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#1 Edited by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

In recent years it has come to my attention that there is a large segment of people who do not like flying in games. The most recent and widespread example I can point to is Battlefield 3. This has always baffled me as the flight controls in that game are extremely straightforward. I would understand the complaint if it was something like DCS: A10-C or Falcon BMS but Battlefield is about as simplified as it gets. Despite this, I have some friends that won't approach air vehicles at all. This is why I think the issue runs deeper than just the nature of the controls. Whether it's widespread phobia, motion sickness, or just unfamiliarity with movement in 3D space, there is something keeping a large number of people from taking to the skies. This can get frustrating at times, especially when your favorite games are Combat Flight Sims.

I'm interested to hear what the GB community thinks of this topic, especially from people who are uninterested in flight.

#2 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

Because you get a low score.

I love flight sims and some arcade titles but i find the aerial combat in BF3 (jets) to be a waste of time, it is kinda disconnected from the rest of the fight.

#3 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

I don't like the way flying planes in games feels because it just feels janky. It's too distant from a sense of motion for it to make sense that it's based on flying "like the real thing." I'd rather it be more abstracted, like flying Mario in SM64 or the Rogue Squadron games, than having it feel so much like a plane in a game where the sense of motion always feels so limited.

#4 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

I do like flying in video games. 
Except that fucking RC helicopter in Vice City you have to fly up the building that is under construction

#5 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

The Dodo in San Andreas was a mess to control, at least on PC with mouse and keyboard. Much like in many other games, having to struggle with a plane breaks the flow of an otherwise perfectly fine game.

#6 Posted by Village_Guy (2662 posts) -

I like flying, I'm not a fan of it in the Battlefield games because either it feel disconnected from the rest of the battle (mostly the jets) or I suck at flying them (the helicopters) :P

I prefer things like choppers or VTOLs in video games, I think it's the part were the speed from a plane doesn't feel right, probably because it is too slow compared to the rest of the world, but still fairly fast for the pilot.

#7 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

It's mostly cause they never get it right. I like the insanely realistic flight sims so any time I try flight in a non-sim game, it feels pretty inadequate.

#8 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I think that in the case of games that are only about flying...they are often really boring. For example, in HAWX you don't really have levels, you have objectives. Those objectives are almost always "blow up these planes". That gets old fast. Sims deal with this by being more about learning than the actual game goals, but I think a lot of people don't want to make that time commitment.

In contrast, there are 2 games I have played (though these are not the only ones) that do flying really really well.

A: Descent. Because you don't always have to be moving forward in a spaceship, Descent can actually have level design other than Star Fox "shooting gallery" style obstacles. This gives it the dynamics of a first person shooter, but also basically lets you enjoy the flight mechanics. They need to make a new Descent game.

B: Super Mario 64. Because it fits within a broader context of puzzle solving and exploration, the flying in SM64 feels like an effective means to an end. It is also timed nicely: you never have to do so much at once that you start to get frustrated or bored, but you get to do it long enough that it feels like an exciting event and you actually get to learn to do it properly.

Basically, flying in games is awesome...I just don't think that anybody is doing a great job with it at the moment. Granted, I haven't played Starhawk which seems like it might be the most recent example.

#9 Posted by believer258 (12185 posts) -
This has always baffled me as the flight controls in that game are extremely straightforward.

Maybe the jets but across BC2 and BF3 I have done nothing but flip helicopters over. Maybe it's pretty straightforward to someone who has been doing it for a while but it's not that easy.

Even if I could, though, in every first person shooter I've ever played, I've had a preference for having my feet grounded. Sure, I've had fun in vehicle segments, but I prefer my own two feet any day of the week.

Online
#10 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i like them in games. some of the problems with it is that it's glitchy in some games.

#11 Posted by Athadam (704 posts) -

BF3 doesn't do it very well.

Saints Row 3 on the other hand...

#12 Edited by Manhattan_Project (2174 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

The Dodo in San Andreas was a mess to control, at least on PC with mouse and keyboard. Much like in many other games, having to struggle with a plane breaks the flow of an otherwise perfectly fine game.

I think you mean the Dodo in GTA 3 since the flying in GTA SA was beautiful.

#13 Posted by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

I think the main issue is how poor flying is done at times. If there is a limited amount of lfying in the overall % of the game's content, it is not really worth developing all that far for the developer. But then you end up with small sections of lnoticably ower quality content.

But at least it is not a underwater level.

#14 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

It seems like in these games the "effort vs reward" is skewed. It is seems to take more work to fly correctly let alone get feel like the rewards are worth it for the extra effort. It is easy to engage in the fight just on foot where instead for flying it takes a bit more work and often times you die just as quickly. You can't trip and die from falling on your face on foot but you can trying to take off and clipping something and crashing.

#15 Posted by ShaggE (6699 posts) -

Because I don't have a flight stick. One day I would like to go all out and get a ridiculous setup for flight sims, though. Same with a racing wheel.

Online
#16 Posted by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@jayjonesjunior: It's only disconnected if you make it so. I mainly focus on Close Air Support and if you're coordinating with a couple people on the ground it can be invaluable.

@MikkaQ: This is understandable. BF3 can be pretty ridiculous in that regard, especially the extremely limited airspace. My main lack of understanding though is people that won't try any kind of flying, even simulators. Have you had a similar experience with people like this?

@nintendoeats: I would highly recommend Rise of Flight. I think this is the perfect game for people who want to get into flight sims. It's very hardcore and detailed in terms of flight modeling but also easy to understand due to the simplicity of WWI aircraft. They also do a really good job with the tutorials and it's free to play (with 2 of the planes).

#17 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

@Naberius_Shrike: with jets? not really, it is too fast to hit a ground target, you can do it sure, but it is easier with Helis or ground units and it is a lot easier to take down a Heli with another Heli.

#18 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Hmm, another game that comes to mind is Just Cause 2. The flying that game is good for a few reasons:

They don't make you fight planes with planes.

They clearly put a lot of effort into making the controls feel refined and tight.

You can jump out and be ridiculous, so if you do something wrong it's no big deal.

You can usually do it for exactly as long as you want to.

#19 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

@Manhattan_Project said:

@JoeyRavn said:

The Dodo in San Andreas was a mess to control, at least on PC with mouse and keyboard. Much like in many other games, having to struggle with a plane breaks the flow of an otherwise perfectly fine game.

I think you mean the Dodo in GTA 3 since the flying in GTA SA was beautiful.

Could be. I played all the pre-IV GTAs a long time ago. I remember that the Dodo was a pain in the ass to fly, but now that you mention it, I don't really know in what game it was. I said San Andreas because it's the most recent one in my mind, but it could have been either GTA 3 or Vice City too.

#20 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -
@Castermhief117

BF3 doesn't do it very well.

Saints Row 3 on the other hand...

Yuuuuup. I loved the flying in SR3. Especially that massive bomber that was clearly too large for the world but left in anyway because it was ridiculous.
#21 Posted by fuzzybunny566 (451 posts) -

@ShaggE said:

Because I don't have a flight stick. One day I would like to go all out and get a ridiculous setup for flight sims, though. Same with a racing wheel.

don't let Ryan Davis catch you buying a racing wheel

#22 Posted by _Chad (960 posts) -

I loved the Flying Car cheat in San Andreas but I guess that's different.

#23 Posted by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@jayjonesjunior: It really depends on how good you are. That sounds really dickish but you're much less vulnerable to ground fire in a jet than you are a helicopter and I have no problems taking out tanks and strafing infantry. Also Helo battles are mostly a matter of timing with heatseekers. If you're in a jet all you have to do is gain altitude and dive, there's nothing the helo can do to counter that.

#24 Posted by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@Castermhief117: I haven't played Saints Row 3 but I'm curious as to what you think is wrong with the BF3 jet controls. The main problems I have aren't the flight controls themselves but rather the limited airspace and ability to pull insane G-forces without worrying about it.

#25 Posted by CaLe (4052 posts) -

I think this video sums it up.

#26 Edited by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@CaLe: It's funny that you mention it because that QL is one of the reasons I made this thread. I feel like this phobia is compounded by the gaming community constantly talking about how hard it is to fly anything. That's not to say flying in video games doesn't have a level of difficulty, but I think it has been exaggerated to a point where most players think they're useless at it. All it really takes is the smallest amount of patience.

Think about a game like Dark Souls. Think about how popular that game is despite how much patience you need to get through it. If people took even an ounce of patience they used for Dark Souls, they would be able to fly in games like this. It's really mind-boggling to me because from my point of view, these games are super arcade-y and I fly in them just to mess around. I wish we could get more people to get over that hump and try their hand at stuff like Rise of Flight or IL-2. I'm trying as hard as I can not to sound like a smug git but that's how I see things.

#27 Posted by aceofspudz (935 posts) -

Jets in BF3 aren't as disconnected as people think. An unopposed jet can disable tanks and vehicles like the finger of god. They can also dominate the helicopters. It's like being the apex predator in a food chain. Usually the other team has a couple of jets out as well and you just end up fighting them. But if you're unopposed or the opposing pilots are newbs that you can swat down, you really wind up being a decisive player in a way that a typical infantryman isn't.

#28 Posted by beeftothetaco (426 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: You should give the planes in ARMA 2 a try.

#29 Edited by BoG (5192 posts) -

If the controls are bad, I don't like it. I hate flying in all Wii games. I love Crimson Skies on the Xbox, because the controls are fantastic.

#30 Posted by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@BoG: Completely understandable. Using a Wiimote to fly sounds like a complete nightmare.

#31 Posted by IntoTheN1ght (62 posts) -

I do, its called Ace Combat

I used to hate flying games, granted i loved shmups but they arent really "flying" games per say, my aunt bought me Ace Combat 4 on the PS2, and i put it in and was blown away just how fun it was. As a action game it just as intense, fun and simple as some of the best action games of that era or even today.

#32 Posted by deathstriker666 (1337 posts) -

Yeah, that Ravaged quick look was maddening. I normally love Vinny and his antics but it was too frustrating for me to watch more than 15 minutes. Christ almighty, pull the fucking nose down for once, Vinny. You shouldn't lift off the ground and expect it to fly like a plane. Pulling the nose up only results in you rocketing the helicopter backwards. You have to fly the helicopter forward like you're in a constant dive to the Earth. Also understand that gaining altitude is just reserving speed that you could use later on in a dive.

Rotor-wing aircraft offer an extreme amount of maneuverability over conventional fixed wing aircraft. A helicopter can not only propel itself backwards, sideways, and forwards, but also strafe in those directions with the leftover collective from banking/yawing. That in addition to being to able to hover mid-air in the same spot and also fully rotate 360 degrees while hovering makes it the most controllable type of aircraft in the entire world.

Is it really that difficult to get the helo in the air and pitch the nose down? Or do people just can not comprehend how a helicopter flies?

#33 Edited by big_jon (5783 posts) -

@jayjonesjunior: In BF3 I got 110 kills in one match with a Little Bird, your theory may be a little off.

#34 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (635 posts) -

i actually don't have a problem with flying in games. helos in bf3 are fun as hell, although i guess the jets are a little boring.

#35 Posted by Soapy86 (2619 posts) -

I enjoy flying vehicles in single player, but in multiplayer games such as Battlefield I avoid them like the plague. I invariably crash immediately and feel like I really let my team down. :[

#36 Edited by living4theday258 (677 posts) -

I like flying. i don't like the first few attempts you have to give flying in BF 3 before you actually get off the ground. seriously the first time i flew a jet it didnt leave the ground it turned to the right and slammed into a tree, and the helicopters have a habit of flipping over the first few times you try to fly them...

#37 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

I like flying in video games. 
 
What I don't like is flying against that guy with around 15 000 jet kills in BF3. I prefer the Arma style of flying to be honest where it's not just one long dogfight that lasts the entire map.

#38 Edited by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@living4theday258: The key is to hop back in the cockpit even if your first attempts aren't stellar. I think most players just try once or twice and give up completely. It's really too bad because once you get over that hump, you start to realize all of the possibilites.

@Soapy86: If crashing is your main problem, try flying in an empty server. Even if it's just for 15-20 minutes, you will become much more familiar with movement.

#39 Edited by Socialone (202 posts) -

I remember oh so well the TK attempts and obscenities concerning the fair distribution of Warhawks...

#40 Posted by mlarrabee (3060 posts) -

I loved the jet segment of Battlefield 3.

It was among the most exhilarating experiences I've had in video games. The sense of incredible speed is palpable.

#41 Posted by Dezztroy (864 posts) -

@jayjonesjunior said:

@Naberius_Shrike: with jets? not really, it is too fast to hit a ground target, you can do it sure, but it is easier with Helis or ground units and it is a lot easier to take down a Heli with another Heli.

You must not have used the CAS planes any, because being able to take out an MBT in one attack run is quite great.

#42 Edited by Serpentenema (220 posts) -

@Castermhief117 said:

BF3 doesn't do it very well.

Saints Row 3 on the other hand...

I really like flying in open world games for some reason. I think its because it gives it a huge sense of scope. Like In saints row the third and just cause 2, flying was great, and there really wasn't any consequence for not landing because you can just parashoot or upgrade yourself so you can just dive bomb from the sky and be alright.

Plus using the flying biking thing and doing corkscrews to the Tim and Eric "Sports Theme" was a thing of magic.

#43 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

@Naberius_Shrike said:

In recent years it has come to my attention that there is a large segment of people who do not like flying in games. The most recent and widespread example I can point to is Battlefield 3. This has always baffled me as the flight controls in that game are extremely straightforward. I would understand the complaint if it was something like DCS: A10-C or Falcon BMS but Battlefield is about as simplified as it gets. Despite this, I have some friends that won't approach air vehicles at all. This is why I think the issue runs deeper than just the nature of the controls. Whether it's widespread phobia, motion sickness, or just unfamiliarity with movement in 3D space, there is something keeping a large number of people from taking to the skies. This can get frustrating at times, especially when your favorite games are Combat Flight Sims.

I'm interested to hear what the GB community thinks of this topic, especially from people who are uninterested in flight.

I haven't played Battlefield 3 but I'm guessing being shot down has something to do with it.

On foot, you can just find cover or hide, or shoot back. In a vehicle, if it's destroyed, you can just exit the vehicle, or exit when it's about to be destroyed. You can't do that when in a plane. In this sense flying is an all-or-nothing gamble. But again I haven't played the game.

Also although the controls are straightforward, your maneuverability is limited. That might be another reason.

Another theory I think of it is because it feels to separate from the rest of the game. Everyone else is on the ground playing Battlefield 3, and the planes are up in the air playing Ace Combat, and there is only marginal interaction between the two.

#44 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3504 posts) -

I love flying in games. Wish there was more of it.

#45 Posted by Naberius_Shrike (43 posts) -

@egg said:

Another theory I think of it is because it feels to separate from the rest of the game. Everyone else is on the ground playing Battlefield 3, and the planes are up in the air playing Ace Combat, and there is only marginal interaction between the two.

It's really only like that if you play it like that. In reality, I usually end up with more ground kills than people playing as infantry. Why is that you ask? Because you move a hell of a lot faster in a jet than you do on foot. On foot, you have the possibility of being strafed, sniped, blown up by tanks, blown up by mortars, blown up by claymores, blown up by grenades, or just plain shot by other dudes. All of these things set you back and negate all of the ground or progress you have made unless you still have a squadmate on the frontline.

In the air you have only 3 real threats: other Jets, anti-air fire, and yourself. Helicopters can be a nuisance but if you recognize the threat and climb to a decent altitude there's nothing they can do. I say "yourself" because when you fully understand all of the factors at play, a good number of your deaths are going to be from being overconfident. You're going to try and strafe that one guy you just can't make without crashing, or you try and shake that one bandit off your tail by skirting 5ft. from the mountaintop. Because you're not as likely to get shot at in the air as you are on the ground, you have far more opportunities to neutralize both enemy ground and air targets.

All in all, air combat is what you make of it.

#46 Edited by JP_Russell (1174 posts) -

Not sure why that mentality seems to be popping up of late.  That certainly wasn't a widespread mindset in PC-exclusive Battlefield games, for example.  There were plenty of players that were bad at flying and plenty that preferred not to fly, but the common perspective wasn't so much "flying is really hard/obtuse/boring" so much as "I'm not very good at flying/I prefer not to fly."  More players seemed to just acknowledge it as their own inability (there were aircrafts, and you were good with them, or you weren't), as opposed to the perception that flying itself is inaccessible.
 

@egg

said:

I haven't played Battlefield 3 but I'm guessing being shot down has something to do with it.

On foot, you can just find cover or hide, or shoot back. In a vehicle, if it's destroyed, you can just exit the vehicle, or exit when it's about to be destroyed. You can't do that when in a plane. In this sense flying is an all-or-nothing gamble. But again I haven't played the game.

Not a problem in Battlefield since all soldiers have parachutes they can deploy at any time.  A hallmark of the series is that you can jump off anything from 3-story buildings to soaring towers without concern because you can always deploy your parachute as long as you've fallen at least ~20 or so feet.  You don't even "use up" your parachute or anything, it's just a function you always have.
 

@egg

said:

Another theory I think of it is because it feels to separate from the rest of the game. Everyone else is on the ground playing Battlefield 3, and the planes are up in the air playing Ace Combat, and there is only marginal interaction between the two.

Nah, air combat isn't like that in BF games.  Dogfighting can occur frequently, of course, but jets will usually spend at least half their time engaging ground targets.  Aircrafts are very much a part of the Battlefield experience whether you're on the ground or not.
#47 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

I flew the clipped wing dodo around the map for like 30 minutes.

Flying is awesome.

#48 Posted by L44 (574 posts) -

GTA 4 was the worst.

#49 Posted by Sanity (1949 posts) -

I like it in some games, i loved them in san andrease, but in most games i just find it extremely hard to control them.

#50 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

@big_jon said:

@jayjonesjunior: In BF3 I got 110 kills in one match with a Little Bird, your theory may be a little off.

Little Bird is a Heli