JetGetters, from tinyBuild, successfully mashes two utterly antithetical game concepts together. It takes the shenanigans of the grappling hook from Just Cause 2 and combines it with the intense dog fighting from the Battlefield series. The hook, however, is that JetGetters is not so much focused on the one-to-one simulation Battlefield attempts. In fact, tinyBuild has put an emphasis on ensuring the game felt great to play, which it undoubtedly does.
The build I got hands on with was showcasing some of the core game-play mechanics. With hijacking being the most polished out of all of them. By just pressing the “A” button my pilot would lounge towards an enemy plane. It turned out to be quite a bit of fun. Alex Nichiporchik, Producer of JetGetters, told me strictly for demo purposes the shields were disabled, but in the final version of the game a player would have to deplete an enemy’s shield before he would be able to hijack their plane, foreshadowing some of the interplay of their game-modes. Also, pilots can miss grapple shots, leading to them plunging toward the water. Fortunately, friendlies can swoop in and catch a helpless pilot.
Alternatively to surfing an enemy’s jet, a pilot can choose to grapple onto a friendly one. Admittedly, it was difficult to see what plane was a friendly, however, Alex said there would be a HUD element that would clue the player into who was friendly, or an enemy later in the game’s development.
Each plane handled amazingly. It removes all the complexity of piloting a jet; I was performing air maneuvers only reserved for the Battlefield veterans minutes after picking up the controller. Every plane also has unique characteristics that play into JetGetters’ rather ambitious game-modes. For example, the plane that I enjoyed piloting the most had a proximity mine that could be laid, and happens to be the speediest out of all the planes, which could be advantageous in the “heist” game-mode — heist seems to be a variation of capture the flag.
The developers have stripped all the complexity of piloting a jet out, but left the joy that comes along with dog fighting. At this point, JetGetters is naked, and its core mechanics have quite a bit of potential. The Kickstarter for JetGetters has six days left, and they are just ten-thousand dollars from their goal. I personally hope they make it, so I can see how this ambitious game takes shape.