Skydiving has always been considered a rather extreme sport, but with the introduction of wingsuits things got a little bit more extreme. This is where you'll do a normal jump out of a helicopter or base-jump off of a mountain and glide at high velocity as opposed to just fall. It means that you can travel great distances and for an extra thrill, can also glide in close proximity to trees, mountains or whatever else takes your fancy.
Skydive: Proximity Flight is a game purely about wingsuits and it lets you dive straight into the action with some basic missions. Here you'll learn about the game's different mechanics and get a feel for what it's like to glide down beside a mountain at ridiculous speeds.
The game is structured with a real pick-up and play mentality as it's split into different types of activities, all of which are scored out of three stars. This applies to the different types of event, although unless the difficulty improves, they are all treated separately.
That all seems fair enough, but it can also be quite frustrating. Unless you get at least one star in the previous task you won't be able to progress. This is fine early on, as many of the tasks are quite easy. However, when you get onto the Advanced level the difficulty ramps up quite a lot and you can end up just getting stuck for a while. It would have been much better to have a pool of stars that collectively unlock levels, as this would have encouraged players to go back and try to get more stars on previous levels. With the game how it is, there's almost no reason to go back and repeat anything.
How you get stars is also rather annoying. On every level you're given a score, but it's pretty much redundant as stars are only awarded based on how quickly you complete a level. There's an option to open your parachute and fly around for a bit once you finish a run, but with you only receiving stars based on timing, once you achieve the objective you end up just mashing the parachute button "“ there's no point even landing your jump, you can just skip it.
As the game is designed about the ability to glide through the air, the controls try to make use of the PS3's Sixaxis functionality for movement. It means you have quite a good degree of control over your designated jumper, but they are far from perfect.
As anyone knows, the Sixaxis is great for certain types of movements, but not so much for others. It means that when you're flying at high speeds and want to make small movements, it's fine. But for most other things it ends up being a bit annoying. The Sixaxis gets confused by you wanting to do things like, make a sharp turn downwards. It ends up freaking out a bit, causing you to veer off in another direction temporarily before you can adjust and get everything back under control.
There's also the element of tricking. By holding down the X button and moving the Sixaxis to the brink in specific direction, your character will perform one of 3 tricks; a barrel roll, forward roll or backward roll. Its implementation isn't that bad, but you will quickly want to switch over to the analog control scheme.
On the subject of tricking, the game offers no real incentive for performing tricks when not in "proximity" to a surface. The difference in score multiplier is rather insane, with 200-400 being offered for a normal trick and 4,000-5,000 being offered for one in proximity to a surface.
Outside of the challenges, it's also possible to take part in Adrenaline Races. These are pretty fun and this is where most of the enjoyment of the game comes in. It's just a shame that there are only four races.
It means that overall there's quite a limited scope for the game. If you're pretty competent and complete most challenges first time, you can probably get through the game in about 2 hours. And with no real incentives to play again, it's a little bit disappointing. Still, the gameplay isn't all that bad, so you might want to just go into free style and dive down some mountains for an adrenaline rush. You can change quite a few options here, including the time of day, where you jump from and also the level of visibility you're offered.
Skydive: Proximity Flight is a pretty decent game and will serve its niche crowd pretty well. The gameplay could do with tightening up a bit and there are some question marks about progression and lasting appeal, but there are some thrills to be had, especially if you can get up some speed.
|The sense of speed.|
|Free Style mode offers lots of different options.|
|Motion controls make things more difficult than necessary.|
|Progression doesn't work that well.|
|The game's a bit on the short side.|