Danger zone: Ace Combat 7 jetting to PC too

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown [official site] will indeed come to PC too, Bandai Namco confirmed today. Since announcing it in 2015, they’d only mentioned a PlayStation 4 release, so huzzah! This will be the second game in the arcade-y fly ’em up series’ 25-year run to hit PC, following the disappointing Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, and it sounds like it may be more of a return to form. It’s returning to the alternate Earth of the ‘Strangereal’ universe, for starters. This here story trailer brings to mind the earnest oddity and technononsense of Metal Gear Solid, which I’m up for:

There’s even a grizzled Old Snake-y chap!

Ace Combat, as I understand it, is a fly-o-shooter that I’d only call a “flight simulator” if I were talking to someone who’d cross their arms and call me on my nonsense if I tried to pass ‘fly-o-shooter’ as a legit genre. Pip. If I were talking to Pip. Look, it’s not the sort of flight sim that’ll get Tim Stone purring about simulated oil mixtures, okay?

My own experience with Ace Combat is only playing a bit of Assault Horizon at a show, some helicopter missions I found pretty boring. I understand many fans consider that one a bit of a duffer for the series, mind.

Ace Combat 7 is made by Bandai Namco’s Project Aces team. They’ve hauled the writer of Ace Combat 4 and 5, Sunao Katabuchi, back in for this one.

Look for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown on Steam later this year. Though the PlayStation version will support its cybergoggles, Bandai Namco haven’t said anything about PC VR yet.


  1. a very affectionate parrot says:

    Excellent news, Ace Combat is one of my favorite series and it’s great to finally have a proper one on PC, even the PS2 games are notoriously difficult to emulate.

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      I have ACE COMBAT ASSAULT HORIZON shouting at me in my Steam library, as it’s name is all in caps.

    • Avro Arrow says:

      There’s a reason that the PS/2 games were so difficult to emulate. The reason is that it used a custom RISC CPU called “The Emotion Engine” (Corny name, I know).

      On the other hand, the PS/4 and Xbox One both use the AMD Jaguar APU which is x86-based. This means that they could essentially leave the source code alone for the most part, needing only to change the interface source code to allow for the different operating systems.

  2. Razgovory says:

    These Japanese games always have a strange English accent. It’s some kind of weird, bubbly midwestern/general American accent. It throws me off.

    • Avro Arrow says:

      There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, the accent used (called midwestern, northwestern, northern…whatever) is actually Canadian Standard. It’s the dialect of English that even the English say is without accent because words are pronounced exactly as spelled (95% of the time). As a result, it us understandable for ALL people who speak English or are in the process of learning it. Could you imagine a player in Jamaica trying to understand the game if they used the accent of the Highland Scot? That would be brutal! LOL

      As for the second reason, I think that Namco knows that its biggest customer base is in the USA and they’re doing a bit of pandering. Why else would they rank the Strike Eagle and Viper Zero over a clearly superior fighter aircraft like the Gripen? Why else would the heroes always fly American planes while the villains always fly Russian ones? It’s because if it were the other way around, US sales would plummet.

      I don’t blame them for this, I would do the same thing. They’re in business to make money and your biggest customer base is the one you cater to the most. Other than the Gripen being ranked so low, I don’t mind it much, especially since the Saab JAS-39E Super Gripen will be in Ace Combat 7 which should be one of the deadliest planes in the game if the game goes by real-life aircraft as it always has in the past.

      Being Canadian, I wish that they’d put an Avro CF-105 Arrow (my name of course) into the game but I’m sure that Canada is too small for that no matter how beautiful the Arrow was.

      I do have hope though, because ANY game made for the PC can be tinkered with and I guarantee that the Avro Arrow will most likely be one of the first plane add-ons that the mods come up with. I’m so looking forward to that! 8-D

  3. zarthrag says:

    My issue w/assault horizon was that I wanted to play it like a “proper” flight-sim. But you’re forced into 3rd person view, unable to stay in 1st/cockpit view. DFM…just murdered the game for me at the outset.

    Also, waiting to find out if the VR bits are PS4-only.

    • Avus says:

      People who want “proper flight sim” or know anything about combat flight sim will NEVER look into Ace Combat series. Try titles like DCS or IL-2.

      It is like looking for “driving sim” in Need for Speed series…

      • snowgim says:

        The problem I have with all recent “proper flight sims” like DCS and IL2 is the distinct lack of compelling story, most have 0 story whatsoever, just empty meaningless missions one after the other, which I get bored with very quickly.

        So even if the story is ridiculous and corny, I will always prefer Ace Combat and continue to hope that it leans more towards proper flight sim territory.

        • Pulstar says:

          Sega tried their hand with a sim-lite franchise for consoles called Aerodancing, but it lacked a story. Too bad they never continued it. Ace Combat is more of a space dogfighting game (using missiles mostly) since the planes can’t even stall, but it’s a fun series nonetheless.

          • damson says:

            The planes can stall in Ace Combat games, the flight model is simplified but inertia is modelled (observe the flight path indicator while slowing down or pitching up/down). Of course I’m referring to normal fligh mode (not easy flight mode) where you have full control over aircraft controls.

      • damson says:

        You couldn’t be more wrong. I play many serious flight sims like Falcon BMS 4.33, DCS World, Rise of Flight, Il-2 CloD, and many older ones – Jane’s F-15/F-18/Longbow/Fighters Anthology, EF2000, F-22 ADF, Total Air War you name it. And I love Ace Combat series.

        Although your sentence about true flight simmer would not look into AC is partly true – I thought Ace Combat games were silly with all those respawning missiles under your wings etc. But When I tried Ace Combat Zero on PS2 I fell in love and since then I played AC4, AC5, AC2 (PS1), AC6 (XBOX360), ACX (PSP) and loved them all. ACAH was a big let down due to introducing the “DFM” mode which took the freedom from you in fovour of “cinematic experience” which was a bad choice and was criticized by long time fans of the series.

        I have big hopes for AC7 as it seems Project Aces learned from their mistakes and are bringing all the aspects that fans loved into this iteration.

        So even if you are hard core simmer I recommend giving AC a try (just stay away from Assault Horizon) you might enjoy it like I did.

        The stories are a bit silly with all the super-weapons and huge flying air fortesses, but that’s the charm of the series. And the soundtracks are really great.

    • Legion1183 says:

      But you’re forced into 3rd person view, unable to stay in 1st/cockpit view.

      I wonder what the constant switch between 1st and 3rd person view will do when playing in VR. One minute you’re sitting comfortably in your cockpit the next you’re trailing behind your jet 1000’s of feet in the sky.

      • damson says:

        To be fair you weren’t forced into 3rd person view in Assault Horizon, if you played in cockpit view you would stay in that view even in DFM mode.

      • Eleven says:

        Third-person VR in flying games is surprisingly not that bad. I don’t have a cast iron stomach or anything, but playing around with Fly Inside, I can fly a plane with an external camera just fine, as long as the camera is rigidly fixed to the plane and the plane is close enough to provide a visual frame of reference. I haven’t tried to dogfight though!

  4. thetruegentleman says:

    The Osean Federation is basically Not!America, while the Kingdom of Erusea is Not!Japan, I think?

    Regardless, Erusea has to move through Not!Europe to fight a war, so Not!Germany is probably involved, because Not!Germany always seems to have a hand in the major world conflicts, usually thanks to Not!Nazi technology.

  5. mikachu says:

    Because adios, you damn fool

  6. Teek says:

    Psyched that this is coming to PC! Very hopeful now that they’re returning to the old lore, and hopefully the older gameplay style as well.

  7. Psychomorph says:


  8. Shadow says:

    (plane landing, guy choking)
    “Country X has declared war on Country Y.”
    (braindead dialogue line)
    (jets fighting)
    (braindead dialogue line)
    (jets fighting)
    (braindead dialogue line)
    (jets fighting)
    (braindead dialogue line)

    Could this be any more vapid?

  9. damson says:

    Just going to leave this here, the guy know what he’s talking about:

  10. vahnn says:

    Nice! I hope it really does return to form and gets rid of that stupid DFM nonsense. I loved AC 4 and 5 on consoles. Haven’t owned a console in mammy years, so when I saw Assault Horizons on pc, picked it up, no questions asked. And boy did it stink. Fingers crossed. Better cross our dicks, too. You know, for extra luck.

  11. Avro Arrow says:

    I should have seen the multi-platform aspect coming. Now that the PS/4 and Xbox One both use AMD APUs, porting them from PC to console and back is a breeze because consoles are now essentially PCs that don’t run Windows, but the hardware is all exactly the same. The Intel x86 / AMD AMD-64 microarchitecture has finally united PCs, Apples and game systems. Here are my theories on the technical aspects:

    The game will most likely use AMD Mantle as its APU because it’s a low-level APU unlike DirectX but will still be DirectX compatible for people who use Intel and/or nVidia systems. While it’s likely that the use of Mantle will result in better performance on AMD-based systems that have Radeon HD 7870XT graphics and beyond, designing a game meant for an APU generally means that unless your PC is super low-end, it should run this game just fine.

    Unlike other games, these games will have been written to run optimally on 8 cores, however, the 8 cores in the consoles themselves run at just 1.6GHz for the PS/4 and 1.75GHz for the Xbox One which means that even mid-level PCs should have no problem with this game using the same graphics level as the consoles.

    What I am REALLY looking forward to on the PC version is the graphics levels that will be possible IF your rig has the power. I’m running an AMD FX-8350 (liquid-cooled) and twin Radeon HD 7970 (R9-280X) GPUs in CrossfireX with 3GB each of GDDR5. It’s a good thing too because I was so pissed at Namco because I bought a PS/4 SPECIFICALLY to play AC7 and now I’ll probably spend most of my gaming hours with it on my PC with its vastly superior hardware and graphics.

    Well, this will tell me whether or not my new 55″ 4K TV is capable of gaming. Personally, I think that it will do just fine….heheheheh ;-)