Bandai Namco and Project Aces are finally returning to their seminal aerial combat series Ace Combat next year with the highly anticipated release of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown on Jan. 18.

More than just a flight game, Ace Combat has long been beloved by fans for its storytelling and unique setting “Strangereal,” an alternate timeline of our own world with its own geography and history. Let’s not forget its superior engineering capabilities that allow opposing armies to create planes the size of football fields!

When Bandai Namco abandoned “Strangereal” for a more realistic and gritty game set in our own world in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, a game widely believed to be an appeal to the Call of Duty crowd, fans reacted in protest.

The series return is not just a grand leap back to the market but also a return to form, with veteran writer Sunao Kutabuchi penning the storyline. Kutabuchi is currently all set to write an anti-war story, fresh off of his award-winning anime film In This Corner of the World.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown details the events of the Second Usean Continental War, following the First Usean Continental War that took place in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. Where Ace Combat excels in telling stories in not in the grand scale of the war itself, but the personal struggles of the soldiers and civilians within the war.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is set to return to the Usean continent from Ace Combat 3 and Ace Combat 4, the story of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown revolves around the second Usean Continental War, following an attack by an army of unmanned jets.

Players will find themselves part of the Penitentiary Unit, a military force formed entirely of criminals, and therefore disposable, who have been tasked with defending the skies against this new and terrifying threat.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will feature new weapons and flight controls, allowing for a wider range of tactics, new futuristic superweapons and planes like the sturdy A-10C Thunderbolt II, as well as multipurpose fighter F-35C and high-performance aircraft Rafale M.

Bandai Namco also released 92 screenshots, which should be enough to prove that all other game pale in comparison. This game is GORGEOUS!

The world of Strangereal is never at peace, and returning to bring peace once again is a thrill fans didn’t think they would ever be able to relive ever again. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will launch for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Jan. 17. The PC version will follow shortly afterwards on Feb. 1.