Ace Combat 7 is shaping up to be exactly the game I want it to be. I suppose the addition of optional VR support is nice, and the actual headlining news of this article, but I’m more excited about the series returning to form. This trailer from PlayStation Experience shows that’s just what’s happening.
Right off the bat, we hear about the Kingdom of Erusia starting a war, and my heart skips a beat. For those who don’t know, the first six Ace Combat games take place in a science fiction world called Strangereal. This alternate reality planet resembles Earth, but it’s also made up of fictional continents and countries. Strangereal was abandoned for a real-world setting in the previous generation’s Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, and it hasn’t been heard from since.
Basically, Ace Combat needed to catch up with Call of Duty’s sales figures, and gritty realism was Bandai Namco’s attempt to keep the series relevant.
However, gritty realism is a thing of the past, and the past is now the present thanks to the emergence of reboots. So many series have gone “back to their roots” over the last few years, and Ace Combat 7 is now about to do the game thing. With it, we get a slick aerial combat game that focuses on anti-war storytelling just as much as it does combat, and it does so with a much grander sense of purpose than a simple war game. Can’t wait!
Ace Combat 04 and Ace Combat 5 getting any love?
The series hit the peak of its popularity on the PlayStation 2 with Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. DualShockers approached Producer Kazutoki Kono about the chance of ever seeing a remake of those two, and his response is one that suggests it’s unlikely.
In terms of remakes, I’m very thankful that there are a lot of fans and voices saying “hey, we want to experience the story again.” Should the chance present itself, I would certainly like to examine it, but there are a lot of tricky issues that we took on with the past wars, thematically, so it would be a very tricky thing to navigate.
But if the chance presents itself, then I would like to explore it, absolutely.
So, yeah, the Ace Combat games tell great stories, but they are meant for a certain time and place. However, those that know me know I don’t subscribe to the silly idea of graphics needing to be updated for a game to be enjoyable to a modern audience. I remember both games being brilliant in spite of their limitations, and I bet you they would still hold up in their original forms.
Even if remakes aren’t possible, why not give the digital PlayStation 2 Classics line-up a try? Neither game has ever been released digitally through the PlayStation Store, and they are simply too excellent. This unfortunate situation should be fixed as quickly as possible.
How about using them as a lead up into Ace Combat 7, which will be released for the PlayStation 4 in 2017?