Today we gladly accepted “Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown” to our gaming library.
The Ace Combat (or AC) Franchise began “taking off” and conquering the PlayStation “skies” since 1995 (with some titles also available for Xbox and iPhone).
At the moment, Ace Combat 7 is the only game of this franchise that is available on Steam, with “Ace Combat: Assault Horizon” being withdrawn, Probably due to some license expiring.
Either way, this recent release AC7 gives us another chance to enjoy the fantastic and captivating gameplay that always comes with titles from the AC franchise.
And cross your heart, are we all not really missing a great fighter jet simulator?
I for sure do!
Not Ready for TakeOff
Sadly though, this title isn’t all “clear skies and ready for takeoff”.
Just a few seconds after launching the game, we were running into some troubles that categorize a video game in the “another of those PC ports problems” group.
In this case Mouse support is missing in the main menus (yeah, that still happens in 2019).
Problems with HOSTAs
Also, we run into lack of remappable control options and only a few HOSTAs (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) Joysticks work.
It seems the only type of these exceptional Joysticks that are compatible seem to be some “hybrids” – those HOSTAs that are compatible with console and PC.
Game looks great – 60 FPS option
Having dealt with those “flight delays”, everything else looks promising.
A lot of graphical setting options are there to even deliver you the famed and sweet 60+ fps performance.
Ace Combat 7 PC Release Date
At the time of this writing, the game has taken off just a few days ago.
Looking back, the official release date for Ace Combat Skies Unknown 7 PC was on January 31st 2019.
Announced all the way back in 2015 with planned release in 2017, some complications in the development of the game pushed the fight into 2019.
In an open letter to the fans of this great franchise, the director Kazutoki Kono made an attempt to explain these “complications”.
The then current game art and design standards were way below the development team’s vision. And so they went to work.
Also, the developers changed their focus from primarily building for PS4 to compatibility with Xbox One and PC as well.
Ace Combat 7 Trailer with the real Raffale Pilot Pierre-Henri “Até” Chuet
What is pretty cool is that an actual pilot – and obviously the role model and name giver for our hero in Ace Combat Skies Unknown – thinks the game play has become very realistic.
Watch this testimonial trailer – I think it is good to know that the game is so close to reality by now.
Cloud Surfing and Raindrops
“Real” feeling weather is probably one of the best improvements to the game. According to “Até” especially during combat clouds play a big role.
And not to forget: the thunderstorms in game are quite impressive!
Ace Combat 7 VR
Caveat: Not for PC! Negative! Sorry!
Due to Sony sending in some coding troops to help the development team with VR only the PS4 – Sony – Version of Ace Combat 7 comes with VR capacity.
Strange. Well, that’s the advantage of one company putting its resources behind one product (Sony didn’t do that with its laptops enough it would seem – I loved the Vaio notebooks).
I would say The PC gaming market is more than ripe for good VR Fighter Jet game.
There is hope: on the physical case of Ace Combat 7, there is some small print which states that the VR part of the game is only going to be exclusive to PS4 for one full year.
Put differently: We PC Gamers might be able to also experience the VR Capabilities around the end of January 2020[.
VR for Ace Combat 7 (PS4) review
At the moment though, the VR experience of the Ace Combat 7 PS4 edition is far from “complete”, anyways.
Yes, You’re able to experience how it feels to be flying inside a fighter jet cockpit, and you immerse in realistic “3D” sound as you move your head around.
But at least on PS4 VR at the moment is an add-on at best: Only the “Mobius 1” missions come with VR capabilities.
Or put differently … about 90+ % of the game does not come with any VR. So almost all game play is without VR capabilities, not to mention the multiplayer mode.
So we PC gamers don’t miss a lot at the moment – seems Sony did not troop in enough personnel.
But who knows, maybe when Sony’s looses its ius primae noctis on the VR feature in 2020, Ace Combat for PC will receive a decent VR update?
So there is hope, we PC Players may still be able to enjoy the entire campaign and multiplayer in VR…
At the moment though, the VR experience of the Ace Combat 7 PS4 version is far from “complete” and not anything I would miss.
Should you shoot for the Ace Combat 7 Collectors’ Edition?
Here is what you get from the Collectors’ Edition:
- Full version ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN
- The Ace Combat Season Pass: comes with three new and shiny aircraft, three additional missions and One music player mode (weird!)
- The Collectors among you will drool for the included Exclusive Arsenal Bird figurine (40 cm:500g)
- If you ever wondered how to get hold of an art book, here is your chance: 150 pages filled with everything a devout fan of this franchise would kill for
Wait? You are still here, not ordering on amazon?
Then it seems you are not (yet) a devout fan of this Game…
In this case that is good, because…it is no longer available.
And if you are already a huge fan and collector, and you were one of the few chosen ones, you probably have the Arsenal Bird figurine by now encased in a glass container for everyone to admire.
And take your son to bed by reading to him from the art book.
The $200 price tag probably didn’t mean much to you.
I am one of the unwashed. I love a great game more than nearly anything. But I would not invest 200 bucks to get a figurine.
But each to his own. I take off my Head to real fans.
Ace Combat 7 Gameplay
The excellent Gameplay of the Ace Combat Franchise is what kept it afloat through all these years.
Before “take off,” you have the option to choose what type of controls you want (Standard or Expert) to set the reality of the gameplay. The handling of your jet will feel totally different depending on your settings. Several gamers starting out on Standard redid the campaign, because after getting used to the expert level, the game is so much more fun even. you are now experiencing in my opinion the best games of this genre.
In campaigns, you find 20 different missions to play through, covering multiple objectives to complete, mostly destroying targets such as tactical buildings or enemy’s aircraft.
At first, everything may feel a little too easy, but the more you progress, the more difficulties surface that keep you busy to stay alive.
Next to the improvement of the enemy’s AI (Artificial Intelligence), the weather becomes more and a more decisive factor.
Ace Combat 7 on Steam
Surprisingly Ace Combat 7 isn’t that demanding on your gaming rig, some laptops and a decent computer should be able to deal with it without a running a sweat.
Perhaps not 4k – check specs to find out – but you probably will have a decent gaming experience with your slightly aged PC.
On Steam, at the moment (February 2019) there are two options to get hold of the game: The Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown Launch Edition and the Deluxe Edition (contains the Seasons Pass).
On Steam, you also find achievements, trading cards, and the popular community hub.
Ace Combat 7 Strangereal Edition vs. Aces of War vs. Deluxe Edition?
Besides the price tag, consider these facts when choosing your version of Ace Combat 7.
Ace Combat 7 Collectors’ Edition (Strangereal Edition): This version practically contains the whole “package.” Sadly, it is no longer available for purchase in the official retailers.
- Ace Combat 7 Aces of War: This bundle features the Launch Edition, an Exclusive Steelbook, and Aces of War Artbook. This version is only available for Ace Combat 7 Xbox One and PS4. Currently accessible in the Bandai/Namco website.
- Ace Combat 7 Deluxe Edition: It contains the base game plus the season’s pass. For us PC gamers, this is the best option available.
Ace Combat 7 Multiplayer
The multiplayer capabilities of Ace Combat won’t disappoint you.
As long as you are not hoping for finishing the single player campaign in “co-op multiplayer”. That sadly is not a feature.
The Ace Combat Multiplayer comes with two different modes:
- Team Deathmatch: The players become randomly assigned to teams (2 vs. 2 or 4 vs. 4), the team with the highest score wins.
- Battle Royale: Anything goes in this mode. You enter a lobby against a maximum of seven players and try to survive as long as you can.
Ace Combat 7 News
Hint: If you get stuck in any part of the game it is a good idea to ask for help in the Ace Combat 7 Reddit thread
After the release of the Ace Combat 7 PC version, the gaming community (modders) and the development team keep working on the game. Here are some improvements so far:
- “Modders fix pop-in and add ultra wide Monitor Support”: “pop-in” is traveling at full speed when suddenly a vast 70-stories building appears out of nowhere in front of you and you crash into it. To fix this annoyance modders were able to amplify the draw distance of the game; in other words, your game will load more gaming models than usual.
- Another Modder was able to find a fix for ultra wide monitors (21:9), taking full advantage of the high resolutions.
- “More Flight Stick Support” One of the most common complaints that currently haunts the Ace Combat 7 PC version is the lack of Hotas compatibility. The development team is now adding more options to fix this issue. From now on we can only hope that the developers continue expanding the compatible list in the future.