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Review of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – breathtaking air combat with good realism

Skies Unknown, in addition to being the first part of this franchise, which came out on PC, is also the first part of the series to appear on modern consoles. Such a release simply cannot go unnoticed and attracted a lot of attention from both fans of the genre and series, and from other gamers. Let’s see what came out of all this.

Where did I end up and what to do here?

If this is your first time playing Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, then with a high degree of probability you will not understand at all what is happening for the first hours. “Where am I and who is around me?” According to the plot of the game, all events take place in an alternative Earth of the near future, where the location and appearance of the continents we are used to have changed significantly, and only Antarctica has remained in its place.

A similar situation is with the political structure of the world. The game developers have created their own countries and the peculiarities of the relationship between them. The geopolitical situation in the game is far from the best. In part, this contributed to the falling meteorite, due to which two states were destroyed, which caused a great heat in the international relations of other countries. The obvious result of all this was the struggle for resources and constant wars. One of these battles is the beginning of the game Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. There will be several storylines in the narrative. Chief among them is the history of penalty boxers who, despite past violations and problems, are ready to re-enter service and defend their country on the battlefields.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown review

How the Japanese imagine aerial combat

Although this is a flight simulator, where the plot is sometimes not needed at all, the story in Ace Combat 7 is presented in a very interesting and detailed way. During missions, the pilots’ radio does not stop and over time you begin to become more imbued with the world of the game and its heroes. It is important to note that the presence of a plot in such a game genre as a flight simulator is a very unusual step and the presence of this aspect is very suitable for the game. Even if you do not consider the plot itself as a whole, the presentation in the game is very interesting. In addition, the developers touch on very important topics, including war and its interpretation, the personal tragedies of some heroes, and even a breakthrough in technology that may soon replace fighter pilots. In general, the game has something to think about and something to reflect on.

The fact that the developers of the game are Japanese is felt almost immediately. Hideo Kojima’s “handwriting” is very well felt in the game. Here in front of you are various models of unusual fighters with drones from the near future, large protective fields, and the plot constantly rests on eternal values ​​in the form of self-sacrifice for the common good, helping your comrades and heroism. And of course, there will be long videos between the next tasks, but what about in an epic game from the Japanese without this little detail.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown review

Get hold of your fighter

Quests in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown have a connection with each other and form a single plot in the game. Before the start of the mission, you will always have a detailed briefing and the opportunity to choose exactly the plane that suits you best. A lot of tasks in the game, oddly enough, are reduced to simple things – to destroy certain enemy forces in the form of other fighters or ground vehicles. Most of the missions here are built on the transition from something simple to more complex. At first, you get a fairly ordinary assignment, which can then grow into a complex assignment. For example, ordinary reconnaissance eventually turns into a dynamic battle with many fighters and an abundance of various drones.

But at the same time, you should not perceive the game as a serious flight simulator, where you need to complete several aircraft control courses in order to succeed: the gameplay of Skies Unknown is very simple and straightforward. This game is an arcade game with fighters, where all you need to be able to do is navigate well in the sky during the battle and dodge enemy missiles in time, while not forgetting to release your own. The difficulty level of aircraft control here is no higher than in the same Battlefield 5.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown review

Easy or hard

The game has a lot of space for colorful special effects, vivid battles and long cutscenes. At the same time, the controls in the game are simple and will not be clear even to a beginner who has never played games of the Ace Combat series. The mass player will be pleasantly plunged into the atmosphere of the 7th part and master the simple control of a complex fighter. But for some, this alignment may seem too easy.

Of course, the game is not so simple, and over time you will master new subtleties of controlling your fighter. You will learn steep dives to shorten enemy missiles, master the use of traps, and various types of weapons such as cluster missiles. There will also be drones in the game – small and very maneuverable opponents to fight with which is not so easy.

The game also found a place for upgrading your fighter, which includes a large list of various technologies and improvements. You can use and earn certain improvements in any order, but it is important to understand that certain technologies are better suited for certain tasks. By the way, pumping and unlocking certain improvements directly depends on how you show yourself in air battles.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown also has two different network modes. In the first, you have a three-on-three team battle, and the second is pathetically called Battle Royale, although it does not quite fit the criteria of this genre, if only because it does not have a constantly decreasing playable area. To be honest, this is a normal Deathmatch with 8 players fighting for themselves. And from the “royal battle” there is only an attractive name.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown review

Weather

The presence of weather in the game, as one of the important game mechanics, is a very good innovation, which is used by many modern games. For example, in the same Just Cause 4, there were very bright storms and tornadoes, which took an important place both in the gameplay and in the plot of the game. So the Japanese also decided to make the weather one of the important features of the gameplay in their Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.

The parallel with Just Cause 4 is not at all simple here. If in the 3-person action game the tornadoes and storms, although they looked bright, did not particularly affect the gameplay in any way, then in the Japanese arcade flight simulator this topic was revealed in more detail and successfully implemented. Whatever task you decide to carry out in Ace Combat 7, you always need to take into account the climatic conditions, since they directly affect the visibility and recognition of your targets.

Needless to say, this aspect is very significant in any aerial combat in the game. After all, clouds can easily prevent you from aiming your rocket at the enemy, who, in turn, can successfully hide in the cloudy zone. With this, you can also maneuver and use the clouds as a safe place for cover and an opportunity to outplay your opponent.

There are also other aspects related to weather conditions in the game. For example, in a turbulence zone, a fighter is more difficult to control, and in the event of icing, control may completely fail, and the plane will begin to fall.

At the same time, the weather in the game looks bright and beautiful, which, by the way, can be said in general about the graphics and any effects. The game engine Unreal Engine 4 works wonderfully well and performs well.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown review

Finally

If you are not a big fan of games from the Land of the Rising Sun, then Ace Combat 7 will seem very strange and even ridiculous in some places. After all, why make such a well-thought-out plot in a game about air battles? Nevertheless, the game immediately shows that the Japanese team Project Aces knows very well what they are doing. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to find fault with the game in something, it is really cool and everything in it works harmoniously and thoughtfully.

In the presence of a good plot, pathos and scale, the game did not forget about the main thing – convenient controls and good exciting battles in the sky. Add to that some good sound and graphics with great special effects, and you have a decent arcade simulator, which is not a shame to spend a couple of hours over many weeks, and maybe even months.

LID2PRO reviewer verdict

Playability

Exciting battles and missions with a touch of pathos and timeless values, albeit not very diverse.

It is pleasant to look at everything in the game: from the clouds to the airplane body, if you value the visual component in the game, then AC7 will definitely not disappoint you.

Great sound and great soundtrack, adding epic and pathos to what is happening. The game not only looks good, but also sounds good.

The game’s multiplayer isn’t nearly as good as the single player mode. The presence of only two network modes, one of which for some reason is called “royal battle”, although it has nothing to do with it does not make it possible to evaluate the game according to this criterion as high as possible. However, even these modes are interesting to play and you can easily spend many hours in them after going through a single company.

Single player campaign

To add a good plot to a game with such a genre, where there will be a place for the stories of the main characters and the setting with the reorganization of the world in the near future – only the Japanese can do that. Probably the best flight simulation storyline in this game.

The game does not pretend to be the laurels of a well-thought-out flight simulator, which is good. A mass player who just wants to relax and not get a pilot certificate – this is exactly what you need. Controlling the game is easy and simple, even though various details appear as you progress.

A good arcade flight simulator with a well-thought-out plot, as well as great graphics and sound. If you want to experience an exciting aerial combat and get imbued with an interesting plot, then Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is perfect for you.

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