Ace Combat 7 is the new chapter of the famous aerial combat franchise for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The title arrives in the current generation betting on a complex storyline, cutting-edge graphics, and gameplay that mixes elements of simulation with an arcade. Check out the full review:
Complex but entertaining plot
Anyone who thinks that Ace Combat 7 brings a simple story whose only excuse is to put airplanes in aerial battles is wrong. On the contrary, the game has a complex plot – at certain times even very confusing – that makes the player feel interested in several moments, without the need to run all the dialogues and animation scenes.
In a fictional Strangereal world, in the middle of 2019, a world conflict is imminent. On the one hand the Federation of Osea, and on the other the Kingdom of Erusea which, after developing a true army of drones, seeks complete control of the Orbital Elevator, a complex that uses solar energy as a great resource for its people.
Did you find it confusing? Believe me, things only get worse throughout the game, with somewhat complex dialogues, especially for those who play the franchise for the first time. But, interestingly, even though it seems like a Mexican soap opera and World War III junction, the plot has its high points. And one of them concerns the way in which all this is presented to the player, always with many visual aids and CG scenes – in which I give more details throughout the text.
In short, the plot of Ace Combat 7 is like those science fiction films that we watch only through action scenes, without bothering to understand the story and whether it makes sense or not.Ace Combat 7 (Photo: Disclosure)
Intense Campaign Mode and Addictive Multiplayer
The main mode of Ace Combat 7 is Campaign, where the whole storyline mentioned above is presented together with a series of missions. Because it is a game with a very clear objective, the mode can even present varied activities, such as protecting a certain ally, chasing a target, among others. However, basically all of them are intended to shoot down targets with your aircraft, whether in the air, at sea or on land.
The icing on the cake is due to RPG elements inserted in a very subtle way in the game. With each mission completed, you acquire points that can be exchanged for new ships, weapons, pieces and other types of customization. This ended up instigating me to play more and more in order to always get a bigger model or an even more powerful arsenal, or let the nostalgic side flow, acquiring older historical models.Ace Combat 7 brings robust story (Photo: Disclosure)
Ace Combat 7 also features a fun Multiplayer mode. There, you can choose between the following types of matches:
Royal Battle – All players battle against you. Whoever reaches 100,000 points wins first.
Team Playoff – All players are divided into two teams. It wins to reach 250 thousand points first.
During testing, it was not difficult to find room and players to complete the matches. However, it was possible to notice a very high lag that favors too much in combat. And, just like in Campaign Mode, there is the possibility to customize your ships, However, the score is different for both modes, that is, the points you get in Multiplayer are not possible to use in Campaign and vice versa.Ace Combat 7 Campaign Mode brings several missions (Photo: Disclosure)Flying has never been so easy and fun
Unfortunately, I never flew a real plane, but compared to other titles of the genre, I can say that Ace Combat 7 is not enough to be an ultra realistic simulator. On the contrary, its roots are still focused on more arcade gameplay, that is, there is not so much complexity to perform maneuvers, shoot and flee from enemy missiles. Basically it works like a racing game along the same lines, where you only need to make turns without caring about the correct braking or deceleration in the correct time.Ace Combat 7 brings addictive multiplayer (Photo: Disclosure)
With this, it is somewhat smooth to move your aircraft through the air, mainly to perform daring maneuvers such as low-lying flights or other aerial acrobatics to avoid missiles in your direction. At the same time it is somewhat complex to hit your opponents with hand-held weapons, making guided missiles the great tool of the game.
Still on the targeting system, it remains almost the same as the first versions. Of course, there is always room for a punctual improvement, and in the case of Ace Combat 7, it’s up to you how you use certain weapons. The customization mentioned above is largely responsible, since it is possible to determine a different strategy for each mission, creating an unprecedented element in the series. For example, you can choose to have an arsenal full of missiles that cause enormous damage, but that requires more precise aiming on your part, or opt for guided shots that cause less damage.Ace Combat 7 gameplay blends arcade elements with simulation (Photo: Disclosure)
And about the variation of aircraft, they are not just the aesthetic part of the game. There is a big difference, especially in terms of speed and driving. I particularly liked the small models that made it easier for me to escape from opponents’ shots. But there are other, more robust jets that are real war machines, but slow as a concrete block with wings. It is up to the player to choose the ship in which he adapts best, after all, taste is not discussed!
Everything up there is so beautiful …
And for those who played the latest franchise titles like me, the look of Ace Combat 7 makes a big impact at first. It is impossible not to be impressed by the evolution of its visual part compared to the last game in the franchise, Ace Combat Infinity, released in 2014 for PlayStation 3.
Aircraft are now much more detailed, both on the outside and inside, making it easier to distinguish the types of jets that fly overhead. I also found the detailing of damages, and even problems caused by time, such as rust and poor maintenance, of older models very cool, which amplify the feeling of being even in control of an airplane.Ace Combat 7 evolves the targeting system of the franchise
During the fighting, the climatic effects help to create a whole heavier atmosphere for the confrontation against your opponents. To be more explicit, the excess smoke in the air makes you realize that it is a more arduous battle, while missions to protect your allies have a milder climate with a beautiful sunset that gets to bother in certain flight positions. That way, I can guarantee that you need to be careful not only with your enemies, but also with those elements that come to disrupt your life, such as when I froze with my aircraft when it started to freeze due to the weather and altitude .
The animations that explain the story also deserve praise. As much as the plot is a huge mess in many moments, it was almost impossible to run the CG scenes thanks to the incredible work of realism and drama with which they manage to pass to the player.
And all of that is expanded in the desktop version. During the tests, on a PC Gamer equipped with a GeForce 1080TI, it was possible to see how well it did for the franchise to be taken to the platform as well, since until its seventh chapter, only the consoles received the series. If you are an orphan of games like Flight Simulator, the simulation may not be the same in terms of gameplay, but the look is impressive.The graphics of Ace Combat 7 impress by the details of the aircraft (Photo: Disclosure)
But, as not everything is flowers, there are some points in the visual that deserve an ear tug. The first is a problem that has been going on since the first games of the franchise: the lack of care with earth elements. Everything is very beautiful up there, however, just bring your aircraft close to the ground and you can see the lack of care with the elements that make up the scene in solo. From trucks that look like cardboard, to trees that look like Christmas ornaments, it is impossible not to be bothered by the graphic neglect with these elements.
If before the “excuse” was the lack of technical capacity to develop so many elements, with the hardware of PCs and consoles of the current generation, there is no justification. I hope that in future chapters of the franchise these edges are trimmed and that the Phantom of the Earth Without Caprice is exorcised.Ace Combat 7 brings a lack of whimsy with elements of the scenery (Photo: Disclosure)
The PlayStation VR experience is incredible!
Interestingly, one of the main attractions of Ace Combat 7 is precisely its compatibility with PlayStation VR, the virtual reality glasses from Sony. I say curiously, because nowadays, there are less and less titles that seek to invest in the accessory, which makes many people (including me) believe in a near end of life for the same.
This compatibility comes as a totally separate part of the Campaign and Multiplayer. It brings less complex missions where the real intention is precisely to pass the feeling of being inside the aircraft cabin, piloting it in a way that does not cause so much discomfort, as the need to move quickly at all times and, consequently, suffer from nausea .Cabin of a ship in VR mode of Ace Combat 7 (Photo: Disclosure)
The graphics are also not as real as in conventional modes, but they still manage to overcome the realism of piloting a ship of this size. Highlight for the effects of light and shadow that come to reproduce the sun rays somewhat uncomfortable in your eyes and the possibility to look to the sides and see the damage in the jet’s wings.
Particularly I have a hard time playing specific titles for PS VR for more than 30 minutes without feeling discomfort. And I can guarantee that the Ace Combat 7 experience is as fun as it is smooth in that regard. Perhaps the only problem is for players who suffer from vertigo and feel uncomfortable about simulating a solo flight almost in the stratosphere.Ace Combat 7 VR mode is one of the best ever produced
Ace Combat 7 pleases not only fans of the franchise, but also the thousands of orphans of a genre almost forgotten on the current generation’s consoles. With cutting edge graphics and well-balanced gameplay between simulation and arcade, the game makes you spend hours and hours in aerial combat packed by an incredible soundtrack (without Danger Zone). To be perfect and enter the game gallery of the year, the franchise just needs to remedy the lack of detail of parts of the scenario once and for all, and create a dynamic so that the game is not basically flying and trying to take down your enemies.