Rising in the dark blue skies: the Ace Combat 7 engines roar with excitement!

Does the color of the sky mean something special to you? Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown begins with this question, while the narrator recounts his vision of seeing the sky as a "deep and dark blue", blurring the line between the open blue skies we see from the ground and the dark and dark unknown space. Taking place in a world similar to ours, Ace of combat It presents the story of two nations at war, the philosophy of humans that are thrown into the sky and the changing panorama of war in the era of the drone.

All this is revealed to us in a photorealistic opening film, and helps set the tone for the game that follows. But more than that, Unknown skiesThe interest in the "dark blue" of the freedom of heaven translates into a game that seems committed to giving people what they have been looking for. Ace of combat for a long time: the right to rule the sky and fight for that right in dogfighting!

Key image

It's been more than 5 years and almost a whole generation of games since the last Ace of combat game, Ace Combat InfinityY Ace Combat 6 he left 12 years ago (woah, I've even forgotten that it's been so long!), so in many ways Unknown skies It feels like a revival rather than a continuation of the series itself. And, frankly, it is successful in every respect, featuring a magnificent game with tight flight controls and the combination of flight simulation and arcade combat that initially made the series so popular during its previous releases. I will be honest to say that after some disappointing games a generation ago, I had really thought little about Ace of combat, remembering fondly the first days of play Ace Combat 1 Y two on my PlayStation shared with my brother, and giving PlayStation Portable iteration a fair shake when that system was my main entertainment medium. But since then, I had few but nostalgic memories of Ace of combat and the dog fights he had given me, still somewhat stuck in my mind like a kind of game I could not get anywhere else, ironically even from others Ace of combat games When I entered the first missions of Unknown skiesHowever, I quickly found myself back in the same mental space, screaming my jet on low ground or launching myself into the stratosphere to avoid enemy missiles and attack my opponents.

enemy down

Two of the most important parts of a plane game are the controls and the feel of your plane. If the controls are too rough or inaccurate, it ruins the illusion that you are flying through the skies in a fighter plane, and if your plane does not feel as if it is really "there", the sense of realism fades into a instant. Ace of combat has struggled with this, and many other airplane-based games have also done so; Ace of combat it's supposed to combine the arcade action with the simulation, and if either of those two things does not mix correctly, it can easily ruin the whole experience. The game should impart that sense of realism and simulation, of the need to measure your speed, thrust, trajectory and climatic conditions such as the formation of ice or rain that obscure your vision, at the same time providing fast and powerful combat controls with Blocked and explosive missiles. action. While the series spent some time in the clouds in this regard, the time spent developing Unknown skies It seems that has not been lost, because I thought the game was addictive and difficult to leave, always looking for a way out before doing something else.

open fire

To scratch the itch, Ace of combat gives you two main sands to blow your heart: campaign and multiplayer. The campaign covers 20 missions, following two seemingly unrelated stories that intersect in interesting ways. The mysterious narrator of the court scenes is a woman on the ground, whose love for flight takes her involuntarily and involuntarily to the emerging war between two nations; his story eventually intersects with the character of the player, known only by his indicative "Trigger", who is betrayed and seeking redemption and a potential way to end the war once and for all. Without spoilers, there are some interesting twists and turns in the plot, and the change of point of view in several cut scenes makes the story much more attractive than it probably would have been, with much of it transmitted by people on the ground, away from the player character themselves. In general, missions are preceded by an informational session, in which electronic maps are used to simulate a war room briefing of what is happening and what needs to be done. These reports can be a bit long, and if they are preceded by a scene, it can sometimes seem that the game takes a while to move from the mission of history to the mission of history. That said, the missions themselves are quite long and tend to evolve over time, which means that these small pauses in the game help you rest your hands after a particularly difficult mission.

Taking off

Informational sessions have another purpose in presenting goals to the player, and skipping them can leave you in the dark about what you are supposed to be doing at the beginning of a mission, or if you want Air-to-Air or Air Weapons to land, or even what kind of weather you can find. The history of the campaign itself may not be the reason why most people would seek to play Ace of combat, but it was entertaining and has a mixture of archetypes somewhat expected in a game of military simulator, like the rival of badsure, the narrator tired of the war and many double crosses. History itself mainly affects general themes of war, and the human cost of war makes its focus on the dangers and apparent evils of drone warfare the most interesting aspect of the game. Note the narrative of hope and freedom that comes from the game over time, focusing on the narrator's dreams about the dark blue sky, about what is in the heavens above us and where that day could take us.


When not in the campaign, players can take the multiplayer section of Ace Combat 7, which for me was where the real fun was. I decided that I wanted to get some real experience with the multiplayer mode before publishing this review, and I was not disappointed in my efforts! The multiplayer of Ace of combat It works in a lobby system, just as you would find it in other shooting games, but, ironically, I found it a bit reminiscent of a fighting game lobby system, like Bandai Namco's. Tekken series. Players can search or create rooms, configuring them between the two types of games available at this moment: team death combat and real battle. Either way, players can play with up to 7 other people (for a total of 8) on team exits or great free games for everyone. One of the most intriguing options is that players can select limitations on the cost of the aircraft that can be used, limiting players to smaller or cheaper equipment, as well as disabling special weapons, which means that they are only equipped with missiles. initials and machine gun!

bank bench

Having the option to disable and enable certain limiters was welcome, although I do not really know if I cared too much; Fly through the skies on my campaign start plane and take people much further into the tree of customizations than was revealed to me, probably the most important aspect of the multiplayer game: smart toys are great, but it's better that you have some real ability if you want to do things. I appreciate the fact that Ace of combat solid game rewarded and strategy in the air on increasingly powerful equipment and airplanes, and while they can make a difference, the option of simplifying the combats is also a good touch. I'll bring down the curtain again and I'll just say I really enjoyed the multiplayer mode. I delayed this review a bit by accident!


No matter which mode you play, or any combination you play, you will gain access to the Aircraft Tree, where you can buy and unlock new aircraft, parts and upgrades. The money you earn in the campaign missions and in the multiplayer mode is shared, which means that when I submerged to finish the campaign, my plane became a super charged beast! However, there are also updates for the multiplayer, which are some of the most interesting customization options, with effects such as greater range blockage, better speed for your missiles and other useful tools that do not give you a secure advantage, but they will help you . you confirm your killings the more skillfully you play. However, for the campaign, you're likely to find that a well-equipped plane later on the list will likely decimate your AI opponents easily … if you play easily or normally, that's it! Ace of combatThe difficulty curve of the AI ​​is just, and my first missions in normality really made me think how cunning they can be; After I got used to the game again, I found it easier, and I strained for curiosity and was rewarded with a pretty wild computer competition! And that's fine with me, because another advantage of the different modes is being able to see the different combat scenarios that are available to you.

sweet eyes

Something that I have not touched yet is the fact that Unknown skies it is frankly a GORGEOUS looking game, with incredible climatic and solid visual effects, which makes the places you fight and fly through the emotion (if you have the opportunity to dodge missiles, anyway!). Flying through the clouds to hide from opponents or falling from a great height to surprise someone is accompanied by numerous visual touches, such as the formation of ice on their windshields and a real sense of movement and speed. Honestly, while they look good, I would say that the game itself looks better than its visual scenes!

get prepared

If you ever played Crimson Skies for the original Xbox, you may understand where I come from, but I think the lack of a good and exciting multiplayer dog fighting game has gone on for far too long. While I loved the campaign Ace of combat, the multiplayer is really where the game shines. Although he does not have that level of close combat, Crimson Skies had (let's face it, the Ace of combat the jets move probably 10 times faster than a biplane), it gives you that feeling of amazing emotion when you manage to finish with that fighter that you decided was your archenemy, or come to the aid of a teammate with too many bandits in his tail Ace of combatMultiplayer is addictive, smooth and fast, and the game is probably worth it just for that mode. If you have never played a Ace of combat game or a plane combat game, this is probably an amazing place to jump, since the game is accessible and exciting from the start. And if you're a returning pilot, I think you'll find a lot to love in Ace Combat: Skies Unknown. What color is the sky for you? For me, it's a bright, energetic and deep blue that I can not wait to play again.

Review revision

+ The controls combine with the atmosphere to provide that perfect sim / arcade combination of the past Ace Combat

+ The multiplayer mode is an absolute wonder, easy to configure and is based on the skill and practice of the updates.

+ It's really all you want in an Ace Combat game or dogfight.

+ Virtual reality missions are fun; However, if VR makes you dizzy, I warn you

+/ Your mileage may vary in campaign quality and storytelling. Some good bits, some overwritten, a bit of military style sometimes

Some missions, such as stealth missions, are a bit strange and forgettable.

Are you a pilot ace, coming back for more? Or are you new and curious to try Ace Combat for the first time? Tell us what you think about the game in the comments! And if you're knocked down by "Midnight Moon" Ellyberry, it's nothing personal!


Nicole is one of the features and a social video script writer for Crunchyroll. Known for hitting the guys in the Yakuza games on her Twitch channel while professing her love for Majima. She also has a blog, figuratively speaking. Follow her on Twitter: @ellyberries

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