Review of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown for the Xbox One
By: Jeff R. Young

Welcome fellow gamers to yet another monthly review. Now, before I get into this month's game, I have to be honest and say that my allotted gaming time has recently dwindled. That's not to say I do not have a good amount of games to fall back on, but my ability to test out new releases is going to be difficult for a time.

Some of you might remember that I am not a huge fan of racing simulations. A couple of titles have caught my attention, but even then, they were nothing so outstanding that I was provoked into loving the genre. Instead, I have a more profound love for strategy/simulation games that require either strategic realism or contain a rich storyline. One game, or shall I say, series of games, is Bandai Namco Entertainment's series, Ace Combat, a flight combat simulator.

One thing about this series that I could be condemned for not admitting is that with each title that has come out over the years, the gameplay, graphics, and controls have consistently been upgraded and improved. So, when I say that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the best of the best in the series, you'll know I'm not just jerking around.

Ace Combat 7 brings to the screen not just intense graphics, fighting, and super cool fighter craft but also takes you along for a ride with a rich storyline based in a fictional world. But let's be honest, the one thing I don't like to do is get in-depth with the story because I personally feel like that ruins part of the fun. However, I will let go of a little bit and say that the primary character/pilot (you) becomes something of an outlaw who works to redeem himself.

Let's jump into the fun part. Of course, the backbone of the game is the flight combat simulation, and the creators of the title did not hold back. There is an amazing amount of unlockable aircraft and weaponry that you obtain throughout the campaign. I'm not talking just better missiles or guns, I mean, you can earn credits (money) to purchase upgrades to the fighters as well. Some items help deflect target lock-on, or aid it, while others help deter the icing of the cockpit window if you fly too high into the clouds. I won't say "everything" is upgradable, but what is makes the game more than worth it.

Graphically speaking, the game (which I played solely on the Xbox 1) was very smooth. I am told that playing on the PC is an even better experience, one I'll have to try someday. The frame rate for the Xbox is commendable, so much so that I got myself a little air sick as I flew loops and hard G turns. If I can call it that, the only complaint is that the controls take a little bit to get used to. Anyone who knows anything about piloting an aircraft knows plenty of technical factors one must master to fly a plane properly. But, once the controls are mastered, you'll find yourself engrossed in intense dog fights against a proper AI.

Of course, I have to admit that one of my favorite features of the game is that you can go back and watch the replay at the end of any mission. It's incredible to see yourself fly through challenging maneuvers, which is made even better as you get control of the camera to watch from different perspectives or angles.

I know this review is a bit shorter than most, but that is because I'd instead encourage you to get the game and see for yourself. After all, I believe my words could not do the true game justice. As you can see, I am very fond of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, and I stand by my thoughts that this game deserves 4 and a half stars. I have yet to find a flight simulator with aircraft that actually exist in the military.

So, there it is, short and sweet, and I'll end it with a dare; get yourself a copy of the game and test it out; you won't be disappointed. And of course, as always, you can find me on Xbox 1 and the PS4 under wickedwisdom66, and you can always email me with thoughts or suggestions at Happy gaming, my friends!

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