like this, being able to load your own custom soundtracks would have been an incredible boon. Other audio in the game is adequate, giving you the typical bells and whistles, nothing more and nothing less.

Finally, for us trophy hunting types, Gaijin again has you covered. Pulling in 51 trophies in total, you’re going to at least have FUN attempting to get them all. And unlike quite a few other games where getting a single trophy can take you hours upon hours, Gaijin really just rewards you for experiencing everything their title has to offer. I had a surprisingly good time with Skydive: Proximity Flight. It gave me a great reason to pull my Move wands out again, but I’m not too sure that the $19.99 asking price is justifiable. Perhaps if pulled down to a slightly more reasonable price range, this title could really take off and fly.

 

Gameplay – 9/10
Even as a game with limited play options, what is there is almost criminal amounts of fun.

Graphics – 8/10
The vistas are ridiculously gorgeous and even at the speeds you’re traveling, they’re always visible and you might even find yourself distracted more than once trying to take them in.

Sound – 5/10
Kill me please. I wasn’t able to get the movie “Drop Zone” with Wesley Snipes out of my head for a week after playing this, because of the soundtrack similarities.

Overall – 8/10
Pick the game up. Although the price is iffy, the fun you will have with it is not.

Editors note:  This review is based off a review copy given to us by the PR company for this game.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017
Copyright 2012 Beazley Entertainment
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