Skydive: Proximity Flight
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Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3
North American Release Date: October 1, 2013
European Release Date: October 2, 2013
Trophies: 1 | 3 | 3 | 44
Thank you to Gaijin Entertainment for providing a review code!
Skydive: Proximity Flight is the latest offering from Gaijin Entertainment, who've had a history of making some... not so great games. After playing a few of their other games, I wasn't too keen to jump into this game. Especially knowing next to nothing about it. Would this be another X-Blades or Anarchy: Rush Hour? Read on for my thoughts about Skydive: Proximity Flight.
First of all, this game is actually about BASE jumping, not skydiving, as the title would suggest. As to what the hell that is, I found that out in the first minute of the game. Basically, you jump from really, really tall things - mostly mountains - and fly down for as long as possible before activating your parachute. This means flying down for minutes at a time doing a bunch of crazy shit before landing (or dying). Honestly, I have no clue if it really works like this game portrays, and I don't really care. It's fun, and that's what matters.
Once you get into the game, you can pick a character and begin to do your jump. Let me go a bit off-topic here to talk about the characters. This is my favorite part of the game, and for one reason: you can play as Dracula. Think about that. If you don't want to BASE jump as Dracula, then you can just get the hell out. All of these characters (most are generic, except three who are real BASE jumpers) have different stats, so each has their own use, at least until you unlock the last one who is just plain better than all the others; only then is the choice of who to play made obvious (hint: it's Dracula).
Actually controlling your character is easy, use either the Playstation Move or Sixaxis for motion controls, or the left stick on your controller to move your character around. I should mention that motion controls are set on by default, so if you don't like them (like me), you'll have to change them in the settings. Tilting it up makes your character do a dive, while pointing it down pulls your character up. Pressing lets you switch perspective, either Third-Person, Left Arm, Right Arm, or First-Person. Holding and tilting the left stick around lets you do tricks, and holding any of the shoulder buttons lets you activate your adrenaline. Activating this lets you, in a way, become Goku for just a second. By Goku, I mean propelling yourself through the air and getting some rad 3D vision and motion blur. These are the absolute basics which are learned from playing the game for ten minutes or so, and they all meld together to make this feel as natural as a videogame about BASE jumping can be.
Knowing all of this is just the beginning - actually performing the tricks is another thing entirely. As you might be able to tell from the title, Skydive: Proximity Flight, you'll need to fly as close to the ground as possible to earn points. This might sound easy, but it's actually a bit difficult. If you crash into the ground, you'll either bounce really high up into the air and lose 10,000 points (It only goes up from there) or you'll die and have to restart the race. Since points are a major part of the game (and make up most of the replay value), learning when to go for points is integral to mastering the game.
There are some online elements to this game, but they're a very small part of the game. Only a few people have purchased this game, so it's unlikely you'll find a challenge from a friend in "Friends' Challenge" mode. That leaves the "Beat the Best" mode, where you choose a score from the leaderboards to beat. I only tried it twice before stopping, there really wasn't much else to experience after that.
If you're coming into this expecting an amazing plot, you'll need to look elsewhere. There is absolutely no plot to this game, only gameplay, and the only "progression" is to complete (and attempt to three-star) the Challenges and Adrenaline races. A majority of the challenges are the same. Either "Follow the route and gather key points" or perform X trick however many times in a row. These all start out easy, but the difficulty ramps up once you get to Advanced Challenges. I think "Perform 55 backflips in a row and perform a successful landing" speaks for itself. Adrenaline races are... races. You get to race against three other jumpers and follow their smoke trails until the end of the race. Not much else to say about it, it's what you'd expect from a race, except everyone is flying through the air.
The last mode is just for fun, but it offers some variety. In Freestyle, you can change the map, weather conditions, start point, even the time of day, all before you jump. The only real purpose of this mode is to mess around or beat the highscore over in the corner, otherwise there's no goal. Once you've three-starred all the challenges or gone for all the trophies, this is the only mode that will have any replay value. It's a good time killer, especially when you try to crash into the ground in inventive ways.
That isn't a stream of urine... I hope.
Skydive: Proximity Flight looks good when you're flying through the air at ungodly speeds, but if you start to slow down, you'll notice that the immediate textures of the ground underneath you looks just a bit better than the mountains in Skyrim. Character models look good, even if you're mostly looking at their crotch as they're flying. You'll be just as distracted in the trippy first person mode, where your vision will be flying all over the place while you're performing tricks. I tried it out but couldn't handle it for more than a minute or two
Now, the audio... I think the only thing I'll be able to remember about this subject is getting out of the main menu as fast as possible because of the rock song playing, and the possible shame of someone walking in. Now as for the regular songs playing throughout the game, I can't tell any of them apart. As far as I'm concerned, they're all the same generic guitar riff playing over and over. Some variety would definitely be nice, but you'll just have to deal with the bland guitar riff. Custom soundtrack support would also have been nice, it's something I really appreciate whenever it's included in a game.
Lastly, I should mention that Skydive: Proximity Flight has Move and 3D support, which is rather impressive for a PSN game, although you'll need two wands to play with the Move.
These losers couldn't even get Dracula to join them for their jump.
You will earn lots of bronze trophies during your first few jumps - just experimenting caused me to earn fifteen trophies in 30 minutes. If I had understood the game faster, then that could've been 20 minutes. Once you get all of the easy trophies that pop up in the first hour of gameplay, they get difficult. You'll need to learn the game quite well to get three stars in every start point or win a race. There are also some online trophies, requiring you to play and win in either "Friends' Challenges" or "Beat the Best" modes. By the way, there's a gold trophy for landing Dracula inside a castle. That makes this trophy list okay in my book.
Skydive: Proximity Flight is a fun little game, which was something I was NOT expecting from Gaijin Entertainment. There aren't many games like this on the PS3 (if any at all), and for $15, it's a decent purchase. It should keep you occupied for a few hours, even more if you want to go for the trophies, which is good for a PSN game. If you're looking for something to play and have $15 to spare, or it's ever on sale, this is definitely a game worth checking out.
BASE jumping Dracula. 'Nuff said.
There are plenty of missions, a few races, and the Freestyle mode is neat. I don't think I'd ever be able to expect a storyline from this kind of game, so I wasn't very surprised at the lack of one.
Ground textures and the music aren't too great, but you should be too distracted to notice them most of the time. Still, the ground looking only a bit better than Skyrim is pretty bad.
Overall: 7/10 Good