much has changed, but what's here is money, baby.
by Colin Thames
28, 2006 - Ace
Combat Zero: The Belkan War is a continuation of the
Ace Combat series, a series that becomes more refined
with each new title. That's a nice way of saying that
there's not really a lot of new features. There hasn't
been any major changes or additions to the series
since it debuted with the exception of the two-player
mode. That doesn't make it any less fun, but if you
start experiencing dogfight Déjà vu,
that doesn't make it any less fun, but if you start
experiencing dogfight Déjà vu, that
doesn't make it any less fun, but if you start experiencing
dogfight Déjà vu
you've haven't played any recent games in the Ace
Combat series, or better yet, none at all, this is
definitely the one to get. The extra polish that this
title has received as a result of continued improvements
makes this version the most action-packed with the
highest level of production values. It looks great,
sounds great, plays great, and even smells pretty
be afraid of the planes Billy, this is not a sim.
It's as easy to learn as any arcade game. You don't
have to worry about your altimeter, fuel, or ammo.
The gauges are just there for show. All you have to
do is aim your plane where the enemy is concentrated
and lock, load and fire. There's a great freedom to
the flying aspect of the gameplay, and although it's
not very difficult, or deep for that matter, there
is enough action to keep you engaged from start to
finish. And thankfully the missions aren't your typical
make-work scenarios. Thanks to the good storyline
and the way in which it's presented you really do
feel as though you have a purpose in this game and
not just blindly following orders. There are some
missions in which you can actually choose what aspect
appeals to you more. Then if/when you replay the game,
you can take the other path for a different experience.
place a decade-and-a-half prior to the events in the
last Ace Combat Zero game, we relive the origin of
the conflict between the two warring nations. Narrated
by a journalist that has befriended two of the best
pilots that took part in the war, he is compelled
to reveal to the world just how great these men really
were and how they overcame impossible odds. While
the characters of the two men are not fully explored,
the focus is on the war. There are some morality issues
that may be a little corny that asks questions like,
"Who is the real enemy?" and "Are we
not all to blame?" Don't try to make me feel
guilty for having fun killing people. That's what
we have Bill Cosby for.
warring nations may be fictitious but the fighter
jets are all based on existing real-world models.
There is the F-15, A-16, F/A 18, SU27, MiG and the
YF-22. Points earned from missions can be used to
upgrade jets which will make things easier for you
later in the game. Each jet has a different feel,
with slightly different weapons systems. The Russian
MiG is a real treat to operate. It's highly maneuverable
in dogfights but it doesn't take a lot of damage.
All the jets that you pilot will withstand more abuse
than the enemy aircraft. The enemy AI will engage
you but they have sheer numbers on their hand. You
will get into dogfight situations but they are more
of a result of your initiative. You won't be getting
into a one-on-one dogfight with a boss.
are 18 missions and they can last more than 20 to
30 minutes each. What is really disconcerting is that
you will encounter the more aggressive and intelligent
AI in the last few minutes of most levels. When you
get shot down, you have to start the mission over
from scratch. That is not good news for the casual
gamer or someone that rented this for the weekend.
only do things get busy in the air but you will also
be on the lookout for ground targets such as communications
towers and missile bases that you must destroy. You
will encounter some ground-to-air missiles in addition
to the missiles from the enemy aircraft. Just staying
alive requires a lot of skill and concentration. Thankfully
you don't have to worry about flying the plane as
you would in a sim.
lack of online play is a gyp. It would be great to
have aerial team Deathmatches. It would even be great
to have a co-op mode, and I would be satisfied with
an offline co-op mode as opposed to this average,
split-screen Verses mode.
jets look great, even when the action is hot and heavy
I didn't experience any slowdown. The music is rocking
and the sound effects are loud and proud. There is
plenty of radio chatter for more realism but it does
repeat after a time. You have the option of three
different perspectives including a cockpit view and
an outside view. You might want to consider switching
views depending on how many enemies are in the sky.
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War is a game that any
player at any skill level can get the hang of in a
few minutes, but be warned that the last part of each
mission is a killer - literally.
flying experience: Pilot authentic licensed aircrafts
such as the F- 15 Eagle or F/A-18 Hornet, presenting
intense and lifelike action.
storyline: 15 years prior to the events in Ace Combat
5, Ace Combat Zero brings fans deeper into the Ace
universe by revealing events leading up to the Belkan
gameplay style changes the action: The Ace Style
Gauge System factors the player's style of flying
and changes different facets of the game accordingly;
even the game ending itself can change.
enemies are at your throat: New to the series, rival
ace pilots will give you a run for your money with
their own individual flying styles elevating your
piloting skills to new heights.
communications give you feedback as you play: The
Radio Transmission System linked with the Ace Style
Gauge System change radio communications in real
time according to your reputation. In-game messages
from your allies and opponents will acknowledge
your skill, or lack thereof.
Movie System: After your missions are over, cut
scene interviews of rival pilots will comment on
your encounters with them giving you an in depth
look at your enemy.
Wingmen Command: Wingmen commands are now more detailed
than ever as you order your squad mates in battle
to coordinate your efforts.
action to battle with friends: Players can take
to the skies and dogfight in head to head action
to prove who is the true Ace amongst themselves.