The rumble of the engines, the acceleration, the feeling of leaving the ground behind. It’s just another day in the life of a fighter pilot. Taking your F-16 into the air and pulling some hard g turns gives you that adrenaline rush that you are looking for. Until your missile lock lights start flashing and the jig is up. It’s time to get down and dirty. This is our review of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
From Producer BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment and Developer BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Project Aces, and Bandai Namco Studios comes the next installment into the Ace Combat series and boy did it hit the market hard. They have come out with a new story, updated the graphics, and made the combat in the game so much better than the last installment. We will go through these details and more, so follow along.
The Ace Combat series has always been a series that felt fun to me. Ever since I was a little kid I had watched movies like Iron Eagle and Top Gun, and television shows like JAG, which had some sort of air combat scenes in them. These shows and movies at one point made me want to be a pilot, but that dream would never come to fruition, however, for some people I am sure it did. These games do show the glorified side of being a pilot with its dogfights and fly here, fight here attitude. But that is what hooks people into doing something with their life.
The way the game is created has always fascinated me, and that is why I went to school for game development. In this game, for example, the story really caught on with me from the time it started. You are watching and hearing about a young woman’s life from a kid with her grandpa and his war buddies, until the point where she is an adult who is taking her first trip in a plane that she built herself. The story itself is an intriguing enough piece to make you feel like you are there, but it also can give way to feelings of kids out there who want to start writing stories. These types of stories are what pull you into the series and make you want to do more with it.
Graphically, this game is far superior to its predecessors. The characters are all highly rendered and I am sure some sort of motion tracking was employed in its story mode to make it as realistic as possible. The way the planes look has been enhanced as well. Planes now look and feel like the real thing as you would see them if you were on an Airforce base or Naval Carrier. The armaments and the defensive flares, the HUD, and the missile animations, they are all updated to look the best they can. This already puts Ace Combat 7 in a world of its own and is a far leap above Ace Combat 6.
Some of the planes that have been included in the game are the F-16C Fighting Falcon, the F-14D Super Tomcat, and the MiG-31B Foxhound. These are ships seen from US fleets and other countries as well. So you see a broad spectrum of fighters and bomber type fighters throughout the game. The best thing is that they are unlockable through the tech tree. You earn points for each of your missions based on your overall performance within the mission and kills as well. The more points you get, the more you can unlock. You can unlock new weapons and armor pieces, or pieces to help you move faster, and all new fighters as well. It is a very cool system almost like World of Tanks or World of Warplanes.
One of the cooler things about Ace Combat is its multiplayer mode. You can engage in modes like Free For All or Team Deathmatch. You will be teamed up with other players to take down the people, not on your team. There are extras like bounties that will help you level up for doing the little side missions they have during multiplayer modes too. While dogfighting in the campaign is pretty quick, you may find it is a tad slower when facing off against human players.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Xbox One X with a code provided by PR.