Publisert: 14. november
This is my first and only experience with the Ace Combat series. Many reviewers here who are fans of the series often argue that the changes made to the gameplay have deprived the game of any sense of challenge and thus made the experience extremely boring. I'm inclined to agree with that statement. The real perpetrator in regard to dumbing down the gameplay is the new "Dogfight mode." Whenever you get close enough to an enemy fighter, you can trigger a mode where the camera zooms in on your opponent and the game glues your jet to his rear. At this point, the game practically plays itself for you. In Dogfight mode, staying behind your opponent requires pretty much no skill at all. Your fighter is basically placed on a set of rails in DF mode, and there's really no sense of accomplishment when you do take down your foe, because, as said before, there's practically no skill involved. This might not be so bad, if the campaign did not force you to make use of this mode at certain points.
On that subject, the campaign itself is equally bland. Most of the time you will be in your fighter engaging in the rather dull air-to-air combat, broken periodically by the chance to fly an attack helicopter or control the targeting computer of an AC gunship or some other gimic. To the game's credit, I enjoyed some of these set pieces. Manning the door gun of a helicopter was good fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the AC gunship section of the game. Basically, any part of the game that wasn't marred by the flawed movement and dogfighting was pretty enjoyable. Unfortunately, air-to-air dogfighting comprises the vast majority of the game. Periodically, you will be required to line up your aircraft to do strafing runs against ground targets, but the joy that could have been had with that is also ruined due to the mandatory use of a "ground attack mode" that places your jet on a set of rails, again depriving every last iota of challenge or fun. The one enjoyable aspect that applies to all parts of the campaign is that periodically when you destroy an enemy, the camera will zoom in on your kill, showing off the ensuing fire, explosions and wreckage in all its destructive glory. These bits were always pretty impressive to watch. The story is pretty uninspired; something to do with a civil war in Russia and some ultranationalist group. It's completely forgetable.
On a final note, if you are interested in giving this game a shot, I strongly recommend that you use a controller, as this game does not suit itself well to a mouse. While AC: AH offers some terrific visuals, the game is held back by some terrible gameplay mechanics, and at the end of the day, a polished turd is still just a turd.