AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity PC Review
You are probably wondering “what the hell?” right about now, but you did indeed just read the title right. AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity is probably this year’s wackiest named game. I can’t even pronounce the first word correctly as it’s difficult to get the right amount of A when saying it. Alas, from now on I shall just name the game Disregard for Gravity.
Flowing smoothly down to the ground is the aim in Disregard for Gravity. This is because the game is focused on the concept of base jumping, but taken to the extreme. A general level consists of you controlling someone from a first-person perspective as you jump off a building and fall down, constantly increasing your speed to hit the ground faster. On the way down you have to avoid hitting any sort of obstacles that might abruptly end your human life.
Disregard for Gravity starts off teaching you how to land safely through activating your propeller blades. After the initial level is done, the game starts chucking in gameplay mechanics to put a twist on just jumping. You’ll be dodging buildings, breaking through score windows to gain extra points and trying to get a perfect landing. If you get close to a building as you fall you pick up hugs. Another mechanic is kisses, which you can earn by putting your reticule on a building when you get close to it. You only get one kiss per building, hugs on the other hand can build up over a large surface of a building. However, kisses are worth more points, so you have to decide whether a large building is going to be worth more points to you than small multiple bridges and platforms that could be scattered around a level.
Aiming to finish Disregard for Gravity is the wrong way to go about it. It’s not a game you play to finish all 80 levels. Instead it’s about combining your skill to beat high scores. The levels themselves aren’t particularly hard – you’ll certainly fail some of the stages a few times but that will be most likely due to you not knowing something was there to obstruct you. That or you lost control by hitting the side of a building, which makes your character bounce off in a rubber ball effect. You can end up bouncing from building to building, spinning out of control, especially when the level consists of tall buildings really close together.
Further into the game you delve the more crazy it becomes. You’re no longer just falling, dodging and getting close to things, instead you doing all that plus using new abilities to gain points. Things like waving at your fans or sticking the finger up at the protestors who don’t like your idea of fun. Other things are amusing like flying into birds, sticking graffiti on buildings or using caffeine to slow down time. When all these features come together in the later levels it makes Disregard for Gravity an exhilarating experience.
This is an absolutely arcade experience – there’s no real story and no ending per se. You select stages from a 3D block sphere and finishing them earns you teeth (wonder where all these teeth come from?). You must however successfully complete a jump by landing, you can’t simply just fall flat on your face in the landing zone. Teeth are used to unlock more levels and depending on the rating you earn, which ranges from 1-5 stars, this determines the amount of teeth you get. Later levels are much harder to earn 5 stars on; you really have to plan the route in order to maximise your points.
Retrying and learning the levels is the best way to gain high scores and beat those leaderboards that are featured on the Steam version of the game. There are plenty of pathways that you can take whilst jumping down. As you unlock later levels, there are so many ways to build up points because of the places you can fall between. I do wish that there was more of an aesthetic change to the game’s artistic palette however. The placement of buildings and other obstacles are diverse enough but they are all featured in the same locale. The game uses a futuristic, inside a computer style look that if green would feel like something out of The Matrix. It would have been nice to see other places fitted into this type of art style.
When it comes down to the presentation Disregard for Gravity packs a lot of personality. The level select screen brings joy as each level has amusing descriptive names like “Error 403 means hidden treasure” and “Do you hug your mother with that mouth?”. It even slaps a description of your death up at the top of the screen when you die. I’ve not heard a dead body been called “a sack of broken calcium” before. You can tell from just starting the game that these indie developers at Dejobaan Games were having fun creating this title.
That’s what Disregard for Gravity boils down to: quick fun. The game has a perfect pick up and play approach. It’s there for times when you want a break from your serious hardcore gaming sessions and freshen up with something not as taxing on the mind. Rather than sticking on a game of Bejewelled, you should seriously have a think about jumping off some buildings next time. AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! is certainly something you’ll be screaming when you take it for a jump. Not because it is scary, but because it is jolly good fun.