Bandai-Namco’s Ace Combat 7 is finally coming out with an official release date of January 17, 2019 on PS4 and Xbox One and on February 1st for PC. The media hype is starting to kick up around this title so I thought I’d take a diversion from more serious flight sim topics and talk about a series that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed through the years and that helped bring me back to the world of flight simming along the way.
A mix of realism and arcade fun
Ace Combat has always walked the line between some very authentically realized aircraft on one side and pure arcade blasting fun on the other. The series retains an old fashioned score number in the top left of the screen. Aircraft are equipped with dozens upon dozens of missiles so you never really have to worry about running out.
The series has always been highly cinematic and emphasizing a dramatic anime influenced plot on top of all of the fast paced jet fighter action. There are typically characters telling different parts of the story that all ultimately interact with the action going on in the sky. It’s usually over the top and dripping with drama but also fun in its own way.
Ace Combat 7 returns to the “Strangereal” world that the earlier series existed in. A world similar to our own but with skies filled with high end military jets and fictional nations. It lets the developers of the series play with quirky concepts like boss fights against huge arsenal bird aircraft, EMPs, UCAVS and space elevators. Somehow, they make it all fit together in something fun.
Beautiful graphics, VR support
When Ace Combat 7 was announced it came with some absolutely stunning looking graphics. In the couple of years that have passed since we first saw it, I’d say DCS World and IL-2 have caught up in a lot of ways although AC7 does look absolutely incredible and probably has some of the nicest looking weather effects anywhere.
Weather effects are now part of the gameplay with wind and storms causing control issues for your aircraft. It’s all very accessible from a arcade game perspective but it is an interesting extra layer that sim pilots are more typically used to.
Ace Combat 7 comes with VR support for Playstation VR.
Rounding up some videos
Tons of gameplay videos have hit YouTube in recent days including these highlights:
phlydaily checked out Ace Combat 7 and presented some video footage from the press event along with some gameplay capture.
Ace Combat Fan posted some cool VR footage from Ace Combat featuring an intercept and base defense mission that looks pretty cool.
Finally, IGN has captured some great footage from the game, unfortunately it seems to be flown by someone who is very unfamiliar with flying at all, still… the footage and the sound is great.
Also, Bandai-Namco themselves have released a bunch of short videos showing off many of the aircraft available in Ace Combat 7 from the A-10C to the MiG-31 to the Typhoon.
If you’re interested…
Ace Combat 7 is on pre-order now for $79.99 on Steam Store as well as from XBoxOne and PlayStation 4 virtual stores and at various retailers in a several countries.
Encouraging new players to check out more serious sims
Flight simming and combat flight sims aren’t for everyone but for many their natural trajectory starts with a game like Ace Combat or War Thunder or World of Warplanes that draws them in and introduces them to the basics of flying and air combat.
For many, something like Ace Combat is good enough but if you’re someone who enjoys those titles but also wants the added challenge of something even more realistic then there are great options out there such as DCS World and IL-2: Great Battles series that I more frequently cover on this blog.
Maybe some of these screenshots from both series will capture your interest. If you feel the learning curve is daunting, there are literally hundreds of people in both communities willing to help you get up there flying the unfriendly skies.