The latest issue of Weekly Famitsu included a spread on Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, and it’s been a long while since we heard about the game in an official capacity. Luckily, we’re done waiting.
First of all, we get the introduction of three new planes, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II for some healthy ground-pounding, and the Dassault Rafale M carrier-based fighter.
We get to see more about how nature can also pose a threat during gameplay. Your plane can be hit by lightning, and that will temporarily disturb your HUD and your fire control system.
We also see once more as water droplets can form on the canopy when flying into the clouds. If you continue doing that for a while, you’ll get icing, and that doesn’t just hinder visibility, but it also negatively affects your aerodynamic performance.
The sky isn’t just a threat, as it’s also beautiful. The game’s tech makes the shade of the light change dynamically depending on the relative position between the aircraft and the sun.
Advanced post-stall maneuvers are also possible, and the screenshots showcase a Kublit (a super-tight loop executed while in a stall condition, with no active lift). It’s also possible to execute double Kublits and in theory even triple ones.
We already know that the Arsenal Bird will make a comeback, and it has the ability to generate a strange circle of light around it. Producer Kazutoki Kono remains tight-lipped on what that is, and just encouraged fans to wait for further info. There are two Arsenal Bird this time. One is named “Liberty” and the other is named “Justice.” The first is a prototype, while the second is the latest model. We saw Liberty in the latest trailer.
We hear from Producer Kazutoki Kono that for the past eight months the team has been focusing on improving the quality of the game, and now it’s much better than it was. Tomorrow we’ll see a trailer that will convey the situation of development to the fans that have been waiting. Incidentally, it won’t just show real aircraft, but also fictional ones.
The game is set in 2019, on the outbreak of the Second Continental War. The hero is a pilot of the Osean Self-Defense Air Force. Due to an incident, he is put in a penal squadron based in a disciplinary facility. He is initially not treated as a hero, and he has to challenge missions with impossible odds. Players will be able to enjoy the sense of accomplishment as they overcome this challenge and experience becoming a hero gradually during the story.
You can check out the screenshots below, but keep in mind that they’re from magazins scans, so the quality is not perfect.
If you want to see more of the game, you can also watch the latest trailer showing the PlayStation VR feature, and enjoy a video of me playing a demo of the game, alongside more trailers and screenshots. If you want to see even better flying, you can also watch Producer Kazutoki Kono himself play another mission, read my own hands-on preview of the game, and our recent interview with Kono-san.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is set to release in 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. An actual release date should come soon.