Vector Thrust is a fast-paced action-arcade combat flight simulator, with a unique cel shaded art style for PC. With an extensive variety of game modes Vector Thrust aims to please both players wanting to get straight into the sky and those who love a flexible, diverse and customizable gaming experience.
User reviews: Very Positive (140 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 21, 2014
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Vector Thrust is absolutely meant to be a product for and by gamers, which is why we want to have the community to have a big say in and contribution to the last stages of the game’s development. This is also our first project so we want to make sure that the game reaches its full potential before its final launch, and who better to shape its final form than the gamers it is meant for.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We are a small team but we envision to need between 3 to 6 months in Early Access before the game will be completely finalized. This is only a limited period but we feel the game is in a pretty good state now, after undergoing months of external quality assurance befiore this Early Access launch.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We plan to release regular updates containing new game-modes, we will add more aircraft, more missions and other important features. We also will add more Steam features such as Achievements and Trading cards.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current state of the game is best described as a pre-beta version of the game, or advanced alpha. Most elements of the game are already present but need finetuning, tweaking and improving. Multiplayer is functional but we will be looking to see how it holds up and enhance where needed.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes the game will be priced higher as development advances, with a final price level of 24,99 $ upon launch.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We want to maintain daily contact through both Steam forums and our own forums with the community. We are a small team but we will endeavour to answer questions as soon as possible, with the aid of the Community Management department of our publisher. We are looking for constructive feedback to better the game, suit the community wishes and fulfil the potential that is present in this first version. Through our various Editors gamers can immediately start to make their own modifications as well.”
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Recommended By Curators

"Spiritual successor to classic Ace Combat action. Arcadey, explosive, and fun; Vector Thrust is a combat sim for all skill levels."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (17)

January 26

v0.9118

A new update, time is for all available branches including the default branch.
Considering all the last changes made in past incubator builds, it was decided that this build was the right opportunity to also update the default build.
The users that only play the default branch will find a lot of interesting additions.

But this update, like the ones before, it is the result of the ongoing process of revamping the existing campaign, so the changes are either in the editor or the user experience.

The two main highlights are:

  • The new configuration for the multi lock, now it can be changed how it behaves on the options menu or using the command window during gameplay
  • The new Alpha Strike attack, this action can be activated by pressing "change weapon"+"Fire selected weapon" at the same time, it will fire all available ammo immediately but with a of cost of a longer reload time.

This time it also has been added new challenges and a new fully voiced Battle scenario, if you already have some good aircraft in your hangar you should give it a try


CHANGE LIST
  • ADDED: Mission editor: option to save/load core and custom challenges
  • ADDED: Mission editor: in unit list now shows the ace name to help selection
  • ADDED: Mission editor: in unit list has been added the option to remove individually or completely clean the scene
  • ADDED: Mission editor: Triggers: num pickups
  • ADDED: the ability to define the default screen compositors
  • ADDED: the option to configure how the Multi lock behaves
  • ADDED: the option to change Multi lock options during gameplay using command menu
  • ADDED: the option to link sp weapon fire to main weapon
  • ADDED: action: set compositor on
  • ADDED: Alpha strike attack
  • ADDED: A/FX-12 Challenge
  • ADDED: AFTI 244.180 Challenge
  • ADDED: Lampyridae Challenge
  • ADDED: Near Have Blue Challenge
  • ADDED: F-15Streak Challenge
  • ADDED: F-16 Agile Falcon Challenge
  • ADDED: Bop Challenge
  • ADDED: F-22V Challenge
  • ADDED: P.125 Challenge
  • ADDED: X-16S Challenge
  • ADDED: VX-11
  • ADDED: ColdPigeon
  • ADDED: Combined operations Battle scenario
  • ADDED: NAM-16_Mod-A
  • ADDED: SSD-25M
  • ADDED: SSD-25V
  • ADDED: Health pickup
  • ADDED: Sub ammo pickup
  • ADDED: Main ammo pickup
  • ADDED: Sp ammo pickup

  • FIXED: crash when starting F-16C_B25 Challenge
  • FIXED: ignoring keys in writing text if they are pressed at the same time
  • FIXED: Mission editor: occasional crash when changing AI type
  • FIXED: the duplicated map on ContinentalM9
  • FIXED: center position of the map ContinentalM8
  • FIXED: gun prediction aim sometimes not showing or disappearing after changing weapon
  • FIXED: SAAM linked to air flow vector
  • FIXED: in High AoA the lock track is not aligned with the unit
  • FIXED: aircrafts with destroyed sub object will continue to not have them even after respawn
  • FIXED: Mission editor: fixed yaw control in units placement
  • FIXED: the jamming ability to cancel lock was not working
  • FIXED: mission editor, sp selection after coming back from the editor
  • FIXED: S-32 roll animation.
  • FIXED: XST rudder animation
  • FIXED: YF-16CCV right elevator
  • FIXED: F-35s family is missing the right rudder animation.

  • UPDATED: F-15 family special weapons
  • UPDATED: F-16 family special weapons
  • UPDATED: Now the main weapons can be added to the SP slot and automatically act as extra ammo reserve

4 comments Read more

January 18

v0.9117 [Incubator]

New version available!
Incubator only for now. In this update there are two things that need to be highlighted, first it has been added a possible fix for the X52 joystick, I wasn’t able to test it, so I’m interested to know if this update really fixes the issue of assigning new controls with this joystick. The other important addition it is the addition of a small code optimization that makes intense battles the run much faster.

Other point that may as well be equally important, the avionics specs continue to be revised, in this update it was updated the F-16 and Su-47 family. Related to this, here is a tip, the stats in the hangar are helpful but they can be very misleading if you don’t consider the role of each aircraft.

Also there have been several improvements in the cutscenes, but while they are being announced here they will likely only be visible after that campaign becomes available, but to anyone interested, during the cutscenes is now possible to offer choices to the player that will affect the outcome of future missions.

And finally, multi lock and rocket accuracy have been fixed.

CHANGE LIST

  • ADDED: Cutscenes: new resource system
  • ADDED: Cutscenes: branching option
  • ADDED: Cutscenes: added the option to link multiple sequences of cutscenes
  • ADDED: Mission Editor: in next level action, the option to end the campaign at the end of a branch
  • ADDED: Mission Editor: added the option to save and load missions from the edit folder
  • ADDED: variable tracking refresh rates for the missiles
  • ADDED: Optimization in projectile collision
  • ADDED: D 645-5
  • ADDED: YAIM-120A
  • ADDED: AIM-120B
  • ADDED: AIM-120C
  • ADDED: AIM-120C-4
  • ADDED: AIM-120C-6
  • ADDED: AIM-120C-7
  • ADDED: AIM-120D
  • ADDED: Tactical Symmetry music
  • ADDED: Green Celt music
  • ADDED: The Wheel music

  • UPDATED: F-16 Family avionic specs
  • UPDATED: F-104 Family avionic specs
  • UPDATED: Lampyridae Family avionic specs
  • UPDATED: Su-47 Family avionic specs
  • UPDATED: novel type cutscene
  • UPDATED: Structure type object skin options

  • FIXED: wrong weapon state when the campaign has hidden units
  • FIXED: campaign and mission editor does not update the new mission in the list after being saved
  • FIXED: cutscenes not appearing when set before the briefing
  • FIXED: multi lock not behaving properly
  • FIXED: Mission editor: not showing variables names
  • FIXED: Su-33 reaction time
  • FIXED: helicopter AI movement
  • FIXED: the text parser not reading if multiple keys are pressed at the same time
  • FIXED: rocket accuracy
  • FIXED: Aspide MK-1 linked to the wrong sound file
  • FIXED: crash after going two times to the options menu
  • [Not tested with the actual joystick] FIXED: X52 support or if a button is continuously pressed when changing button configuration
  • FIXED: whiteout effect that units have at distance
  • FIXED: Crash when selection a object of the map in the mission editor

5 comments Read more
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About This Game

Vector Thrust is a fast-paced action-arcade flight simulator with a unique cel shaded art style for PC. With an extensive variety of game modes like the unpredictable and vicious Quick Action, a customizable Skirmish Mode, and multiple immersive story-based campaigns, Vector Thrust aims to please both players wanting to get straight into the sky and those who love a flexible, diverse and customizable gaming experience.

Vector Thrust gives the player full power over the game to alter any aspect of the game they choose, ranging from simple tweaks to full-blown modifications. Adding user-made skins, changing unit performance and parameters or even complete battle scenarios is easy and open to anyone. With fully fleshed out Map, Mission and Campaign editors, Vector Thrust boasts unlimited expandability and adaptability.

With advanced tactical AI that actively analyses and responds to a dynamic battlefield, as well as over 200 fully playable aircraft (through various iterations of over 40 aircraft models) and even more naval and ground units that all work to complete their objectives in different ways, Vector Thrust offers missions that are never played the same way twice.

Key features:

  • Stay engaged from dawn until dusk and beyond with many single and multiplayer game modes (multiplayer on an opt-in basis during the Start of Early Access).
  • Keep coming back for more with multiple missions via a series of campaigns.
  • Unlock over 200 aircraft through a simple yet competitive Challenge Mode.
  • Pit yourself against advanced tactical AI that responds to the world around it.
  • Clash against titanic aerial fortresses and super-weapons.
  • Duel with a myriad of Ace fighter squadrons, each with their own unique combat strategies.
  • Modify your game with easy, simple modding tools and share your creations with others.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB DirectX®–compliant, Shader 2.0–enabled video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
Early Access Review
In your face, Assault Horizon! I get to do close combat RIGHT in this game and it's more intense than deceitful camera magic!

Vector Thrust also fills a niche as to aerial combat (arcade) simulation in vector thrust capable aircraft. Here's hoping in the future for a realistic simulation of vector thrust capable aircraft of quality comparable against Falcon X.0 and DCS! :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Early Access Review
Vector Thrust is a simple fun ARCADE air combat game, If you liked games like Air force Delta or the older Ace Combat games you will love this.
Really like the way unlocking of new planes is done through challenge missions that progress through a planes linage.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
Early Access Review
This is an alpha? Man, it's way more polished than anythign Ubisoft releases as a finished AAA game.

Good ontrols, fun combat and great fighter models.

Sound and missions show they are certainly not finished but it's looking real good so far!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
Early Access Review
Nice alpha, lots of potential/10. AC3-ish feel.
Still lots of strange things going on, so wait if you can't stand bugs.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Early Access Review
Mmmmmhhh... i smell ace combat style of play... also a bit of borderlands kinda art...

love it? definitely!!! :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Early Access Review
It is definenty good as is for right now. It is very reminesant to Ace Combat 5 and 6 in the fact that the play styles are very similar. The graphics are close to that of Borderlands style art and graphics. There is a bit of pixilization here and there but nothing to damning. But the game does have a few drawbacks. Some of the controls are a tad chunky such as the yaw. The game does lack ant cockpit views as of the latest release. And it is lacking of a defined story. There are "campains" in the game but they are like the campains found in the Air Combat series, a list of unafiliated missions that lack a real story arc. I know it is still in early access and there is likely more to come. But there are also some technical issues found in it as well. The f-22 has no listed weapons other than the basic missles. In reality it carries tons of munitions in its bays and on external mounts.The SU-47 is a bit overpowered and is a bit too fast compaired to the other jets here. The original P.125 ECR had a gun system in its original plans.

That is about it, I would like to see some cockpit views and a fictional plane tossed in for fun. Then why did i recommend the game if it is lacking in these elements? Because it is not quite finished yet, hence the early access; this thing has a butt-load of potential that can make it the best thing in combat simulators since Ace Combat 5. And it is likey the best one that you can find on Steam as of right now. AC Combat Horizon is a joke and HAWX 2 is a disapointment. If this does prove to be what i think it can be, then it will blow both of those out of the water.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
Early Access Review
overall = ok, but targetting system sucks. click, and the focus targetting just pick a random adversary within your attack range instead of the primaries. imagine the mission to sink down ships but the locking down keep on focusing on jet fighters...
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Early Access Review
This game is currently incomplete, but so far the technical accuracy is great. At this time it only has a handful of aircraft, but it's very selective in the balance between RL accuracy and balanced gameplay.
My only complaint in the style of the game thusfar, is the speed of it. The planes fly like bricks, all turning VERY slowly. The result is it doesn't have the twitchy fast paced combat I'm looking for, and very few manuevers will throw an opponent properly, because they're all so slow and easy to follow.
That said, I am eager to see what this game will become, $15 being a very good price if it lives up to its POTENTIAL.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
Early Access Review
Did Ubisoft broke your HAWX2?
Well, time to quit selfpity & rage, because .... here we goooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Comix flavour to JET Heaven...... Takeoff
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
208 of 229 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 13, 2014
Early Access Review
Vector Thrust, the so called "fan-made spiritual successor" to Ace Combat and the Airforce Delta series. I've been keeping an eye on this 3D cel-shaded arcade-action flight shooter, developed by 'timeSymmetry' since it first appeared on web back in 2011 and I've playing the game since the early alpha was released on Desura back in 2012.

I must say it's really challenging for a game, the A.I. is brutal, sly and can be totally unpredictable at times which is what I need in a game these days. But don't let that put you off. If the player can do something it's highly likely and most probable that the fiendishly smart A.I. can do it too. The game mechanic's are what I would consider "Sim-Lite" in certain areas, like the very extensive electronic warfare mechanic's and can be very arcade-ish at times much like in Ace Combat.

The game features a large and still expanding collection of high quality modelled aircraft, surface craft and weaponry. The many game modes tend keep me from getting bored or stressed, for an example if I get stuck in a Campaign, I'd go jump into Quick Action mode to break up the pace and try something new. And here is where I do my rundown of what I've played so far of the pre-Early Access build, which is due to be released some time on Steam's Early Access platform and I must say I'm really liking many of the improvements done to the game so far.

Quick Mission mode is good but it became a bit repetitive after a few matches due to the same style of missions appearing. I don't know if it's the seed generator or whatever generates the missions but it could do with a tweak or two, in my opinion.

How I see it Battle Scenario mode is for practising and testing your own custom missions which you can create via the built in Editors, but I had trouble loading some old mission files I created during the alpha, though I managed to get them working eventually, I had to tweak a few things in the config files.

Arcade mode wasn't available to play in the pre-EA build so I can't comment on that, But I've heard some interesting idea's on what that might entail. Now Skirmish mode is where I found myself playing a lot of. The amount of Mutators, rules and other options you can chose from which are highly funny at times and give nods to other franchises which have clearly influenced TimeS, will keep you highly entertained for hours to come.

Now Challenge Mode is where you go to unlock the vast majority of base game's aircraft by completing a series of ever increasing challenging missions for that particularly aircraft family you wish to use. I'm liking the Challenge Mode aircraft tree, it reminds me of what you would typically see in a RTS or RPG game. I would of preferred it if the missions were a bit more unique like TimeS originally planned back in the early alpha, But due to lack of manpower and time it's an understandable sacrifice.

I haven't had a chance to try multiplayer yet, it should be noted however that the game uses Steamworks for the multiplayer and it isn't included in the main Early Access branch of the game. It's part of a sub branch under the Steam Beta Properties Tab and once selected the Steam Client downloads a patch to activate the multiplayer components. Though every time I selected multiplayer no one turned up in the lobby. I don't know if that was due to the lack of online beta testers at the time or other factors at play.

The Profile menu does what you expect. It keeps tabs on your play time, stats, performance and in game accolades which you gain by achieving certain tasks in certain game modes. There is also over 150 or so Steam Achievements to acquire for those who are into that sort of thing.

The game options are fairly modifiable. There's the typical stuff you would expect of a 3 dimensional game. The Display options so far allow the use of a wide range of resolutions with V-sync and Anti-aliasing available up to 8x sampling. There's various texture and model detail levels ranging from very low to very high. Other graphical options include Bloom, Glow and Radial Blur which is typical of a Ogre Engine based game. The artistic style of Vector Thrust is in the form of three dimensional cel-shading, which in my opinion adds a unique flair to the game without TimeS needing to focus too much on texture quality, least to say he's done an amazing job with them so far. So far I'm guessing for people who aren't too fond of the cel-shading, modders will probably create realistic texture packs some time in the future to cater to their needs.

Some quick thoughts on the background music, voice acting and sound effects. Well first things first, that air raid siren in the Main Theme blending with the female vocals. That alone sends chills down my spine. The intro has a sense of urgency to it, the rolling drums and beats convey that there may be some hope at the end of whatever conflict that the player will find him/herself in. Some of the other themes are pretty good too. One of my favourites is without a doubt is a musical piece called Evan's Theme which has some classical piano work which I find relaxing. One thing I've noticed a lot of though is the early alpha music and sounds are showing their age when played alongside the new musical pieces and sound effects. I can definitely say I'm looking forward to the rest of Jose Pavli's soundtrack.

The audio options menu allows you to change the various sound options ranging from Master to SFX, environmental and BMG. The sound effects of this game are fairly typical of this genre of game. Lots of bleeps, warning sirens, explosions and the occasional sound of Dakka. The voice acting of this game is a bit lacking but it's forgiven due to it been a produced by an independent developer and that there is more important things for TimeS to focus on like the game mechanics. There is however radio chatter options which you can use which change the voice modulation mechanic built into the game what the A.I. uses to make up for the lack of voice actors.

The control options allow the player to fully remap all the controls. The player can either use a keyboard and mouse combo, a Windows compatible HOTAS or a Microsoft compatible control pad. My preferred method of input is a wired MS-360 controller due to my familiarity with Ace Combat. The HUD colour palette and camera position can be changed to suit the player preferences. It should be noted however there is other options for the you to choose from in the options config file.

During missions there is a Command Menu which you can pull up and navigate using the number keys on the keyboard mid-flight, there's no need to pause the game or such. The Command Menu allows you inform your wingmen if you have any that is, what tactics, formations and weapons to use during the sortie. There is also options which do various things to your own aircraft too, like the ability to switch off your engine mid-flight and disable the Angle of Attack limiter.

Overall I could go on and on about the game, but the things I enjoy most about Vector Thrust is the open aspect of the game and the ability to change it to your hearts content. The ability to modify everything at will within a few hours of practice is a very tempting thing indeed. And with a few weeks of the game coming out on Desura there was a large collection of mods ranging from aircraft skins, to cosmetic changes to the HUD, even original aircraft designed by 3D modeller's. So imagine what the community will be able to do with Steam Workshop support if TimeS thinks of integrating it into the game. People say the sky's the limit, well in the case of VT the sky is just the beginning!
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62 of 70 people (89%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
Early Access Review
This game is fantastic, it's simply a spiritual sequel of the classic Ace Combat games that I loved to play on PS2, this game reminds me of the good times and the many hours I spent playing Ace Combat : Distant Thunder, Ace Combat : Squadron Leader and Ace Combat : The Belkan War on my PS2 a few years ago. I highly recommend Vector Thrust to all the fans of this cult saga. Congratulations to TimeSymmetry, the talented developer of this great indie game !
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58 of 68 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
Early Access Review
Ace Combat fans, look no further.

Basically, Vector Thrust is a flight arcade action game. If you're not into flight games, this isn't for you. But if you are, you should definitely take a look. The graphics are cel-shaded, which is not popular or common in the action genre - especially not in the flight genre - but it definitely makes itself work here. One of the problems of the Alpha version was that the game had so few environments, lacking in variety of mission locations. Now the game comes with at least a dozen or two of different locations, from icy waters covered in glaciers to deserts with little vegetation. It's a beauty to see, and the shading method works spectacularly well.

I feel terrible for saying that I've never heard of José Pavli before I witnessed his work here on the soundtrack. And it's gorgeous. The music is absolutely gorgeous. Action-packed, thrilling, it just makes you want to fly more. And that's saying something for a lot of games lately.

Gameplay itself is varied, depending on the aircraft you're flying. I had a lot of difficulty with certain aircraft, but other aircraft worked perfectly well for me, and that's mostly because of their maneuverability and weapon loadouts. It's important to note that this isn't a simulator, so players looking for sim flight games should keep that in mind; there's lots of real-life elements in place, though, that refuse to allow this game pass as completely arcadey. Gravity and overheating guns are two that come to mind instantly. I know there's a very intricate jamming mechanic in place as well, but I haven't experienced it yet. Overall, flying a plane is really fun.

Now, please keep in mind this is Early Access. That means that there's bugs. Lots of them. And incomplete features. LOTS of them. However, Vector Thrust comes with more complete features than most games that release on Early Access - and that's a good thing. The core mechanics are all here, and if you're just itching for a really cool and really fun arcade flight game for your PC, then you found it.

Disclaimer: I funded this game's Alpha version on Desura. The Steam version is VASTLY superior to the Alpha. This developer is legit, and has been helping people on the forums since the minute the game came out.
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43 of 49 people (88%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
Early Access Review
It's rough, to be sure, but for an alpha it's solid and the groundwork is definitely there.

These guys wear their Ace Combat influence on their sleeve, which is great seeing as Project Aces gave up on that when the PS2 went out of fashion. Even in its alpha state, this is the best Ace Combat-style (which is to say, arcadey flight sim) game on Steam.

No, H.A.W.X., I haven't forgotten about you. You either, Assault Horizon. Both of you, go to your rooms. You're being schooled by an indie, probably working with a total budget equal to what you spend on coffee.
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100 of 154 people (65%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
Early Access Review
Yo buddy, you still alive?
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25 of 31 people (81%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 19, 2014
Early Access Review
Flight simulators are something I haven't been able to get into for many years, not since the earlier days of console flight combat when there were fun and less complicated arcade action experiences that focused more on intense combat than technical realism. Vector Thrust is the only of its kind in a long while to grab my attention and keep me plowing through the campaign obsessively the same way I did all those years ago, marathoning rental copies of Ace Combat for hours through late summer nights off from school.

In production for over two long years of dedicated development, Vector Thrust has already found a loyal fanbase of people such as myself who have been yearning for a lost aerial combat experience that is easy enough to hop into for all skill levels while still challenging enough to encourage thorough practice and countless heated retries in arcade spirit. Vector Thrust is a one of a kind aerial combat title that excels where the bigger companies have failed recently in delivering open dogfighting action that manages to keep me wanting to play through objectives over and over due to being just plain entertaining without the filler of modern games.

The game presents an ♥♥♥ kicking soundtrack as well as a slick cell-shaded style that while not exactly realistic gives a polished and stylish appearance to the explosive imagery of combat. Though it may not be a popular choice, it stands out and gave me a certain nostalgia for the cell-shaded visuals in Robotech: Battlecry and similar arcade-y air combat titles of the PS2 era.

The two campaign are a work in progress but already feature sixteen action packed missions between them that showcase everything from intercepting bombers to bombing carriers out in the ocean. These cover the core types of objectives you'll be carrying out as the game is fleshed out during its Early Access period and the campaign is crafted into a complete story with a narrative.

The variety and accessibility of the missions keeps the modest length campaign engaging from beginning to end, ground assaults feel a little rough with not a lot of risk of being shot down as you descend to bomb them but air-to-air dogfights are exhilarating and incredibly well done. Air-to-air combat is intense and fast paced and the A.I. is cunning and deceptive in how it maneuvers out of your view and attempts to keep you in sight at all times.

Before embarking on any given mission you're given a selection of true to life aircraft and their respective weapons to consider when taking on specific tasks. The selection is already great ranging from heavy and slow A-10 bombers to quick and deadly F-15 fighters and each excel in their own unique way, requiring you to put some thought into what you bring with you into combat. The environments you take flight in are gorgeous setting that paint the perfect backdrop for an all-out war, ranging from the dusty sand dunes of deserts to the sunny islands of the tropics.

The challenge mode appears to be the real bread and butter of the game being where most of the hundreds of aircraft are unlocked in the expansive tree of increasingly powerful choices. Each plane unlocked is a new mission earned, leading to even more unlocks for a massive amount of content that is genuinely exciting to blast through. The challenges are quick craft-specific tests of reflex and skill that present you with a seemingly simple task but must be conquered in expert speed.

These challenges are generally straight forward enough to finish, but the real difficulty comes in learning how complete each one in quick enough time to earn yourself a decent enough grade to move on and earn your next fighter and its respective mission. Each of the challenges include both a local and online score board enticing the player to revisit each of the diabolical scenarios to test your ability and see how you fare against the rest of the world.

Vector Thrust has come a long way since its already electrifying early alpha and is already the perfect arcade combat sim for people who just want to jump into some action and shoot their opposition out of the sky. With the promise of a fleshed out narrative that dramatically pulls you into the action in classic Ace Combat fashion, a more fleshed out multiplayer experience, and heaps more content to an already huge roster of available airplanes and modes this is the number one air combat fix to keep an eye on right now.

Whether you're a thrill-seeking arcade action fan looking for that quick dogfight or a hardcore sim veteran with a love for realism looking for something different Vector Thrust is absolutely the most accessible fun you'll have in a game in the genre which says a lot given the indie status, small budget, and even smaller team and it can only get better on its way out of Early Access.
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19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Early Access Review
Vector Thrust is a good solid game, especially for early access. The gameplay is a bit similar to Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters or Heroes in the Sky. You fly, kill X objects and complete the mission.
But, Vector Thrust has several cool elements not found in similar games. It has (upcomming Co-Op and vs multiplayer, a mission editor (Already working) and a cool selection of modern fighter planes.
The controls can be set entirely to your liking and so far I didn't encounter any real bugs or errors. Maybe some menu presentation problems, but nothing that actually takes the fun out of the game.

A must have for any would be jet jockey.
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27 of 36 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
36.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 25, 2014
Early Access Review
Do you like Ace Combat series? Buy this.
Do you like H.A.W.X. series? Buy this.
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
43.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Early Access Review
The brain-child of Ace Combat fans with arcade-y gameplay and dedicated developers, TimeSymmetry brings Vector Thrust to please both fans of the genre and old-timers of the spiritual precursor.

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Overview
Vector Thrust is a promising and actually nicely playable Early Access-stage game in its current state. This flight shooter is, on the words of the devs, meant to be mainly able to support mod creation and usage. A per-saying spiritual successor to the Ace Combat shooter series, this game brings a number of its classic elements such as intuitive gameplay, an alternate world as setting, and fictional aircraft and weaponry - either mod-added or from the game itself.

Gameplay
For previous players of the Ace Combat games, the control scheme can be customized for a flawless gameplay control replica of previous Ace Combat titles on either Keyboard, Gamepad or XBox controllers, on similar or equal schemes to the familiar Dualshock controller layout. It's likely other controllers also have decent playability. Control elements such as target view, targeting boresight and special weapons are present in the game as well as the arcade-oriented flight scheme.

The weaponry and aircraft provided at first is deceivingly small. Getting aircraft in the 'families' of the Fishbed, the Draken and the Starfighter, those are the starters in which you need to pilot through the Challenges the game offers to further unlock aircraft (You can also have instantly unlocked aircraft that are added through mods, or unlock the aircraft through the respective .ini files in the game directories, which aren't a large task at all).

Graphics
Regarding graphics, the cel-shaded style has a certain charm to it, and the models have elaborate detail. Regarding effects, the afterburner and missile fire effects are in a good path. What I can put as possible issues are the unrealistic condensation vapor trails on sharp turns and smoke effects after explosions (and the latter's size), as well as missile lens flares (too bright) and their trails (too thin). Otherwise, the graphics are decent looking and don't require an extremely expensive rig to run.

Sound
In sound, the effects are 'sufficient'. At the same time they are properly placed, they lack the 'punch' and 'power' feels of actual sound effects and effects used widely in shooter games, the issue here being how they sound toned-down from their actual, noisy and extreme nature. Nonetheless, all the effects can be replaced with sound packs. Same for the voice lines for the ingame AI pilots, in which they use pitch distorted versions as placeholders for difference (You can prevent the distorted pitch variations in audio menu and lowering all the min and max pitch value sliders to 0).
The soundtrack is also quite elaborate, and I reckon this even personally using soundtrack from Ace Combat games as replacers.

Coding
The coding side of the game takes the short end of the stick. So far it seems there is a problematic in the stability of the game for players, with crashes and freezes at some points. I've witnessed those firsthand mostly during challenges (making it impossible to unlock some aircraft), though since this is still in the alpha stage, I believe this is in the to-do list of the developers.
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TL;DR: The game has a few issues, but given some time chances are they won't be permanent. Vector Thrust has a good start and is in for a decent amount of fans if it takes a good path.

I end this review with a line some of you will know:

"These skies belong to everyone! Now, let us take back our shattered skies!"

===Vector Thrust is an Early Access game and this review takes this fact in account - Rev.3 - December 28th===
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
Early Access Review
If you like Ace Combat and were always wanting it to be more challenging and/or available on PC, BUY THIS. This is the game you've been waiting for.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Early Access Review
Simple, fast and fun in it's current form, Vector Thrust is a fun game to play, even in it's current early access state. If you are thinking about getting it, I would get it before the current sale on it runs out, as I feel £20 is somewhat steep for the game as it is now, although I got it for cheaper due to being an alpha supporter when the game was solely on Desura. Overall, the game runs well on my low to mid tier PC, and looks stunning in it's own way, the cel shaded graphics giving the game a charm of it's own, and helping to counter any points of it being an Ace Combat clone. Although inspired by such games as Ace Combat, Vector Thrust is a game in it's own right, and not just a direct imitation. I'd recommend it to any players of the older AC games (anything before Assault Horizon, really.) and fans of the arcade jet fighter style in general.
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