5 Epic Video Game Leaps

 

U.S. Presidential elections. Leap years. Every four years, both appear together. Never wanting to miss an opportunity for game-related celebration, we at GameFront cudgled our brains, searching in vain for an article to commemorate today, rarest of days.

Suddenly, it hit us. Ever since Pitfall! arrived in 1982, games have been chock full of leaping. Most people call it jumping, sure, but what’s a little archaic usage among friends? Over the course of three decades, the total number of video game leaps must number in the hundreds of billions. So today, in honor of leap year, we present 5 Epic Video Game Leaps.

5. Mirror’s Edge

Mirror’s Edge was far from a great game, but damn if it didn’t have some great jumping. In fact, jumping comprised a lot of the core gameplay — protagonist Faith isn’t much good in a fight, instead using her Parkour skills to good effect to avoid the game’s gun-toting enemies.

With so many different leaps to choose from, we settled on this beautiful video of the game running in 1080p, featuring Faith taking a running leap off a precariously poised crane.

4. Demon’s Souls

In a game renowned for its punishing difficulty, players need every advantage they can get. This is particularly true in World 4-1, which is crucial for early progression, despite being very long. Using the shortcut above is a good way to avoid hours of pain and heartbreak on the way to the boss. It’s not a traditional jump — more of a roll followed by a fall — but it still counts.

3. Battlefield 3

This isn’t a true “jump” either; in fact, I think you’d need a degree in physics to figure out exactly what’s going on. Nevertheless, for sheer gumption, heroism, and ownage, this video makes the Epic Leap cut. If I pulled off something this awesome in a competitive multiplayer match, I would consider retiring from video games forever. How could I ever top it?

2. Mass Effect 2

Sometimes a leap is better with context. At the end of Mass Effect 2, as Shepard and his allies make their escape from the Collector base, Shepard’s survival depends on this running, action hero-style vault. To make the stakes even higher, Shepard can even die in the attempt, depending on the choices you made before the mission begins. It’s unclear how this ending gels with the beginning of Mass Effect 3, in which Shepard is, y’know, still alive. BioWare’s not staying. Either way, for sheer dramatic value, this is a quality leap.

1. Double Jump (Pick Your Platformer)

It was hard to pick just one example, but this video does a great job demonstrating the power of the double jump ability. Dating back to 1984′s Dragon Buster, a little-known Namco arcade game, the double jump has popped up in everything from Super Metroid to Psychonauts, and platformer developers aren’t done yet.

Enabling players to reach higher heights, vault over wider gaps, and even access secret areas, the double jump, once available, can provide an entirely new gameplay experience. Thanks to its ubiquity, it becomes our fifth and final leap year leap.

What’s your favorite video leap? Hop into the comments and tell us.

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