Published on January 20th, 2019 | by Migsy0
REVIEW: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Concept: Ok so the other day Bandai released Ace Combat 7 and is my first of the series that I have the pleasure of reviewing, and from what my boyfriend tells me this is a release that he was super excited for. We were excited for different reasons though, his was more nostalgic, playing the other versions even the ones in arcades when he was younger, and here I am excited for the fact that I could have my Top Gun moments.
Ace Combat 7 basically makes you the pilot in one of the most immersive flight simulators that I’ve played. This game was made for the PS VR, so if you have a VR and don’t get motion sickness easily, do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in the pilot seat. That being said unfortunately this game isn’t entirely VR. The VR missions are about 2 hours or so, but in those missions you can see the potential of this game if it was fully VR, and those two hours, wow their definitely an experience.
The game has a campaign mode and intense multiplayer modes for you to try out once you feel comfortable with the controls.
There is only so much you can revolutionize with a destroy them all, fly boy, jet pilot game but Ace Combat 7 does the genre proud. There inst a lot of simulator games on this level that has come out recently.
Graphics: The graphics are quite a visual treat in the game. Flying through the clouds, the terrain, rain on your windshield, and the first person viewpoint inside the cockpit all adds layers to the graphic elements in the game. All of this plus the feel of the aerial stunts you are able to do, add to the immersion of the game.
The way it is designed, the aerial action you are able to do, even the clouds their not just pretty but useful as well. Usually clouds are just there for decoration, but they also add an important strategic layer to the game. Not only can they cost you visibility flying through normal and dark clouds but you can also use them to your advantage to shake off an enemy or surprise them.
There are a lot of elemental aspects that you would expect in a flying game such as this, the game certainly takes advantage of that. I love how the visual effects affect your game play as well such as lighting, the clouds, rain or the ice that can appear on your screen. All in all the use of the Unreal Engine 4 does a great job in this game, whether it be the planes, the sky or even the terrain. However is it me or do the characters have a slight Metal Gear feel to them as well. Even when they pop up on screen during the dialog in the air, I expect to hear the iconic incoming call to Snake.
Gameplay: I’ll start with the controls, the controls are good albeit a bit tricky, there are a lot of buttons you need to remember and you do need to get a good “feel” of the plane and how it flies. Like how there is wind resistance, and don’t expect to turn the plane easily. So you do need to take care on how you maneuver the plane. This isn’t just your basic fly around and shoot kind of flight simulator, its actually quite complex and it is very much a strategic game.
That being said yes you can fly around and destroy everything around you, but if you aren’t careful you can easily crash and in some missions you are timed or need to reach certain objectives like a minimum score etc. There are beginner controls and it will take you awhile to learn how to fly around properly. However you do have the option of choosing more advanced controls. However if you want the most immersive experience and to make the most of what this game has to offer, you need the flight stick to optimize game play. You’ll also be able to do certain moves much better, and it just feels and fits so much better using it, like how a steering wheel feels more organic when playing a racing game. That being said this game does not hold your hand in terms of controls and moves, my bf was able pull off some extra moves since he has played it in the past, where I either guessed or just did the basics. They do have a few missions or prompt you how to do certain things but that’s about it. For a game that is quite technical and realistic, I do believe there does need to be a bit more tutorial missions or help in regards to controls. Even my bf who has played the series in the past wasn’t able to pick it up and suddenly channel his inner Maverick.
There is also no break in the game, you cant set your plane down and park?….no not park, I mean land. Some of the missions can get quite repetitive, but with some other missions its more of what the player makes of it as well, and how you make the most of the landscape. There are a lot of highs and lows in the game where the pace does slow down like some of the stealth missions, but my god when it does pick up the pace, you’ll be in some of the most intense dog fights and some of the missions are quite hard. There’s a deep sense of satisfaction after chasing around after a certain plane, dodging its rockets with your well timed flares and finally destroying it and seeing it blow up.
You can grind along and repeat missions, some of the objectives aren’t very clear on what you need to do, so you will be repeating it a few times until you learn exactly what happens in that mission. This is what makes you want to take a break in the game and come back to it later. My boyfriend couldn’t pass one mission he tried for at least a minimum of three times and it turns out you needed a minimum score in the time limit to pass.
The story though, I get what their trying to do, make you feel for the main character and his situation. ( I wont do any spoilers) But they do lay it on a little thick at times, and the narration of some of the very specific government plots and politics of the countries did make me faze out a little and make it harder to care about the characters. ( any one get a slightly Code Geas feel to this story line) It also made it harder to concentrate on the story when your boyfriend says Doctor Schroeder looks like Ignis ( from FF15) and you cant un-see it and are always expecting him to yell out I HAVE A NEW RECIPE.
Sound: Obviously the in-game sounds are great, the flares, the explosions, the gunfire etc. But what i’d really like to point out is the music in game.
There are some games out there that you want to play spotify in the background off but this isn’t one of them. The music fits in perfectly with the gameplay and can get very intense and dramatic. I’m a sucker for dramatic music in game, and it works very well especially when i’m in an intense dog fight. Although if you did want to blast Danger Zone or flight of the Valkyries, I can attest to it, it works really well.
Some of the dialog can be distracting when your trying to concentrate, but at times it can be unexpectedly funny with what some of the characters say. “don’t worry about crashing, worry about your sins” when this came out so deadpan with the delivery, I don’t know why but it cracked me up hearing it. You can definitely feel how little they care about you and the other pilots.
Awesomeness/Final word: Yes like I said before the main story isn’t the most gripping, some of the mission objectives are a bit vague, there are some slow moments in the game and at times it can feel a bit repetitive. But for what it is, it has a nice balance between an arcade game and a realistic flight simulator. It definitely has some very exhilarating dog fight moments and can get intense in multiplayer. If you can get a full squad to play together I can see multiplayer being a lot more fun and making the most of all the aerial moves you’ve been able to learn. All in all its a good solid jet fighter game, that can get you hyped and feeling like Maverick when your not playing like a Goose.
Out of 5 Bugs!