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Skydive: Proximity Flight Review

Skydive: Proximity Flight aims to capture all the high-octane thrills of skydiving in a wingsuit to your living room, and delivers a nice but imperfect little game with a lot of potential, if not a lot else.

With time trial style checkpoint dives, 'adrenaline races', freestyle, and an increasingly difficult but satisfying tricks mode, Skydive has you bombing headfirst down the side of huge mountains from the very start. The backdrops as you fly down through valleys and villages at pretty high speeds, are truly beautiful. The controls try and push you into using whatever motion control you have available, but can still be enjoyed using your bog-standard buttons on the control pad.

Controls are fairly intuitive, and even using the Sixaxis pad on the PlayStation 3, I found them to be very sensitive and accurate. Exactly what you need when gaining extra points for barrel rolling at incredible speeds inches from a mountain. The PlayStation Move controller is just as effective, but I found the old school Sixaxis more than adequate.

With jaw-dropping scenery and genuinely enjoyable motion controls, it's a shame that the overall package leaves an awful lot to be desired. There aren't a lot of levels altogether across all the different modes, and despite presence of a 'tricks' mode, you can, realistically, only perform two tricks. After barrel rolling and doing either forward or backward flips, there's nothing else you can do. You can rack up points by performing proximity tricks, chiefly rolling or backflipping near a surface. You can combine these tricks for multipliers and the like, but it's essentially a barrel roll into a backflip into a barrel roll into another flip. A real missed opportunity to get the most out of an exciting concept.

It's possible that the team behind Skydive didn't want to overload the motion controls with too many similar or interchangeable commands, which is commendable, and it truly is a game that tries to simulate the sport rather than sensationalise it, but the finished package feels very lacking. With last year's rebooted SSX showcasing the wingsuit and features perhaps too many tricks, Skydive doesn't appear to be too much competition for them.

The checkpoint routes are a lot of fun, and quite serene actually, as you glide between mountains, over treetops, over cliff edges and into ravines. These get harder quite steadily, though, and you soon find yourself coming to a land halfway up a mountain long before you've been through enough checkpoints to progress. Tricks, despite the aforementioned lack of them, are still enjoyable and the real test comes as you try to perform the tricks as close to a surface as you can get and still fly away in one piece onto the next hulking great precipice. Any sense of danger or impending doom is quashed, though, as you simply bounce off a mountain if you hit it head-on, losing points in the process rather than your life. You are required to deploy your parachute at the end of your stint doing tricks, and despite being a simulation of the sport, gives some startling feedback on the success of your landings.

I deployed my parachute, exiting out of a 2000 metre continual barrel roll at speeds of 100mph+, and proceeded to faceplant into the side of a mountain. Landing: Successful. What? I'm now trapped with no face hundreds of metres up a mountain, at what level could that be considered a success? Land at sea? Successful. Break my legs coming in too fast up a hill? 'Awesome.' I even got a 'perfect' landing when I impaled my poor skydiver into the corner of a rooftop. Basically, the game considers it a success if you merely yank the cord, regardless of the situation.

What Skydive: Proximity Flight does, it does well. Really well. It is beautiful, the scenes of Italian hills and Switzerland's mountain ranges are magnificently rendered and a joy to throw myself into at 100 miles per hour. It even has the audacity to use motion controls well – even Kinect. The speed and momentum is nicely paced and well delivered. One moment you're enjoying the scenic route as you glide between targets, then you're spinning very fast doing your best not to break your legs on the rockface. It's peaceful and minorly heartpounding in equal measure.

The major drawbacks here are in the overall package. Not enough levels, variation or reasons to keep playing it beyond the campaign, and too few tricks leave a lot to be desired. There's not a lot of bang for your buck here, which is unfortunate for a game that features so much potential for follow-up games down the line. Just like real skydiving, it costs a fair bit, it's over too soon but it is a damn enjoyable ride. Definitely worth a shot if you're after something a little new, exciting and different.

7.00/10 7

Skydive: Proximity Flight (Reviewed on PlayStation 3)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Skydive: Proximity Flight aims to capture all the high-octane thrills of skydiving in a wingsuit to your living room, and delivers a nice but imperfect little game with a lot of potential, if not a lot else.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Gary Durston

Gary Durston

Staff Writer

Gary has been a gamer all his life and is a total retrohead. A lover of games, gaming and just about anything with a pixel, really.

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COMMENTS

thom.whyte
thom.whyte - 11:46pm, 3rd April 2015

"Any sense of danger or impending doom is quashed, though, as you simply bounce off a mountain if you hit it head-on, losing points in the process rather than your life." The game seems pretty cool, but I don't like the sound of this. By taking out the risk of death, they haven't just missed out on an opportunity to inject more thrill into their game, I also feel they're irresponsibly representing the sport. Something with such a high risk should be advertised as such, and that's pretty much what this game is doing - broadening interest in skydiving.

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