Most helpful critical review
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, but not great...
on March 16, 2009
As many other reviewers of this game, I'm a long-time fan of the AC titles and was also disappointed when they decided to drop Sony. Very few flight games have found their way onto the PS3 and I think that this game missed a golden opportunity to really shine. As I mentioned in the title, this game is good, but not great. It may have gotten a few extra bonus points for being the first modern jet game for the PS3, but you'll have to judge for yourself.
The Good - This game has an amazing selection of aircraft, including some pleasant surprises. The cockpits are all well done from what I've seen (I've used about 20 different aircraft thus far) and the aircraft themselves are also look pretty good. The missions are slightly more reality based than many in the AC series (real jets, ships, tanks, etc), and is, overall, a lot of fun. The game is easy to get into with a fairly low learning curve and is quite addicting. Also, GeoEye did an outstanding job of integrating real imagery, even though it isn't the highest resolution and really starts to pixelate at less than about a thousand feet.
The Bad - For starters, this game is S-H-O-R-T! With a grand total of 19 missions, none of them lasting more than about 15 minutes, you can easily beat this game 2 or 3 times on a Saturday afternoon. The experience points process is an interesting approach, which does help with replayability, but I would rather have seen the accumulation of money instead since you are, essentially, a mercenary. I enjoy unlocking planes and being able to purchase what you want. As good as the graphics are, they are lacking in a few areas as well. The aircraft are pretty good, but I don't think they took advantage of what the PS3 is capable of. The jets in Ace Combat 6 on the Xbox definitely look better, which is sad considering the game is almost a year and a half old. One thing that especially bugged me was the afterburner flames - they are essentially orange ellipses. I think a few old PS2 games, including Aero Elite, did a better job of rendering them. Not just that, but some jets, most notably the A-10 (I haven't used any of the other sub-sonic aircraft) don't even have afterburners, so I found it a little ridiculous. Also, they got at least one name wrong - the "Mig-25", is actually a Mig-31. I know this is nit-picky, but come on! There is also no real sense of speed, which is particularly evident with low-level flying. The ability to land aircraft would also have been a nice option, but oh well.
In conclusion, when I first started playing this game, I might have even given it five stars. After 4-5 hours of gameplay it would've dropped to 4. Now that I've beaten the game and started reflying missions just to accumulate XP, it's dropped to a 3. I still own Aero Elite and Ace Combat Zero for PS2 and in 6 months will almost certainly prefer playing them to this game. Ubisoft gets a B for effort and a C for delivery. Maybe next time...