- System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Developer: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: Project Aces
- Release Date: January 18, 2019
- Genre: T for Teen
- Genre: Simulation, Flight
- Genre: 1 (online multiplayer)
- Official Website: https://www.bandainamcoent.com/games/ace-combat-7
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown throws players into another war that honestly, you won’t dwell on too much. We’ll make this statement: the story in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown isn’t anything noteworthy or even something you’ll care about. All you need to know is a familiar enemy returns with new tech that threatens your country and you must take them down. Often, you’ll want to skip the story segments—even though they are beautifully animated—to get right back into the action. Luckily, this is the only element you’ll probably dislike about Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. Everything from here onward will be us praising this amazing title and the reasons why we believe those praises are worthy.
First, the gameplay for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has truly been redefined and polished. Planes control realistically—even on the normal setting—and allow players to soar through the skies as if they are aces themselves. For our review, we nabbed a flight stick—the Thrustmaster 4—and found ourselves truly getting immersed in air combat. Dog fights, with or without the flight stick, feel intense and only get more heart pounding as the story progresses. Amp the difficulty up and you’ll be whizzing past missed missiles and gun bullets constantly smiling every second that passes. The main game will take you a solid amount of time to beat with dozens of missions to dive into and some will most likely take you a few tries to conquer them.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown also offers an added VR mode where we experienced quite possibly the best VR feeling ever on the PS4. Donning the PSVR headset, we entered the cockpit and immediately a feeling of being elevated and in an aircraft took us over. Then when we lifted off the feeling intensified to levels that took our breaths away. Dog fights took on a whole new reality as we felt our faces pushes against the virtual canopy of the plane and we felt the G-force as if we were truly in the plane trying to take down the enemy. Though this immersion comes with a bit of a side effect folks…motion sickness on a whole new level. Even if you consider someone with an iron stomach, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will test you. In our minds though, it was 100% worth almost puking as VR mode—despite how short it was—is another game all of its own.
Finally, we need to look at the stunning visuals. We mentioned earlier that while the story mode is lackluster, its animation was immaculate. The same can be said of the gameplay graphics which are just awesome. As you soar through clouds your canopy gets covered by rain and when you blow a plane out of the air you’ll see the parts fly off and sometimes nearly collide into you! The ground graphics don’t stack up as well but you’re rarely going to be near the ground—which makes sense—so we forgive those lack luster graphics. Planes have terrific visuals with truly lifelike details. Migs to the F14s look like their real world counterparts and even some new planes—which are still in development phases—look as if they could be launched into modern society. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown looks incredible and you’ll be amazed how far the series has come since its earlier PS1 days.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Excellent graphics with more realistic air combat than anything we’ve seen in the past
- Several new ships and weapons join the already large aircraft lineup
- Easily the longest story mode so far with dozens of missions and several VR missions
- VR Missions are incredibly immersive making for the best VR experience ever seen before
- Strong soundtrack that keeps you engaged and pumped up
- If you use a flight stick you’ll get an unprecedented level of gameplay
- The story itself still falls a bit flat unless you’re a die hard Ace Combat fan
- VR mode will make those who get sick easily not ever want to use VR again
- Voice acting can be hit or miss