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Found 10 results

  1. The latest arcade flight sim with narrative aspirations from Project Aces, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown exists as a bit of an odd duck. The last couple attempts to bring the series into the modern day after its PlayStation 2 heyday fell flat and failed to gain much traction. This left Ace Combat in something of a limbo, only receiving support for the PSN exclusive and microtransaction-heavy Ace Combat Infinity. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown seeks to bring the series back to its roots by setting itself up as a canonical sequel to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, one of the most successful Ace Combat games to date. Despite that positioning, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown doesn’t require players to be familiar with its predecessor or the history of the fictional world of Strangereal. There are certainly nods to events and characters that veteran fans will recognize, but for the most part, these moments aren’t necessary to enjoy the larger story. That story details a war between the countries of Osea and Erusea stemming from economic and political contention regarding a space elevator constructed using Osean funds on Erusean soil after Osea devastated Erusea in a previous war. Into this situation are thrown all manner of crazy twists and plot threads including: Prisoners forced to pilot aircraft in the war, the assassination of a former head of state, the future of unmanned drone warfare in the skies, and a survival behind enemy lines narrative. If all of that sounds interesting, it should! Unfortunately, it never comes together into one cohesive entity and then just ends. One of the biggest problems is the complete lack of a protagonist. This was somewhat solved in Ace Combat 5 by allowing the player to participate in radio conversations with pilots in their squadron. Allowing for a little bit of character development that wasn’t just, “Golly gee, [player] is really the best pilot!” And that’s a huge problem in Ace Combat 7 because the player is framed for the assassination of the former president of Osea and sent to an island to fly junk planes as a distraction for the enemy. He just happens to be such a good pilot that eventually everyone seems to forget that they all think he assassinated a former president for no apparent reason. Ace Combat 7 squanders the unique opportunity it has with the concept of prisoner pilots by very quickly hand waving away that aspect. A bunch of criminals flying airplanes sounds like it should be a great mix for the series, but it never has a tangible effect on the gameplay outside of one mission where players are denied the ability to repair and reload weapons mid-mission. Limiting the choice of planes, putting players against hopeless odds, heck, maybe having the planes the prisoners are flying literally start falling apart mid-mission – there are so many interesting ways that Ace Combat 7 could have handled the disposable prisoner-soldier aspect. Eventually, the war progresses and leaves Osea overly dependent on the squadron of prisoners – until a late-game twist cuts the squadron off from those higher up in the chain of command. This could have been a great opportunity to put the game into the player’s hands: Will the prisoner-pilots stay loyal to Osea of maybe they join the losing Erusean forces. Ace Combat 5 had several missions that diverged based on player choice and gameplay decisions. Instead, it becomes a story about survival behind enemy lines; admittedly still cool, but it doesn’t do much to revitalize the story. Many of these interesting narrative beats ultimately fail because of the disconnect between them and the main focus of the story: Unmanned drones. Ace Combat 7 really wants to be a story about the dangers of drone warfare. All of its cutscenes and several of its missions deal directly with that theme and threat. It’s the only one that actually feels tangible in the gameplay itself. The threat of coming up against an AI-controlled aircraft that can outmaneuver a human pilot feels more real than anything else the flight sim presents players. It’s unfortunate that the game that the game doesn’t then focus itself entirely on that danger, flooding the player’s airspace with mass produced drones or recurring encounters against a squadron of AI aircraft that learn from the player’s maneuvers. If prisoner-pilots and being lost behind enemy lines weren’t going to help build the story around the threat of drone warfare, they should have been cut or reworked to include them. Instead, we have a bunch of half-baked ideas that lack full function or resonance. Something odd must have been going on behind the scenes of Ace Combat 7’s development to have led to the narrative being a hot mess. The game just ends with everyone realizing that the disagreement over the space elevator was based on a misunderstanding. The campaign stands at 20 missions long, shorter than Ace Combat 5 by 7-12 missions depending on how one counts them. It’s possible that many of these lingering questions or half-formed ideas will be expanded upon in future DLC that will be supporting the title, but not enough is known about the eventual DLC to say for sure. We do know that it will touch on story content, but we can only judge based on what’s there now and it’s not a terribly satisfying narrative package. On top of that, there’s no arcade mode like previous entries in the series possessed, which featured a series of flight scenarios designed to challenge players. The only thing that makes sense is that due to budget or time constraints much of the single-player content had to be axed out of the core game. Or, to be a bit cynical, it’s possible that it was cut out to serve as DLC later down the road. Ace Combat 7’s story might be a mess, but the visual design for the aircraft, skies, and even the detailed models of structures and vehicles on the ground absolutely nail what the series has always been about. For all of the craziness of its Metal Gear-like flying drone carriers, the realism and attention to detail instantly convey that this is Ace Combat. It’s so beautiful, I often wanted to simply fly and look to at the swirling clouds, missile trails, explosions, and gorgeous chaos going on in missions. Each mission has a recap camera that follows the entire mission from a variety of angles centered on the player’s airplane and I’d often watch that for several minutes after concluding a sortie. The replay feature could be improved by the ability to fast forward through the mission at more than just 2X speed. The soundtrack created by longtime game composer Keiki Kobayashi does its best to replicate the music of Ace Combat, succeeding in some respects while falling short in others. Kobayashi has been composing since 2001 and worked in the music departments of all the Ace Combat games since Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies. It makes sense that he would be able to nail the ambient background soundscapes of the Ace Combat series for Ace Combat 7. However, Skies Unknown desperately lacks a central theme to rally around. Even at its best, it manages to convey frantic or dramatic energy, but possesses little memorable thrust of its own. It’s good experiential music to fly to but not so much to remember after the fact. The gameplay remains largely true to the Ace Combat formula of loading up a plane with an impossible number of missiles and sending it out to do battle against a variety of air and ground targets. The mission design feels tight with every mission offering a number of exciting and unique challenges. Whether it’s altitude restrictions, flying through canyons, a time limit to do as much damage as possible, getting close enough to identify a wide field of unknown potential targets, or finding smuggling trucks in a dust storm, players should expect the unexpected when gearing up for the next mission. Dealing with a number of flying quirks on missions adds another unique wrinkle to the gameplay. High winds can make flying close to the ground or staying on target difficult. Flying through clouds can help block missiles while also threatening to ice over the engines. Rain can obscure vision in the cockpit view. The most dangerous weather condition of all stands out as lightning which can fry electronics and send a plane into a deadly tailspin. Instead of a lengthy campaign or an arcade mode, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown boasts an online multiplayer mode with a couple different rule sets, pitting players against one another for intense aerial combat. The mode is… fine. It’s fine. It’s not fantastic due to the lack of gameplay modes and rule sets for players to choose from. This might be some player’s jam and it’s certainly necessary to include in a modern Ace Combat game. However, most people aren’t playing Ace Combat for the multiplayer and there’s not much beyond replaying the campaign for people who value that single-player experience. Conclusion: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown feels like a game that’s not sure about what it wants to be. It wants to be a gritty war story, but lacks the punch necessary to follow-through on that desire. The gameplay frequently feels disconnected from the story itself. It’s incredibly short, clocking in at only 2/3 the size of its PS2 predecessor. However, despite these narrative shortcomings, its ultimately nails the feel of classic Ace Combat. It’s a blast to play and part of the disappointment in the shortness of the game stems from the desire to play more of it. As a starting point for relaunching consistent Ace Combat releases, Skies Unknown feels like solid bedrock on which to build. For those who love multiplayer or want a unique VR experience (yes, the VR is cool, but you probably shouldn’t buy PSVR just to experience Ace Combat 7), Skies Unknown caters directly to those cravings. It certainly isn’t the perfect Ace Combat game that sets a new standard for the franchise, but Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown stands as an enjoyable entry that fans will appreciate. Maybe just wait for it to go on sale and see how the DLC roll out goes before you buy. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. The latest arcade flight sim with narrative aspirations from Project Aces, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown exists as a bit of an odd duck. The last couple attempts to bring the series into the modern day after its PlayStation 2 heyday fell flat and failed to gain much traction. This left Ace Combat in something of a limbo, only receiving support for the PSN exclusive and microtransaction-heavy Ace Combat Infinity. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown seeks to bring the series back to its roots by setting itself up as a canonical sequel to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, one of the most successful Ace Combat games to date. Despite that positioning, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown doesn’t require players to be familiar with its predecessor or the history of the fictional world of Strangereal. There are certainly nods to events and characters that veteran fans will recognize, but for the most part, these moments aren’t necessary to enjoy the larger story. That story details a war between the countries of Osea and Erusea stemming from economic and political contention regarding a space elevator constructed using Osean funds on Erusean soil after Osea devastated Erusea in a previous war. Into this situation are thrown all manner of crazy twists and plot threads including: Prisoners forced to pilot aircraft in the war, the assassination of a former head of state, the future of unmanned drone warfare in the skies, and a survival behind enemy lines narrative. If all of that sounds interesting, it should! Unfortunately, it never comes together into one cohesive entity and then just ends. One of the biggest problems is the complete lack of a protagonist. This was somewhat solved in Ace Combat 5 by allowing the player to participate in radio conversations with pilots in their squadron. Allowing for a little bit of character development that wasn’t just, “Golly gee, [player] is really the best pilot!” And that’s a huge problem in Ace Combat 7 because the player is framed for the assassination of the former president of Osea and sent to an island to fly junk planes as a distraction for the enemy. He just happens to be such a good pilot that eventually everyone seems to forget that they all think he assassinated a former president for no apparent reason. Ace Combat 7 squanders the unique opportunity it has with the concept of prisoner pilots by very quickly hand waving away that aspect. A bunch of criminals flying airplanes sounds like it should be a great mix for the series, but it never has a tangible effect on the gameplay outside of one mission where players are denied the ability to repair and reload weapons mid-mission. Limiting the choice of planes, putting players against hopeless odds, heck, maybe having the planes the prisoners are flying literally start falling apart mid-mission – there are so many interesting ways that Ace Combat 7 could have handled the disposable prisoner-soldier aspect. Eventually, the war progresses and leaves Osea overly dependent on the squadron of prisoners – until a late-game twist cuts the squadron off from those higher up in the chain of command. This could have been a great opportunity to put the game into the player’s hands: Will the prisoner-pilots stay loyal to Osea of maybe they join the losing Erusean forces. Ace Combat 5 had several missions that diverged based on player choice and gameplay decisions. Instead, it becomes a story about survival behind enemy lines; admittedly still cool, but it doesn’t do much to revitalize the story. Many of these interesting narrative beats ultimately fail because of the disconnect between them and the main focus of the story: Unmanned drones. Ace Combat 7 really wants to be a story about the dangers of drone warfare. All of its cutscenes and several of its missions deal directly with that theme and threat. It’s the only one that actually feels tangible in the gameplay itself. The threat of coming up against an AI-controlled aircraft that can outmaneuver a human pilot feels more real than anything else the flight sim presents players. It’s unfortunate that the game that the game doesn’t then focus itself entirely on that danger, flooding the player’s airspace with mass produced drones or recurring encounters against a squadron of AI aircraft that learn from the player’s maneuvers. If prisoner-pilots and being lost behind enemy lines weren’t going to help build the story around the threat of drone warfare, they should have been cut or reworked to include them. Instead, we have a bunch of half-baked ideas that lack full function or resonance. Something odd must have been going on behind the scenes of Ace Combat 7’s development to have led to the narrative being a hot mess. The game just ends with everyone realizing that the disagreement over the space elevator was based on a misunderstanding. The campaign stands at 20 missions long, shorter than Ace Combat 5 by 7-12 missions depending on how one counts them. It’s possible that many of these lingering questions or half-formed ideas will be expanded upon in future DLC that will be supporting the title, but not enough is known about the eventual DLC to say for sure. We do know that it will touch on story content, but we can only judge based on what’s there now and it’s not a terribly satisfying narrative package. On top of that, there’s no arcade mode like previous entries in the series possessed, which featured a series of flight scenarios designed to challenge players. The only thing that makes sense is that due to budget or time constraints much of the single-player content had to be axed out of the core game. Or, to be a bit cynical, it’s possible that it was cut out to serve as DLC later down the road. Ace Combat 7’s story might be a mess, but the visual design for the aircraft, skies, and even the detailed models of structures and vehicles on the ground absolutely nail what the series has always been about. For all of the craziness of its Metal Gear-like flying drone carriers, the realism and attention to detail instantly convey that this is Ace Combat. It’s so beautiful, I often wanted to simply fly and look to at the swirling clouds, missile trails, explosions, and gorgeous chaos going on in missions. Each mission has a recap camera that follows the entire mission from a variety of angles centered on the player’s airplane and I’d often watch that for several minutes after concluding a sortie. The replay feature could be improved by the ability to fast forward through the mission at more than just 2X speed. The soundtrack created by longtime game composer Keiki Kobayashi does its best to replicate the music of Ace Combat, succeeding in some respects while falling short in others. Kobayashi has been composing since 2001 and worked in the music departments of all the Ace Combat games since Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies. It makes sense that he would be able to nail the ambient background soundscapes of the Ace Combat series for Ace Combat 7. However, Skies Unknown desperately lacks a central theme to rally around. Even at its best, it manages to convey frantic or dramatic energy, but possesses little memorable thrust of its own. It’s good experiential music to fly to but not so much to remember after the fact. The gameplay remains largely true to the Ace Combat formula of loading up a plane with an impossible number of missiles and sending it out to do battle against a variety of air and ground targets. The mission design feels tight with every mission offering a number of exciting and unique challenges. Whether it’s altitude restrictions, flying through canyons, a time limit to do as much damage as possible, getting close enough to identify a wide field of unknown potential targets, or finding smuggling trucks in a dust storm, players should expect the unexpected when gearing up for the next mission. Dealing with a number of flying quirks on missions adds another unique wrinkle to the gameplay. High winds can make flying close to the ground or staying on target difficult. Flying through clouds can help block missiles while also threatening to ice over the engines. Rain can obscure vision in the cockpit view. The most dangerous weather condition of all stands out as lightning which can fry electronics and send a plane into a deadly tailspin. Instead of a lengthy campaign or an arcade mode, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown boasts an online multiplayer mode with a couple different rule sets, pitting players against one another for intense aerial combat. The mode is… fine. It’s fine. It’s not fantastic due to the lack of gameplay modes and rule sets for players to choose from. This might be some player’s jam and it’s certainly necessary to include in a modern Ace Combat game. However, most people aren’t playing Ace Combat for the multiplayer and there’s not much beyond replaying the campaign for people who value that single-player experience. Conclusion: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown feels like a game that’s not sure about what it wants to be. It wants to be a gritty war story, but lacks the punch necessary to follow-through on that desire. The gameplay frequently feels disconnected from the story itself. It’s incredibly short, clocking in at only 2/3 the size of its PS2 predecessor. However, despite these narrative shortcomings, its ultimately nails the feel of classic Ace Combat. It’s a blast to play and part of the disappointment in the shortness of the game stems from the desire to play more of it. As a starting point for relaunching consistent Ace Combat releases, Skies Unknown feels like solid bedrock on which to build. For those who love multiplayer or want a unique VR experience (yes, the VR is cool, but you probably shouldn’t buy PSVR just to experience Ace Combat 7), Skies Unknown caters directly to those cravings. It certainly isn’t the perfect Ace Combat game that sets a new standard for the franchise, but Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown stands as an enjoyable entry that fans will appreciate. Maybe just wait for it to go on sale and see how the DLC roll out goes before you buy. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Now that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has released into the wild, people are finding its quirks. One of the earliest parts of the game that has since become a meme is the strange, 2D image of a fluffy dog inserted into one of the game's meticulously rendered 3D cutscenes. Of course, the internet being the internet, this flat hero captured the hearts of many players and catapulted it into meme status as "JPEG Dog". The jarring image of the adorable pooch raised many questions. How could such a detailed game have made such a seemingly bizarre addition? What series of decisions had to be made to get this dog into a game about aerial combat and international political situations? It turns out that JPEG Dog actually has a tragic and touching backstory. Kazutoki Kono, Bandai Namco's brand director on Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, took to Twitter yesterday to clarify why the curious canine seemed so out of place. Translated by writer and translator James Galizio, the message reads: So, I have a bit of depressing news to share. It's about our now famous, loyal, canine companion. I heard from the rest of the staff that he had passed away shortly after the photo was taken. We are truly blessed to have known you. May you rest in peace. While it's sad that the precious pupper is no longer with us, the tribute to the dog included in Ace Combat 7 has spread a lot of joy with the memes it spawned. Enjoy them, get some good laughs, and never forget our precious JPEG Dog. RIP JPEG Dog. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. Now that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has released into the wild, people are finding its quirks. One of the earliest parts of the game that has since become a meme is the strange, 2D image of a fluffy dog inserted into one of the game's meticulously rendered 3D cutscenes. Of course, the internet being the internet, this flat hero captured the hearts of many players and catapulted it into meme status as "JPEG Dog". The jarring image of the adorable pooch raised many questions. How could such a detailed game have made such a seemingly bizarre addition? What series of decisions had to be made to get this dog into a game about aerial combat and international political situations? It turns out that JPEG Dog actually has a tragic and touching backstory. Kazutoki Kono, Bandai Namco's brand director on Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, took to Twitter yesterday to clarify why the curious canine seemed so out of place. Translated by writer and translator James Galizio, the message reads: So, I have a bit of depressing news to share. It's about our now famous, loyal, canine companion. I heard from the rest of the staff that he had passed away shortly after the photo was taken. We are truly blessed to have known you. May you rest in peace. While it's sad that the precious pupper is no longer with us, the tribute to the dog included in Ace Combat 7 has spread a lot of joy with the memes it spawned. Enjoy them, get some good laughs, and never forget our precious JPEG Dog. RIP JPEG Dog. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. Namco Bandai has announced that they will be offering Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War in its entirety as a pre-order incentive for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. It will be available for both digital and physical editions of Ace Combat 7, though those who opt for the physical copy could miss out on a dynamic theme. Here's what's included in the pre-order bundle: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown dynamic theme - only available for digital pre-orders A McDonnell Douglas F-4E plane and three aircraft skins Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Ace Combat 7 will be a full $60 at launch with a season pass available for $25 that includes three extra planes, three new stages, and an in-game music player. A deluxe edition will be sold digitally that packages the game with the season pass and will include the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter plane. Presumably, this means that Namco Bandai has updated Ace Combat 5 for modern systems, which might be worth the price of admission on its own. The hightlight of the PlayStation 2 run of the Ace Combat series, 5 puts players in the middle of a fictionalized version of our world, dubbed affectionately Strangereal, that has its two major superpowers on the brink of turning its Cold War into a hot one. The characters, flight controls, and scenarios are all excellent as each mission escalates in intensity. It's one of the best arcade flight sims out there, so seeing it in the air once again will be a real treat. We got some time to play with Ace Combat 7's VR features hands-on last year and it was a really amazing experience. Despite being the seventh numbered title in the Ace Combat series, 7 will be a direct sequel to 5. Sunau Katabuchi, the writer of Ace Combat 5, will return to write for Skies Unknown and has left open the possibility that characters from The Unsung War will return to fly again. The story will focus on the political conflict over the construction of a massive space elevator that spans multiple nations. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will release on January 18, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The VR version will be exclusive to the PS4 version. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. Namco Bandai has announced that they will be offering Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War in its entirety as a pre-order incentive for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. It will be available for both digital and physical editions of Ace Combat 7, though those who opt for the physical copy could miss out on a dynamic theme. Here's what's included in the pre-order bundle: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown dynamic theme - only available for digital pre-orders A McDonnell Douglas F-4E plane and three aircraft skins Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Ace Combat 7 will be a full $60 at launch with a season pass available for $25 that includes three extra planes, three new stages, and an in-game music player. A deluxe edition will be sold digitally that packages the game with the season pass and will include the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter plane. Presumably, this means that Namco Bandai has updated Ace Combat 5 for modern systems, which might be worth the price of admission on its own. The hightlight of the PlayStation 2 run of the Ace Combat series, 5 puts players in the middle of a fictionalized version of our world, dubbed affectionately Strangereal, that has its two major superpowers on the brink of turning its Cold War into a hot one. The characters, flight controls, and scenarios are all excellent as each mission escalates in intensity. It's one of the best arcade flight sims out there, so seeing it in the air once again will be a real treat. We got some time to play with Ace Combat 7's VR features hands-on last year and it was a really amazing experience. Despite being the seventh numbered title in the Ace Combat series, 7 will be a direct sequel to 5. Sunau Katabuchi, the writer of Ace Combat 5, will return to write for Skies Unknown and has left open the possibility that characters from The Unsung War will return to fly again. The story will focus on the political conflict over the construction of a massive space elevator that spans multiple nations. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will release on January 18, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The VR version will be exclusive to the PS4 version. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  7. In a world where robots can control the skies as effectively as pilots, what's the point of human aviators? Ace Combat 7 brings its Strangereal universe (the term given to the grounded, but entirely fictional world portrayed in the majority of Ace Combat titles) into the near future to explore that very scenario. Ace Combat 7: Unknown Skies takes place several years after the events of Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and takes the series back to Osea, the main location from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (with the possibility of characters from 5 reappearing in 7). The Osean Federation has undertaken a massive construction project to create a space elevator. Unfortunately, that construction spilled over into the Kingdom of Erusea, and they don't take too kindly to the project. That leads to a declaration of war from their ruler, Princess Rosa Cossette D'Elise. The writing and story are being handled by Sunao Katabuchi, who also wrote the highly acclaimed Ace Combat 5. I had a chance to play with the PSVR version of Ace Combat 7 recently. The VR setup for the combat flight sim places players directly in the pilot's seat, leading to one of the greatest VR experiences I've personally had to date. The demo constituted one of the early missions from the game, tasking players to launch themselves from an aircraft carrier to engage several incoming waves of adversaries. Being able to look out of the cockpit at various angles to identify bogies as I did barrel rolls and loops through the air was incredibly freeing. While Ace Combat 7 will release on Xbox One and PC as well as PlayStation 4, the PSVR version of the title will release with unique missions. Outside of the VR experience, Ace Combat 7 sticks to the classic Ace Combat gamepad control scheme. While the series might strive for realism in the graphics department, the moment to moment gameplay resembles an arcade flier more than anything else. Players take to the skies in aircraft that are sometimes armed with upwards of 100 missiles. Simple controls make learning the ropes relatively easy for newcomers, while veterans will find enough depth and difficulty to keep themselves hooked for a long, long time. Players can take to the skies in two player local co-op or multiplayer. Ace Combat 7, originally slated for a 2017 release, will now become available sometime in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
  8. In a world where robots can control the skies as effectively as pilots, what's the point of human aviators? Ace Combat 7 brings its Strangereal universe (the term given to the grounded, but entirely fictional world portrayed in the majority of Ace Combat titles) into the near future to explore that very scenario. Ace Combat 7: Unknown Skies takes place several years after the events of Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and takes the series back to Osea, the main location from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (with the possibility of characters from 5 reappearing in 7). The Osean Federation has undertaken a massive construction project to create a space elevator. Unfortunately, that construction spilled over into the Kingdom of Erusea, and they don't take too kindly to the project. That leads to a declaration of war from their ruler, Princess Rosa Cossette D'Elise. The writing and story are being handled by Sunao Katabuchi, who also wrote the highly acclaimed Ace Combat 5. I had a chance to play with the PSVR version of Ace Combat 7 recently. The VR setup for the combat flight sim places players directly in the pilot's seat, leading to one of the greatest VR experiences I've personally had to date. The demo constituted one of the early missions from the game, tasking players to launch themselves from an aircraft carrier to engage several incoming waves of adversaries. Being able to look out of the cockpit at various angles to identify bogies as I did barrel rolls and loops through the air was incredibly freeing. While Ace Combat 7 will release on Xbox One and PC as well as PlayStation 4, the PSVR version of the title will release with unique missions. Outside of the VR experience, Ace Combat 7 sticks to the classic Ace Combat gamepad control scheme. While the series might strive for realism in the graphics department, the moment to moment gameplay resembles an arcade flier more than anything else. Players take to the skies in aircraft that are sometimes armed with upwards of 100 missiles. Simple controls make learning the ropes relatively easy for newcomers, while veterans will find enough depth and difficulty to keep themselves hooked for a long, long time. Players can take to the skies in two player local co-op or multiplayer. Ace Combat 7, originally slated for a 2017 release, will now become available sometime in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. View full article
  9. It has been a decade since we last saw an officially numbered entry in the venerable Ace Combat series. Since then, fans of Project Aces' aerial combat games have had to content themselves with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat: Infinity, the free-to-play PS3 digital title. This year marks the return of a series that delivers some of the craziest dogfights in gaming history. Counter to initial reports that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown would be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, the title will also be coming to PC and Xbox One. However, those who want to experience Ace Combat 7 in virtual reality will have to play it on PS VR. Those who do own PlayStation's virtual reality headset will be able to access missions unavailable on other platforms. Ace Combat 7 marks the return to what has been dubbed "Strangereal" the surreal world in which the other numbered entries of the series have taken place. This other world mirrors our own, but includes more fantastical devices, such as monolithic, nuclear satellites or colossal super planes. The story picks up some time after the conclusion of Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation. The world has advanced since the Gracemerian Incident, and pilots are slowly being replaced with remote controlled drones and AI fighters. The series looks to be carrying on the tradition of high drama storytelling that earned it the nickname "airborne Metal Gear." I am 100% on board with that. No hard release date has been given, but expect to see Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown later this year for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  10. It has been a decade since we last saw an officially numbered entry in the venerable Ace Combat series. Since then, fans of Project Aces' aerial combat games have had to content themselves with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat: Infinity, the free-to-play PS3 digital title. This year marks the return of a series that delivers some of the craziest dogfights in gaming history. Counter to initial reports that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown would be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, the title will also be coming to PC and Xbox One. However, those who want to experience Ace Combat 7 in virtual reality will have to play it on PS VR. Those who do own PlayStation's virtual reality headset will be able to access missions unavailable on other platforms. Ace Combat 7 marks the return to what has been dubbed "Strangereal" the surreal world in which the other numbered entries of the series have taken place. This other world mirrors our own, but includes more fantastical devices, such as monolithic, nuclear satellites or colossal super planes. The story picks up some time after the conclusion of Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation. The world has advanced since the Gracemerian Incident, and pilots are slowly being replaced with remote controlled drones and AI fighters. The series looks to be carrying on the tradition of high drama storytelling that earned it the nickname "airborne Metal Gear." I am 100% on board with that. No hard release date has been given, but expect to see Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown later this year for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
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