Freeeeowwwww: Altitude0

By Craig Pearson on August 26th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Whip your plane back and forth.
The trailer for arcade flying game Altitude0 [sic] begins with the question: “Flying… looks easy?”. Now I’d like to challenge that very notion right away, because flying does not look easy. It doesn’t because it isn’t. I can say this with 100% certainty because I am currently not flying. I tried and landed in my neighbour’s prized azaleas* and my neighbours are angry and I’ve lost my security deposit. That challenge is made because Altitude0 thinks it needs to claim that its version of flying, where you speed very quickly through very low gates, is adding the challenge back into the world of flight. I’d have pointed out how bloody hard it is in the first place, and that doing it at this speed is ridiculous. It’s not easy, but it is multiplayer, free-to-play, and out now.

I always thought the point of flying was to keep away from tree-tops and houses, but Altitude0 challenges you to scrape past them as you roll through objective gates. You can play it offline, but really the joy looks to be dodging past other flyers, weaving through gates together. If you enjoy the free release, you can buy a support pack that gives you more maps and plane skins.

*It’s always “prized azaleas”.

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34 Comments »

  1. Crane says:

    Whenever I hit and destroy something, it’s always a “promising oboe player”.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    That looks wonderful. Pilotwings on crystal meth.

    Edit: It’s also bloody hard.

  3. Spectre-7 says:

    I’ve always skimmed the ground in flying games because it’s just plane fun. I’ll have to try this out.

  4. Shazbut says:

    Every flying game hurts me by not being Pilotwings, but this does look pretty good, even if that isn’t music I equate with being in the air.

  5. neems says:

    IE really doesn’t want me to download / run this, keeps reporting it as unsafe.

    I’m not sure what it’s basing it on, a little more info would be nice MS. Worried now.

  6. Shadowcat says:

    I’ll really never understand why third-person-only driving and flying games exist. Even if you’re not trying to be a sim, the experience is always better from a cockpit view.

    • FF56 says:

      What on earth makes you think that? The vast majority prefers 3rd person even if a cockpit is available. That’s one of the reasons why GRID2 doesn’t have cockpit view.

      • DrGonzo says:

        That’s the worst thing about Grid 2, I always like to play my games in cockpit views, why wouldn’t they leave it as an option?!

        • Joshua says:

          Since then they would have to model the cockpits. Modeling cockpits in great detail is kind off hard to do, and the feature was not used all that much in GRID the first.

          Why Codemaster’s didn’t figure to include a “Look to apex” camera like in Shift 2 is beyond me.

        • FF56 says:

          I didn’t say it was a good thing to remove the cockpit. I just meant that according to stats taken straight from GRID, almost every person played with 3rd person which is why I didn’t quite understand his comment about first person being the best way since most people disagree.

    • Jazzyboy says:

      Cockpit driving is really darn difficult. That’s probably why 3rd person is preferred by the majority of people, which is the reason it’s so prominent.

      Yes, it can be fun if you spend weeks practicing but most people simply can’t be bothered to spend more than a day learning the controls for a video game. I mean… I love Mechwarrior but it took me more time than I should have on my hands to learn how to play it /:

      • DrGonzo says:

        I find 3rd person very difficult myself. First person is easy, that’s how you do it in real life.

        • Phendron says:

          1st person control is much harder in video games because you don’t get the same feedback in regards to momentum and steering precision that you do in real life. On top of that, 3rd person gives you much better peripheral awareness.

    • MasterDex says:

      I’m in complete agreement with ya. Fair enough if “most people” prefer 3rd person views in driving and flying games but some of us prefer, no, some of us need our 1st person view.

      I couldn’t imagine flying the BF3 jets all around the place in 3rd person and surviving very long. Nor could I imagine playing Gran Turismo for any length of time without a 1st person view.

    • dE says:

      In my own personal opinion I find that cockpit view in the driving games I know, just isn’t done well enough for me to use it. It severely limits visibility in a way driving around in a real car for example never would. In games I often find the bonnet gobbling up other cars entirely.

      While driving around in real-life, my car has never shown any appetite for other cars. I can always see what’s in front of me and not even the pesky Smarts and Puntos and Corsas of this world ever managed to hide behind my car’s bonnet. Like they do in cockpit view racing games.

      To preempt a certain type of comment: Amongst the racing games I’ve played were titles like Forza or Gran Turismo.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        That’s because you have a regular car. Last time I was in a trade show I sat inside a Camaro and GRID started to feel quite realistic.

        • FF56 says:

          Racing cars are smaller sure but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t block your vision that much. When I’m in my car I can see almost 180 degrees, in the cockpit views usually it’s something like 90.

          • trjp says:

            Try sitting in a sinle-seater – esp an F1 car – visibility is tragic.

            The real issue is the one of “is the screen your windscreen or your eyes” tho. I tend to see it’s your windscreen – hence bonnet views are preferrable to interior views for me.

            Other people don’t see it that way but EITHER way, it’s never going to be ideal.

            I think the core point is that the games are quite playable – I’ve never seen a bonnet view ‘eat a car’ – I can win races and everything…

    • Spectre-7 says:

      Don’t worry: There will be a massive shift toward first-person in driving and flying games once the Oculus Rift starts to take off.

      • trjp says:

        Not going to happen – OR is a fad, a diversion – it might make money for it’s creators, it will probably create a niche of some sort – but it won’t change gaming in any meaningful way.

        Partly due to pricing (not that it’s expensive – just that it has a cost)

        Partly due to people having issues wearing a headset (medical or just because they look stupid)

        Mostly due to it – like 3D cinema – being a fad/distraction/gimmick at best (and one which won’t have a fraction of the impact of ‘move’ controllers – they sold huge numbers and – erm!?!?)

        • Kitsunin says:

          You really know this, though? Sure, 3D in movies is pretty gimmicky, yet at the same time, it has become basically the standard for theaters, it isn’t something that came and went as a fad would. Admittedly, in that case it’s probably mostly because good 3D is one of the only things theaters have over home setups, but it still shows that a “Gimmick” can have staying power. Same with motion controls, they may have been a gimmick in your eyes, but they were a wildly successful one, one which shows no sign of slowing with the Wii’s motion plus and XBones forced Kinect ownership.

          Besides, why does it need to be a gimmick in the first place? I’d be willing to bet that every last person who played a video game wanted to have the technology to see their game through the eyes of the character, as though they were said character, rather than through a mere window which approximates eyes. It’s a huge step towards realism, and not the “realism” everyone throws around, but actual Virtual Reality type stuff.

          As far as money…I believe there was an article on RPS where the guys behind Oculus spoke about how they would like to make their product something anyone could afford, something that could be in every household? Maybe that’s a pipe dream, but I’m sure it would at least be possible to get the price down to a range most people can afford.

  7. Eery Petrol says:

    This is Plane Crazy (1998). Without the Crazy.

  8. trjp says:

    The Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy defines flying as simply throwing yourself at the ground, but missing…

  9. Dreforian says:

    I skimmed scanned and searched for anyone mentioning SkyDrift. Altitude0 looks like SkyDrift without any of the combat modes. At least from the video. The only thing I think it has going for it over SkyDrift is that it’s free so it has a chance of sustaining a multiplayer community longer.

    Now that the criticism is out of the way, WOO ANOTHER ARCADE FLYING GAME. I love arcade-y controls and too many great games lose some points with me when they raise the simulation banner.

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