Take a flight back to 1992 when Air Combat debuted in Japanese arcades. The graphics were very polygonal and certainly not very impressive at least by today’s standards, but at the time, it was literally the beginning of 3D style flight simulators which means it was at the height of technology. Jet to present day and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is reinventing itself as a new starting part for the entire series and perhaps genre as a whole.
Ace Combat 7 goes back to its roots in the skies of Strangereal. While it isn’t very different from our own world the mixture of traditional and near-future weaponry does come with a realistic approach. The actual combating content is very intense. You are thrust into action when war breaks out. Face-off against battleships, drones and advanced fighter pilots that will put your skills to the test in more ways than one. It’s possible our military forces aren’t that far off from some airships and jet fighters that are seen in the game. The graphics and physics shown off seem very lifelike. You’ll feel the power when piloting these detailed machines and get to enjoy the smaller elements such as condensation from clouds.
The main goal of the game is attract as many new fans as possible. Of course, that’s the case with any and every title on the market. However, since Ace Combat has such a history under its wing, Bandai Namco knows it will be able to attract many of its longtime fans to the action. Ace Combat 7 wants to its fans first which is why the team’s original plan for a PS4 exclusive has since been grounded. Now, the attention is being shifted to attract audiences who own different consoles as well. Xbox One and PC owners can also fly high with Ace Combat 7. Console versions of the game are focusing more on campaigns and storyline.
However, gamers that happen to have a PlayStation VR will be able to enjoy the game in a first person view; which is truly the next step for the series. Having the technology readily available, it was important for Bandai Namco to realize the major impact virtual reality has had on gaming in the last year. While past games, specifically in arcade, have put you in the pilot’s seat, it’s never truly felt like the inside of a cockpit. The VR version of the game gets you up close and personal with the action which is something fans have been wanting to experience for years. Adding exclusive missions for VR makes it all the more enticing for the hardcore fans.
Bandai Namco wanted to challenge the status quo and create an Ace Combat that remained relevant and filled with potential at the same time. Allowing for both console and VR versions to exist simultaneously means skies are wide open and the game can exist in every niche. Ace Combat 7 is scheduled for take off sometime next year which is plenty of time for this to become a bright new beginning.