The last part of the Ace Combat saga is the last: exclusive air battles, a very complete campaign and lots of gameplay.
When we met Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown in San Francisco, I admit that there was some skepticism: Attack HorizonThe last delivery of a big game was loaded with problems on all fronts, from graphics to uncomfortable mode "Dogfight"who tried to make a more cinematic game that did not need her.
However, the surprise in this case was enjoyable, with a game that looked pretty full and had the luxury to be over three years in development and not to show too much. The contact point was more than enough to know that when it came to the market it would not be disappointing.
In fact, many of our initial impressions were confirmed in the final edition; without leaving aside that we moved from PS4 Pro to the PS4 Slim demo in our tests, so there are some differences.
Make a barrel!
Do you remember how dark and almost amateur the Assault Horizon was? Well, Project Aces put on the shirt and turned the plane in the opposite direction. Unknown skies It is beautiful, from a varied color palette, through the details of the airplanes and painting at a distance, and even in the details of the buildings and the vegetation. Completion is noticeable thanks to the generous development time and the numerous team behind the delivery.
In terms of gameplay, the approach is entirely simulation, controls that lead the game to the roots we all remember, such as Ace Combat 5, which set the priorities of mechanics and their complexity before the "cinematic" experience.
This does not mean that it becomes less fun because it is a simulator, in fact the opposite: it has never been so simple to drive a fighter, reduced to the smallest expression. Maneuvering in the air, dodging missiles at zero-G and your position to put your enemies in the shooting range feels extremely natural in a few minutes.
Mechanics adds thanks to the new generation of consoles This is the use of clouds. Now you can enter and use them to lose your opponents, but you risk freezing the plane and losing your power and inevitably collapsing.
We'll know about such incidents. Both freeze and air battles look much better in terms of cockpit.
In regard to performance, we get a surprise: although it reduces the resolution if you play it on a normal PS4 or Xbox One, the difference between frames per second between versions is minimal. Even in the PS4 Slim, cards full of enemies and action everywhere, there were no notorious losses arriving as stops below 50 fps.
The prison was never amused
surprisingly, One of the lowest points of Ace Combat 7 is his campaign: 20 very complete missions, with about 8-10 hours of general gameplay that seemed short for the time invested. In other words, when history becomes interesting and missions get the renown that they deserve, the game ends.
The conflict is seen by four unique perspectives. The first one is triggeror the Ace of this game, another hero without a face or too many stories involved in the conflict of two powerful nations fighting for space elevator supremacy, the project of reaching new horizons and MacGuffin from Unknown skies.
In this context of war, the Triger is surrendered and imprisoned, where the supervisor discovers his talents on an airplane and uses it to perform apparently suicidal missions. From this uncertainty ace began to gain glory and regained its status at the time when the Federation of the Osean he starts to turn his hand Erusea, his partner in the war.
The other characters that complement the narrative are quite indirect and tell their version through kinematics: Scrap Quinn, which is in the same prison as Triger only for flying an airplane in a limited space; on Princess of Jerusalem, who falls in disgrace while his kingdom is torn and the scientist behind the biggest antagonist of the game: Unmanned warships or UAVs.
An important part of the premise of Ace Combat 7 – to try not to fall into the territory of spoilers"This is the arrival of artificial intelligence ships in the world and its influence on war, both for its apparent superiority over people and for its origin. This conflict deserves to have a much more important place, and the power she was seeking was broken very anti-climatic end.
It is worth mentioning that, while the game may look like, Missions are extremely difficult if you do not know what you are doing. In principle, the curve that the game expects you to do: the first four missions are trying to get to know you with as many mechanics as possible, and the rest are responsible for destroying your tolerance to dissatisfaction with missions of stealth, dots and ships. impossible to destroy.
In the same way, you can make advances in the plane tree, which probably is the most sophisticated franchise ever, with ships known to us all – F-16 and MIG are basically the premise of Top Gun– and some pretty impressive additions, such as new models of modern warships and experimental planes that completely change your experience, especially in the last part of the game.
The truth is that until then you avoid missiles with blindfolds, which is the best preparation for the real challenge: multiplayer.
Let's make something clear from the first moment: on netplay The unknown sky is wonderful. In all my games, with players from all over the world, I did not feel any crashes either delay tangible, which immediately gives positive points.
However, performance in multiplayer has its drawbacks: in Japan Ace Combat is a consolidated franchise and has an excellent ping with Japanese players – and entering into games with them – is confusing, from their ability in the air to very clever theft from the top of the games.
From this moment you are a good player, the race begins to reach the border. While there are a huge amount of combinations of weapons and planes, you will find that in each order there are planes that perform better in certain situations, and you are increasingly refining and adapting your style of play. Finally, hours and hours have passed, you are already overwhelmed by so many pirouettes and the missile alarm sounds even in your nightmares.
There are two modes of battle: Team Death – two against two or four against four – and Battle Royalewhere hunted up to eight planes in more than ten cards. The Battle Royale option can limit the use of special weapons and level up the ground with the help of only missiles and vending machines, but given the skill of the average player, you have to be very careful.
In any case, it is an excellent alternative to homogeneous multiplayer for free which today invade our consoles.
A part that looks important in the PS4 version is PSVR compatibility, and although it is only a complement to the game – three missions that are not within the campaign – it should be noted that for some of us this was the first approach to Ace Wrestling 7 a few years ago and the most spectacular.
There is a reason why many non-known players in the sky need broad-screen support: the immersion factor is vital in an air simulation game. In the case of the PSVR, immersion is complete, with an obvious low resolution that compensates for a spectacular view with the helmet, and missions that take advantage of the way they can get all the juice.
In fact, I would venture to risk Unknown VR is one of the most fun experiences the not so successful Sony add-on that seems to survive on the basis of these little inventions in other games instead of having a solid catalog.
Let's catch the plane
In conclusion, Ace Combat 7: Unknown skies it is a very strong alternative to let it pass. If you are one of those who love simulation games – and cars have already tired you last year – you can bend the hidden jewel of this 2019 yearwho returned to glory and majesty in the place of honor he deserves.
Even if you are thinking about your mistakes – which, as you have already seen, you have – your addition to the library is justified, not only to play your campaign, but also give the multiplayer a lot of time, which, given the fans of the game, and competitive. enough time more.
A copy of the revision, facilitated by Bandai-Namco. PS Plus subscription for PlayStation-enabled multiplayer and PSVR system.