Helicopter free fall: catching an aircraft with a golden eye

When skydiving isn’t enough

As I explored in my article Stunts & tricks: immergent gameplay and intrinsic rewards , open world games reward the player with sandboxes for them to set up and pull off crazy stunts. The skydiving system within Just Cause 3 has had a major overhaul, and with the inclusion of the wingsuit, the player is now capable of pulling of some incredible aerial acrobatics.  However, after your thousandth base jump or skydive from a plane you begin to want more of a challenge.

Catch that aircraft!

Even back while playing Just Cause 2, I was fascinated with trying to recreate that classic scene in Goldeneye, where James Bond dives after his only means of escape; a plane in free fall off of a cliff.  In this scene he base jumps after his plane, catches it, enters it, levels it out, and flies away.


(James Bond skydiving to catch his plane in Goldeneye)

In the most recent entry in the franchise, Just Cause 3, my dream persisted and I challenged myself to pull of this wild stunt with dozens of attempts ending in utter failure.  I found that chasing planes was a bit too difficult since they quickly picked up speed in a nose dive, thus I switched my aircraft to a helicopter.

I took a helicopter high into the atmosphere and I leapt out. Knowing a bit about some basic aviation principles, I tried to capitalize on the effects of auto-rotation, in which a helicopter’s blades spinning freely without power maintains the lift of the helicopter and keep it level as it falls. After dozens of trials I found that the most difficult helicopters were the light ones meant for speed, while the heavy ones meant for transport maintained their balance much longer, giving me a window to complete my stunt.

(Video footage of my completion of the Play Professor’s Helicopter free fall: challenge!)

What are some of the wildest stunts you have created while playing your favorite games? Let us know in the comments below or write in to playprofessor@gmail.com. Please check back for the full explanation of my stunt challenge in my article Helicopter free fall: challenge on Friday!


Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on FacebookInstagramand Youtube.

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