This review was written using a review copy of the game.
Skydive: Proximity Flight, the latest title from Gaijin Entertainment, is a game based around the high adrenaline sport of skydiving. It doesn’t sound like much of an adrenaline pumping piece when you first look at it, but quite surprisingly, what we have here is a solid game which is basic but fun.
The game has several modes; Challenges, Adrenaline Race, Freestyle and Friends’ Challenges. Diving straight into Challenges allows you to compete for 3 stars in different categories: Routes, Basic Tricks, Advanced Challenges and Extra Challenges. Each challenge is located in different parts of the world and also have their own weather and time of day settings, making some harder than the next. Being thrown into a game with no challenge is dull, the increasing and decreasing difficulty levels between each challenge here makes tackling them extremely exciting. Friend’s Challenges offer almost the same experience, except here you must beat your friends’ scores, the only problem here being that you actually need friends with the game to play.
Adrenaline Race offers you a chance to beat either your friends or skydivers on the leaderboards, this allows you to show off your newly found skills as you battle your way to first and keep control whilst dodging trees, mountain sides and other parts of the scenery. It’s actually harder than one would think, especially when you start to use your adrenaline boost in tight spots to gain an advantage. Freestyle does what it says on the tin, you can play how you like using the available settings, it’s really that simple.
The game awards you points in the challenge modes based on how many tricks you combo together whilst flying, how close to particular objects you fly and how controlled you are with your skydiver. The ring challenges are a fantastic way to learn how to control your skydiver and get the most out of flying close to objects without crash landing head first.
The developers have done a great job here with the controls, I was skeptical about using my Dualshock 3 controller, the controls, however are ten times more responsive than what I was expecting. It may take some time getting used to, but once you get the hand of tight navigating corners you’ll be glad you tried it. Of course you could always use the Move controller if need be and Xbox 360 users can use Kinect for a full body experience.
You can also opt for either a third person view behind your character as the norm or try a first person view which, for most, will be an exciting experience, though you can’t really see much. Also available is a whole roster of character to choose from, each having their own stats for yet another challenge. There is even the inclusion of the Flying Squirrel and Dracula if you’re looking to have a laugh whilst you play.
Visually, this game isn’t jaw dropping, but it does have some wow factor. My first skydive consisted of me flying into the trees in order to find out if the scenery were just stuck on to the landscape for realism, flying it to anything will automatically result in a collision and I learned that the hard way.
The game also has some rocking tunes on the menu screens and in the game, though after some time I started to get a little annoyed at the music looping. The sound effects are also very well done for such a basic game and that I like. Whilst you’re not really skydiving, you do get to feel on some level how these adrenaline junkies feel, especially when you go for a full flight in first person.