Missiles Away!

A review of Bandai’s newest Ace Combat installment

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the seventh installment from Lighthouse Series

The lock on tone of the missiles, the roar of the jet engines, the high intensity dogfights and the absurd plot points no one really understands. Welcome to Ace Combat.

The Triton Voice has decided to review the most recent installment in the Ace Combat video game series, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, highlighting its successes and downfalls. Additionally, we explained factors that may determine if someone is to buy the game while avoiding spoiling the game’s storyline.

Ace Combat 7 is the most recent installment in the Strangereal series of the Ace Combat franchise developed by Project Aces and published by Bandai Namco. The plot of this seventh installment in the series focuses on the Lighthouse War in the fictional world of Strangereal between the nations of Osea and Erusia. The story follows a silent protagonist, an Osean pilot known by his callsign Trigger, as he fights in battles throughout the Lighthouse War. The story also has prominent supporting characters two being Trigger’s wingman, Count, who accompanies him throughout most of the games story, and Avril Mead who is the narrates many of the games cutscenes.

Ace Combat 7 started development in 2015, and was intended to be released in 2017, but because of slow progress, the game was instead released in 2019, January 18th on consoles and February 1st on PC. The game has been released on the three most prominent platforms, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. The Playstation release is the only version that initially launched with VR support and all versions supporting the use of flight sticks for a more realistic experience.

Ace Combat 7 is a worthwhile addition to the franchise, with exceptional gameplay that is typical to the Ace Combat franchise. However, it isn’t without its flaws, the largest hurdle players will face being the controls for those new to the ace combat franchise. The default controls are good for acclimating to the game by simplifying the controls to allow for easier control of the aircraft, but they restrict the player greatly and at certain points making the game harder due to the control schemes limited capabilities. The game however is designed with the advanced control scheme in mind with the greater amount of control given to players with this control scheme giving players access to combat maneuvers that are normally not possible with the basic control scheme. The campaign difficulty settings are also a strong point for the game with the ability to both play the game either casually for the story or as a serious challenge with more skilled opponents and higher point objectives.

In terms of graphics quality, Ace Combat 7, while strong overall, is lacking in certain aspects. The quality of gameplay, aircraft and environments is exceptional. These are well designed and make the most of the power provided by the various platforms the game has been released on. Meanwhile the games almost entirely pre-rendered cutscenes are lacking in comparison with those of the games direct predecessor, Ace Combat 6: Liberation of Gracemeria, with bland settings that always fail to support the fast-paced action that the gameplay establishes compared to the intermittent slowdowns in prior installments.

However, the story of Ace Combat 7 has the usual absurd quality that is commonplace for games of the series with ridiculous superweapons and convoluted plot points. The characters in Ace Combat 7 are what really holds the game back in this regard with many characters lacking the usual distinct and interesting personalities of characters. The climax of the game is also slightly lacking when compared to previous titles in the series, which usually involve a battle on an epic scale with equally epic implications, or a betrayal by one of the prominent characters in the story.

As a whole Ace Combat 7 despite its flaws has been an enjoyable experience that was well worth the wait. With graphics that push the limits of of what is possible on the platforms to the enjoyable story typical to the series. It is well worth the $60 price tag for the base game or, for those willing to preorder the two upcoming dlc expansions, $85 for the deluxe edition.


The game has been rated out of 5 stars in the categories of graphics quality, gameplay, characters and story.