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Namco have been running the Ace combat series now for 16 years - I know this because I have played every single one of them, all 8 games and I loved all of them. I played the first one actually called Air Combat on the PS1 when I was 15 !
This latest instalment is a marked improvement, if you look back at my previous reviews of these games you will see that I mention dodgy voice acting, hammy dialogue and Japanese storyline feel to the games, as surprise. Namco are Japanese. For a while this was fine, you had ficticious countries fighting each other -so as to not offend any nation. But these nation were loosely based on NATO countries as the good guys and a sort of ex soviet state as the bad guys.
Now Namco have vastly redesigned the game from the keel up...the storyline now involves Team America saving the world yet again, against a Russian aggressor ! Yes they are practically soviet as they backstab and lie their way through the game, 'damn ruskies' is a line uttered more than once ! Funny
Theatres of war move from central African republics, to the middle east, to Moscow and lastly to good ol` American soil as Washington is put in danger....the plot line is predictably dramatic, over done and very much in the vein of Call of Duty Modern Warfare - last minute missions, with timers counting you down to nuclear holocaust sort of thing.
The main character is an blue eyed American colonel , with the handle, 'Warwolf', other than that you have the smart talking black side kick captain 'guts' and the impossibly young and good looking blonde chick bomber pilot - who couldn't possibly handle a fighter jet - she`s a woman but they have a role to play I suppose ! The main protagonist is a Russian ace called Markov, handle 'Akula' or shark in Russian, he is pretty bad ass and actually challenges your flying ability- some great dogfights are had with him.
You get to fly all the different aircraft F-22 raptor, the Eurofighter, Su-37 Terminator, PAK-FA etc all the cool ones are there, but you have to earn them first flying crappier aircraft as has always been the case ! And now you can pilot the Apache helicopter too...a great addition.
he one problem is the gameplay, whilst the camera angles are crazy good and the moves are improved, you can do the cobra flip now and Hammerman turn allot faster, the camera angle for firing special weapons moves the camera to the hard-point on the aircraft, which means you cant see bugger all on the screen other than what your aiming at...it makes you very vulnerable. From what I gather, this has been the main problem for players of this game all over.