Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
Title: Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
Genre: Flight Combat Simulator
Platform: Xbox 360
Last week, I blogged about how frustrated I was with the unreliable nature of video game release dates. It was directly tied into my experience trying to get my hands on what was one of my most highly anticipated games for the year, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation. I finally picked it up on Wednesday afternoon, and I have got to say: it was more than worth the wait.
The year is 2015, and you are a pilot for the nation of Emmeria (which lies in Anean continent, north of Yuktobania... fictional places to be sure...) At the beginning of the game, your capital city is attacked by the air forces of neighboring Estovakia (which we learn through back-story has been devestated by years of Civil War and internal political strife.) The invasion is so successful, most of the able-bodied citizens of your nation flee south as refugees. You spend the rest of the game fighting battles in order to expel the invaders and reclaim your homeland.
Your wingman, code-name "Talisman"(although I like to think of him as "Goose"), is with you every step of the way (unless he takes critical damage), as are other allied support. These include AWACS, ESM, and ground units. You'll need all the help you can get as you are sent to destroy SAM launchers, Howitzer cannons, tanks, jets, ships, and just about any other military equipment modern armies are using.
Along the way, as you blow more stuff up, you'll accumulate points which you can use to purchase new ships, and new special weapons for your ships. Trust me, there are few things in this world that are as gratifying as flying an A-10 Warthog over the ocean, and strafing a dozen or more tanks four at a time with guided bombs. For real. And then there are the Superweapons... oh man... I'm not a big fan of spoilers, so let me just say: Flying Fortress & Chandelier FTW!
The only real complaint I could find with this game is with the story line. I mean, it doesn't really matter what gets me from battle to battle, but this story line is just ridiculous. With a script that is very clearly (and poorly) translated from Japanese, the story is just crap. The dialogue you hear coming from the enemy aircraft... just terrible.
Even if it were just a one-player game, AC6 would be one of the most amazing titles I have played this year. But I haven't even touched on the multi-player. Without a doubt, the Xbox Live modes of this game will become my new life. It doesn't matter if you're looking for co-op mission-based combat, or just straight up dog-fighting, AC6 multi-player is the most fun I've had since GRAW. Never before has it felt so natural to wear and use the headset to play a game.
A photorealistic battle simulator that has sorties on land, at sea and at 10,000+ feet, with almost infinite replay value, AC6 is a blast from start to finish. Fans of shooters, flight sims, or online games will find this to be one of the most solid investments of the holiday.
And just because it wouldn't have been a review of a air combat simulator without it, I present the Iceman: