A review from an Ace combat newcomer
Alright, unlike many persons that made a review I never had the occasion to play much of the ace combat serie. I did however play some arcade space sims like freespace 1 and 2 (well and i played top gun on gamecube but does that count ?).
So here are my thought on the game.
While overall I'd say the game looks fairly nice, it has some really awful texture on several occasions, which is made worst by the fact the game showcase them a lot through dogfight mod slowdowns.
Indeed, while the camera centers on the plane being blown up, very ugly texture appears, another major offender being the aircraft carrier, which shows textures inferior to ps1 stuff.
In the 1st mission, the houses of florida look quite ugly aswell. The ground units are poorly modelised aswell, these t80 and tunguska really look terrible after seing those in European escalation.
Note that this wouldn't be such a problem if the game didn't force you to look at them.
I'd say the core jet gameplay is faily solid, but control configuration isn't ideal. The big problem isn't that dogfight mode exist, the problem is that it's obligatory against leaders, and tend to be much faster. I can't even say if it requires that much skill, most of it seems to be automated.
What's worst is the scripted invincibility of targets until a certain moment.
THIS IS A GAME NOT A MOVIE. STOP USING SO MUCH SCRIPT AND LIMITING PLAYER AGENDA AND OPTIONS.
Otherwise you have fairly good missions, i'm especially a fan of the siege one with rafale.
REMOVE REGENERATING HEALTH, it's an abysmal lazy system that breaks tension and immersion aswell.
and oh my god, why oh why did you include these rail shooter moments and why are they so goddam long ? You didn't even make sure they were done properly. In the AC 130 you can use the main gun on the ruins despite the orders of spooky. C130 and blackhawk add very little and last too long. They also hilariously break immersion and coherence, when rebels materialize out of tin air and run in the open screaming "shoot me heroic american!"
Remove those, or make them optionnal and shorter.
I'm not necessarily entirely against the idea of heli missions, but god they're mediocre. The Apache main gun is way too weak. Seeing autocanon ( it's not a mg, it's an autocanon namco !) bounce off pick ups is infuriating. firing at hinds for 5 min before they die is infuriating. Being a told a single pick up is gonna wipe out Delta is infuriating, and stupid.
Watching the other apaches sit on their asses while hinds are on me is infuriating.
Unlimited X dodges is a lazy and stupid mechanic. Redesign these entirely or replace them with more jets missions.
MUSIC AND SOUND
Sound was fairly good, voice acting is quite decent in the french version, many great track, it ain't Jeremy soule level but it's quite great still. Except the credit song, gotta stay fly, what's awful rap doing there ?
Written by an american author of military best seller ? oh dear... are american so thrilled by "evil russian heroic american" manichean plots ?
It's an unoriginal cheesy plot, really. It made me cringe several times.
I'm not hating on the US, but all those plots where the US characters are flawless-parangons-of-virtue-last-hope-of-humanity with the bad guy being baby eating russians bent on destroying the US really feel like propaganda.
5 minutes in, someone is praising bishop for his awesomeness in .... Iraq ? WTF ? wasn't Iraq a massive roflstomp with little challenge for the US ? It's kind of like saying "nice job beating up that handicapped 9 year old boss". Is that US wanking really needed ? Does the US army need to compliment itself at every opportunity ?
What's this african rebellion about and against ?
Have Su fighters become dirt cheap all of sudden ? where are the nato allies they sometimes mention ? Why did Illich have to be such a ♥♥♥♥♥ (omg we're BFF and you saved my life so i'll help you in your insane revenge plot) ? Can Guts spend less time bragging and more time killing ?
Ok, so the bad guy is batshit crazy because a US bombing killed his wife (why he didn't evacuate her before we don't know) , why not, but why are so many pilots bent on dying for him even after he lost in russia ? How did he sneak into the general's office in moscow tehn escape without being caught. Why didn't he grab an actual nuke while he was in power in russia instead of using his trinity firecracker ? He then wouldn't have needed to hit the white house/pentagon straight.
Illich trying to stop his ex-BFF would have made the plot much better than this.
kudos for Bishop being a quite professionnal guy that i don't have anything against though.
while the game is basicly fun to play when aircraft are involved, it does its best to sabotage hitself with poor obligatory railshooter segment, obligatory Dogfight mode, and cheezy uninspired writing. It also features the awful regenerating health system
I guess 30€ is a faily decent price, though i would only recommend it at even lower price.
rating range (if you believe in rates) : 4 to 6.5 out of ten