Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Early Impressions)

With the game launching (!) I threw caution to the wind and picked up Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown for the Xbox One. With the series being more a PlayStation franchise (the exception being the sixth game for the Xbox 360) I really wasn’t familiar with it at all but was sold on it by both the stunning graphics seen in trailers and that my new HOTAS controller works nicely with it as well.

Blue skies and flying an F-16… good first impression for me!

Boiling it down as briefly as I can, the game gives players the chance to fly real combat aircraft in a fictional world that makes it totally OK for different generations of planes to face off against each other. I’m probably short changing it with such a description considering the franchise has quite a long history but as someone who as a kid collected military aviation magazines it’s like a dream come true seeing famous warplanes squaring off against each other.

The presentation is quite superb with the planes themselves rightfully being the stars. Fidelity of the models is really good and they animate according to your movements too but I think it’s the lighting that really sells the visuals as it’s near photorealistic at times. The game even has replays at the end of each mission that have camera work straight out of Top Gun. Makes for amazing screenshots!

The replay tool makes it incredibly easy to get images like this.

I’m only a couple of missions in which begins to unlock access to new planes and upgrades that can then be used in new missions or for replaying old ones. If that improves the game’s longevity I don’t know yet but there’s plenty of planes to work towards unlocking. I am enjoying it so far – it looks fantastic, plays well and is scratching my sim-lite itch quite nicely.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is out now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. A PC version is coming soon.

2 replies »

    • It’s not identified as being One X enhanced which is a shame. The game is apparently running at 1080p on consoles with an uncapped frame rate so brute force will play in the One X’s favour. If they ever release an HDR patch it could only make it look better and it’s already a very pretty game.


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