Aerial combat games probably aren’t for you unless you’re a devoted fan and flight simulator lover. This aspect of being able to fly, at least not one that is simple to learn and play. However, you don’t need to worry since Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is a fantastic, user-friendly combat flight simulator.
AC7: Skies Unknown is technically the 17th installment in the Ace Combat series. It was created and released by the huge Japanese video game firm Bandai Namco, a series that sold over 14 million copies of various books during its existence.
The PC version of the game, which was released to generally favorable reviews, has divided some fans because it does not support throttle sticks, a feature that is essential for serious flight simulator enthusiasts, while also receiving praise for its straightforward flight controls when using gamepads on PC or console versions.
Some players are also expressing significant frustration with the checkpoint system, which I believe shouldn’t even be in contemporary AAA games but are a mainstay of Japanese game design.
IGN and Gamespot, two of the internet’s most interesting and in-depth review sites, gave Ace Combat 7 scores of 8 and 7, respectively. Popular gaming websites are generally complimentary about the game.
Putting superficial details aside, the amazing aesthetics, great dogfighting, and unexpectedly strong plot made an impression on me. The game boasts a “beautiful photorealistic setting, amusing objective variation, and a good excuse to get enthusiastic about clouds,” according to Gamespot’s Edmond Tran.
It’s possible to play Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown on the following platforms:
- Xbox One
- Windows PC
Based on my expectations for the game, my experiences, and my honest and objective judgment, here is my assessment of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
Making Use of Visual Innovation
Here we get our first look at the in-game visuals and a quick sense of how well the aircraft models are made. Without a doubt, you won’t be let down.
The F-16 model is realistically detailed, has acceptable texturing (although it might be improved), and excellent representations of lighting and post-production effects. The stats overlay, created to mimic a current combat fighter HUD, is a good addition. I enjoyed the hangar scene.
We are prepared to fly after choosing the F-16 (the only choice at this time) and a 4-AAM loadout, which is the only option as well.
A quick, mission-specific loading screen is followed by a short, cinematic animation of the fighter jet taxiing into the runway as other aircraft and plot-relevant scenes are being played.
This is just my opinion, but after choosing an aircraft and load-out, I would have liked to see a little animation in which the plane departs the hangar, enters the mission cinematic, and then switches to gameplay. This would have given the images a beautiful finishing touch, and I think it was a wasted chance to have the player say, “Wow!”
The transition we get from the cinematic to the gameplay is quite smooth and looks beautiful. We immediately go to the third person. Since the movie was in the first person, the transition was still another mistake. This dispelled the thrilling notion that I was operating one of the most incredible devices ever created by human hands, at least for me.
However, from a first-person perspective, we get an excellent picture of the intricate inside of the aircraft, which is stuffed with radar equipment, communication systems, and the recognizable Heads Up Display, something that the artists have excelled in. You may view interiors of every airplane in the game that have been accurately recreated in their respective, classic original designs.
Fly High Like an Eagle
The arrival of a combat flight simulator that is worthwhile purchasing is very welcome.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown does a fantastic job of enticing you into its well-presented campaign from the outset with its theatrical tale, interesting side characters, and breathtaking graphics.
Suppose you’re a fan of flight simulators. In that case, you may be able to overlook the game’s initial drawbacks, such as the lack of HOTAS compatibility, the dated control scheme, and the absence of genuine aviation physics, due to how highly polished and presented it is. Ace Combat has never really been a flying simulator and has never made that claim.
The series’ main goal is to convey the adrenaline-fueled sensation of flying quickly while attempting to blast something out of the sky while simultaneously attempting to avoid getting blown up.
This game’s aesthetics are impressive enough to compete with any game of the current generation, and the music is equally aggressive and sophisticated while incorporating traditional Japanese etiquette.
Even if the checkpoint system sometimes detracts from the game, the task and plot are well-structured and provide a wonderful balance in the learning curve.
However, when the plot is over, the game’s replayability becomes crucial as you try to find those elusive planes by accomplishing particular in-game tasks or testing your skills against other players in the game’s robust online multiplayer system.Q
Style Over Content
The game doesn’t instantly thrust you into absurd circumstances. You will experience a sensitive and well-managed learning curve as you get used to the game’s fighting. The mission goals are to use air-to-air missiles to destroy several targets within a relatively short area while following HUD prompts and squadron directions.
The game is highly smooth and simple to play and effectively uses arcade-style gameplay in an aircraft simulator. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there aren’t any complicated starting processes typical of intensive and realistic flight simulators, which will be considered either positive or negative. I’m aware that some individuals won’t like how straightforward the method is today.
The controls have been designed to accommodate total beginners who prefer a more arcade-like experience. Still, they also include an Expert level that could make more seasoned fans feel more at home.
Both systems use the same mapping for operational inputs like changing and firing weapons; however, the two control methods diverge when it comes to flight navigation.
That being said, this is not a review. Continue reading to enjoy the story. Used a PlayStation 4 to play.
Getting Back to Strangereal
Although this is the series’ 17th installment, the plot begins just after Ace Combat 5 and occurs around 2004.
The game has a distinctly Japanese look and a plot that is deadly serious and cool, evoking (and deserving of) a Hideo Kojima game.
This introduction describes how traditional military aircraft have recently been replaced by unmanned aerial vehicles. It predicts that in the future, particularly by the United States in declared war zones, they will dominate the sky. Everything is said in a tone that leans toward trepidation. If you will, consider it a warning of awful things to come.
The game’s main character, Avril Mead, ascends in a self-repaired plane from a self-built airstrip in a hot desert, setting the tone for the adventure right after.
As we watch the aircraft cross the compressed earth through a dolly cam, almost similar to the storied archival film of the first supersonic automobile, the Thrust SSC which also happened to break the land speed record. Ace Combat 7’s tune was composed by series veteran, Keiki Kobayashi.
However, since she operates an unregistered aircraft in a restricted area, Avril is later shot down. We then enter the game without any more interaction after this meeting.
Specifically, into a briefing, where everything begins, we are required to fly our first foray in a storied iconic Air Force F-16 Falcon, a veteran of the Ace Combat series and one of the first combat aircraft to show up in a video game.
The gaming environment is also quite detailed. The aesthetics are up to par with expectations, being current generation quality in terms of lighting, texturing, and model density.
But until we start flying, we realize how wonderfully the game’s graphics engine is done. The impression of flying over the actual world is realistic, with volumetric clouds, incredibly detailed oceans and landmasses and extremely long draw distances.
Additionally, other sights are well used. The effect of the impression of speed and flight while viewing in the first person is lessened when switching to the third-person perspective, even if all the information needed from the HUD remains in the same locations.
System – Standard Control
Pitch and yaw are essentially controlled by the left thumbstick using conventional controls. A bit awkward and, in my opinion, totally unneeded.
System – Export Control
With expert control, you may use L1 and R1 for yaw while controlling pitch and roll. You have a lot greater mobility in the aircraft with a dedicated flight stick being the next best option. This is a place where GTA Online players would feel completely at home.
Fight or Run? Seriously, Do Both!
In any case, the well-designed controls ultimately result in a gratifying flying experience. Whatever method you choose will still let you experience the wonderful sensation of pursuing an enemy aircraft, setting up your lock, and hammering it home while flying at Mach 2!
Defensive flying is no different. You must learn how to live in the air to effectively engage in aerial warfare. You’ll often save your life by using your wingmen in response to straightforward orders. Enemies’ missile locks will be lost while doing tight G maneuvers and cloud banking while flying low.
The story campaign of Ace Combat 7 is divided into 20 missions that are made up of smaller battles. While the majority of these missions are very well done and extremely enjoyable, a select few will have you hurling your controller—in no small part because of the game’s terrible checkpoint system.
As your career progresses, you may be required to complete missions with lengthy goals just to face very difficult foes at the end of the fight. Although this is to be anticipated, it is annoying that the game often restarts from the checkpoints mentioned earlier rather than starting from the beginning of the task.
However, advancement has certain benefits since you can play with better toys as you fly larger and better missions.
Like Ace Combat Infinity, Skies Unknown’s progression system uses a “tech tree” structure with four-story mode branches and an additional multiplayer branch.
- The USA
Some of these branches have unique aircraft and are interconnected. Some may be unlocked via study and casual advancement, while others need the completion of unique mission objectives.
Detailed instructions may be obtained at Gaming Bolt. Be warned of spoilers though.
Bolt Ace Combat 7: How to Unlock All Named Aircraft in the Game
Unlockable features include better weaponry and aircraft customization. For additional information, see the video below.
A PlayStation 4 unique, ultra-realistic VR option allows players to fly through the air.
Three missions are included in this mode that is not part of the main plot; nevertheless, VR is not yet supported in the main campaign.
Without regard to comparisons to other flying or combat simulators, Ace Combat 7 is a fantastic game and I cannot recommend it enough. So, go to the air and demonstrate your love for aerial superiority to the world.