How video game movement makes us feel powerful

Video game traversal goes far beyond a method of getting from A to B. In modern games it serves to make things more exciting and surprising. It can help add realism or a touch of the supernatural that greatly enhances the core experience of a game. Good movement systems not only make traversing our digital surroundings more fun, they can also become one of the main selling points. In fact, developers have been increasingly keen to improve in this area, and we’re now seeing more fluid controls and dynamic ways to bypass obstacles than ever before. It’s only when we go back and play older titles that it dawns on us just how far video game movement has come. We’re no longer restricted to the 2D landscapes of the past, nor do we have to tackle the clunky tank controls of the early ‘90s. Thankfully, games have evolved to the point where movement can feel both intuitive and incredibly satisfying.

The wingsuit in Just Cause 3 is the perfect example, allowing the player to swoop around the concrete landscapes, using the grappling hook to gain further momentum and reach exhilarating speeds. Protagonist Rico Rodriguez is never far from danger and one mistake in the air can quickly send him hurtling towards ground, yet it’s near impossible to resist playing around with his toolset. The combination of parachute, grappling hook, and wingsuit is purposely designed to give you as much freedom as possible, while also opening up unique combat options. Just Cause 3 may have delivered a mediocre story and lacklustre missions, but the thrill of the wingsuit keeps us coming back time and time again for more death-defying flights.
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