Since the release of the PlayStation 3, there have been a handful of games that have used the Sixaxis motion controls in a fun way – even fewer that have also made them the primary control method. Gaijin Entertainment, the studio behind War Thunder and Modern Conflict, seem to have taken up the challenge with Skydive: Proximity Flight and, for the most part, have succeeded.
• Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
• Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
• Reviewed on: PlayStation 3
• Also Available On: Xbox 360
• Release Date: Available Now
While the name may suggest a skydiving focus, Skydive: Proximity Flight actually puts you in a wingsuit and throws you off of various cliffs and outcroppings – all from the safety of your couch. Gameplay involves manoeuvring your jumper down through a course of overhangs and mountainsides, following defined paths or pulling off stunts or dangerous proximity flying (eh!) to earn points. You also accrue adrenaline, which can be used to provide timed bursts of speed – propelling you ever more quickly towards your crushing demise.
As mentioned previously, control options vary from standard analog stick movements through to Move and Sixaxis controls (the Kinect can be used for the 360). The requirement for two Move controllers to utilise that option will close that particular door for most people but I was able to test all of the methods; the best hands-down (Eh!) being the Sixaxis option. While you may look like a fool twisting and turning your arms, the controls were precise enough that it was relatively easy to skim cliff faces and tree tops.
The game has four main modes:
- Challenges offer numerous tasks like path finding and score chasing. Split across four categories, completing each will reward you with a star score out of three, with one being the requirement to progress to the next task. There were times when a particular challenge was tricky to complete, meaning my progress simply halted until I could overcome it. This type of progression design can often lead to frustration, as it did a few times here.
- Adrenaline Races pit you against three other opponents. While reaching the goal requires speed, you also have to find paths through the landscape as well as earn adrenaline to increase your speed. Again, progression could only be achieved by coming first and there are only four races on offer.
- Freestyle does not need a whole lot of explanation. Suffice it to say, this is where you get to relax and enjoy the view – or attempt to create challenges for your friends…
- Which leads us to the final mode, Friend’s Challenges. By pulling off daring flights and then uploading them as challenges, you can keep having new reasons to come back and play. Regardless, a full multiplayer mode is sorely missing here.
Despite being a downloadable title, Skydive: Proximity Flight has some impressive visuals. The landscape is beautiful and unlike other flying games, as the aim is to get as close to it as possible, you get to appreciate it in all its glory. If I had one minor complaint, it would be that the sense of speed is not overly apparent during regular flying. However, the adrenaline boost adds this in spades, with motion blur and colour distortions.
Skydive: Proximity Flight is a fun, niche title, well worth a look if you want something to fill that SSX-shaped hole in your life. The price may be a bit steep (EH!) at £15.99/€19.99/ $19.99 and without a multiplayer mode to justify it, it may be more prudent to wait for a sale or price drop. Regardless, this is a well-made, fun title that justifies its Sixaxis implementation.