Flight seems like one of the most overpowered superpowers there is. Characters who can fly almost always seem to do so effortlessly… Do you ever see Superman needing a cool down period after a quick trip across the Atlantic to the Londinium Batcave? Heck no. In video games, developers seem to recognize that the ability to fly would give the player too much power, but are also as interested in the ability as we all are. From that conflict, we get the ability to glide, going all the way back to Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Tanooki Suit.
I’m not sure how it worked out, but in the last month or so I’ve played 3 different games with a heavy emphasis on the ability to use technology on the characters outfit to be able to nearly fly, Far Cry 4, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Just Cause 3, and all three have a slightly different feel.
Far Cry 4 ends up being the least interesting of the bunch when it comes to Wingsuits. The first person perspective should make gliding over the Kyrat countryside really exciting, but the limited controls you have mean that you are essentially just slowly descending, without the ability to drop down to gain speed, then rise back up, like Mario with his yellow cape back on the Super Nintendo.
Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel to the Arkham Trilogy that came out between City and Knight, the 2nd and 3rd entries in the series. It brings over the grappling-hook-in-to-glide combo introduced in Arkham City, which really feels great. Arkham Knight made the glide a little too powerful, in my opinion, where it starts to feel like Superman’s ability to fly. Going back to the more limited glide in Origins felt more Batman to me, even if the controls are a little clunkier than in the newer game.
Just Cause 3 goes the same route as Arkham Knight, giving you an almost unlimited ability to “glide”, so much so that you may as well be flying. Combine that with the parachute that you can deploy to regain some elevation and the grappling hook that can pull you up a cliff face without touching the ground, and you can pretty much traverse the entire map in this game in the air. The difference here is that I’m not supposed to be Batman, so feeling so overpowered doesn’t rub me the wrong way.
All three games let you glide, with Just Cause 3 being the closest to flight. And you know what? It turns out that JC3 is far and away where I had the most fun with the glide suit. So, while I’m glad most games stay away from flight, because it’d make things just to darn easy, it turns out that if you get me as close as possible with a Wingsuit, parachute, and grappling hook, I’m like a kid in a candy store… who climbs up to the highest shelf he can find and leaps off the top of it just for the heck of it.