Talk about a surprise! I remember back in 1995 when I got my brand new PlayStation and my grandparents on a whim bought me the first Ace Combat game. For the better part of a decade, Ace Combat was THE game that managed to walk the fine line between flight sim and arcade shooter fun. Now it is back and it is back to its roots with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown!
Download Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
The game can be downloaded from Steam. To do so, click on the Download button below the review. And if you like flying simulators you should also check out X-Plane 11 or Microsoft Flight Simulator X. These two, however, will not feature combat.
The Game Review
Let me start by saying that by the time the fifth game in the main series was released on the PS2, Ace Combat had forgotten what made it so great. As a result, the next few games just came and went with little no to fanfare and the series sat dormant for half a decade. Bandai Namco has brought it back and I can say right away, this is what Ace Combat should be like.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has a really neat story that runs through it. There is a major conflict between the Osean Federation and the Kingdom of Erusea. You play the role of a rather unassuming Osean pilot and the story of this war evolves around you. Ace Combat 7 features some very well done cutscenes and while cheesy you do care about the story.
One thing that is really cool is the radio chatter. This will fill you in on the back story of what has caused this conflict, how people feel and also make you start to gather your own opinions on if what you are doing is really right. This is not a masterpiece of storytelling, however, it is well done and it does get you pretty jacked up for each mission.
The campaign features 20 different missions and Bandai Namco has done an awesome job in making each one feel different. You will be chasing down enemy planes, flying inches above surfaces, trying to outrun another pilot or a devastating event, trying to blow up an enemy stronghold and many more.
They do such a great job with the missions that once you feel like things are getting a little samey, they change it up with a big set piece, a boss battle or something even crazier. It is very exciting stuff and it is made even more exciting thanks to the excellent controls. I would say that you do not need any prior flight sim experience before you jump in with Ace Combat 7. This is an action game first and foremost and as a result, the learning curve is very easy.
If I had to be a little critical I would say that the checkpoint system feels a little harsh. Some of these missions can take a long time, but there is usually only one checkpoint around halfway in the mission. So you can play a mission for 20 minutes or so, die and then have to start it all over again.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown also has some great multiplayer action and this is being a little overlooked in my opinion. There is a really cool Battle Royale mode for eight players that is very tense and action-packed. You can use the stuff that you unlock in the campaign in the multiplayer mode so that is fun.
I was really blown away by Ace Combat 7. If you played the series back in the day and felt it lost its way, Ace Combat 7 is just what you need. Also if you felt that this was a series that was never for you, I highly recommend you give this a try. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is a really fun game and I am sure it will be regarded as one of the surprise hits of the year.
- The graphics are fantastic
- The different set pieces are jaw-dropping
- Plenty of missions for you to do
- Very easy to get into
- The multiplayer is excellent
- The checkpoint system is a little harsh
- I have a bad feeling this game may be ignored by the masses