As we all know us boys can have a vivid imagination as children. Remember our younger days when we used to go out and play airplanes with our mates. We would hold our arms out, jump off garden furniture, bank our planes to the left or right, duck and dive under climbing frames and benches, shoot down our friends, weave in and out of people in the street shouting neeeeeeeowwwwww as we go! As children we had no fear of being hurt; the only downside was our parents telling us to be more careful not to hurt someone
… But did we care… hell no we are fighter jets!
Ace Combat has the ability to make you feel just like a child once again, you will get the opportunity to pilot some of the world’s most amazing aircraft in some incredible battle scenes. You can just sit there and imagine your old best mate in the jet ahead, as you engage in a dog fight battle with him and sending his jet plummeting to earth in jaw breaking pieces, with a big grin across your face laughing.
The initial games revolves around a pilot named William Bishop, in my eyes he is no ordinary pilot, he has either been on steroids or has been working out too much, as you will notice he has a huge pair of biceps. Not only will you play as him but you will also have the chance to play as a Helicopter pilot named Shooter 1 and as a female pilot named Jan. The enemy in the game are the usual sort, the Russians. One in particular pilots a jet with a pair of teeth painted on the front nose, most likely because has none to speak of himself.
The variety of play is something Ace Combat handles well, a combination of missions involving Air Assaults, Helicopter flights and some missions are similar to that of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, where you take the controls of an AC 130 to destroy ground troops, bunkers or RPGs. This is where the game can become tricky, as your targets will not appear in little green squares. For this you have to look where the missiles are coming from and for the smoke on the ground, this will then pin point their situation for you to attack with all your might. This is mainly a rescue mission, in which you have no control over the aircraft; your colleague Jan does this on your behalf, all you have to do protect and destroy anything that moves towards your troops on the ground.
Despite the game being a good mixture of missions there are a few downsides to Ace Combat. The missions can seem a bit too long at times and the various save points can be few and far between. You can spend up to an hour on a mission get half way through nose dive by mistake and kill yourself.
The campaign mode will give you approximately 12 hours of game play and end with a dramatic air battle. The Multiplayer option has four modes of play, Capital Conquest, Domination, Death match and Co-op mission. With all multiplayer missions available all your points earned are totalled up together. Death match is quite good fun as a dog fight against other gamers can be more of a challenge than if you were competing against the computer; you will have to think of ways to avoid being destroyed, keep a cool head and plan your escape routes well.
Air assault and dog fight battles are the finishing touches in the game. Never before have I played an air combat game with so much happening around the combat zones; the surrounding structures being destroyed by enemy fire and the erratic camera movement really add to the overall experience. When you get close enough to an enemy plane, you will get engaged in a dogfight. Once you accept this the computer will take over the controls of the craft for you and you have the opportunity to take him down, that’s if you can keep your crosshairs on him long enough. In the meantime while you’re doing this your enemy is ducking, diving and weaving all over the screen in the attempt to avoid being destroyed and sometimes yes they do get away from you. If you do manage to keep a steady lock on you can send in a rocket, once you get a direct hit the camera will zoom in and show you the devastation you just created. Each and every ariel assault you come across you are over whelmed with many enemies not just the odd few, each assault will keep you well on the edge of your seat.
Each mission is different in its own right, it’s not just the standard dogfight after dogfight within the second mission for instance you take controls and become Shooter 1. You take the controls of a helicopter armed with an array of deadly firepower. This mission has no ariel combat, you will have to learn the controls and how to avoid incoming RPGs; this is done by hitting R1 L1 together performing a evasive action. Basically the mission is to protect and destroy; your enemies will be located on your screen in small green boxes. You are required to complete all objective assigned to this mission if you fail you will have to restart the mission all over again. Be wary, in addition to the objectives you must kill all ground troops as these can be very tricky to kill and pose a great threat in some circumstances. One baddy doo doo I did not expect was a lone trooper positioned out of my view who launched an RPG on me. Do take note though once you shoot a friendly its back to the drawing board. Once you learn how to control the craft and manage the weapons you should complete this mission relatively easy. I found the two apache fighters towards the end of the mission a slight problem, as once these two appear you are also sent to protect and destroy at the same time; using your rockets comes in very handy once you lock on to target.
Overall Ace Combat by Namco Bandi is an amazing game and should be well praised for this addition to their collection. It can be very frustrating at times but once you have mastered the rockets and control systems you will have the feeling of satisfaction. The graphics are very impressive with some good close up animation sequences. The sound is pure quality, very clear and well spoken, also with subtitles at all times.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.