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 (174 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 6 to 9 months in Early Access before the game will be completely finalized. We have now entered Beta stage since late Fabruary 2015. There are still some months to go but we do feel the game is in a pretty good state now.”

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 beta version of the game, after having spent 6 months in Early Access as advanced alpha. All elements of the game are already present but need further finetuning, tweaking and improving. Half the mssions are in.”

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 (18)

February 24

Vector Thrust Reaches New Heights With The Early Access BETA Launch

Hi everyone ! Yes - we have gone Beta.
Vector Thrust is a blast from the past for those with fond memories of the popular 90’s console flight combat games. Join the fun now and help us perfect the game !

With Beta status, Vector Thrust introduces more features, more aircraft, more weapons and 50 missions. We have spent half a year in alpha but we feel the game is really shaping up nicely and with your help we will be on our way to leave Early Access in Q2-2015.
Having reached Beta status also means the game will now continue Early Access with a $19.99 price tag, on the way to the eventual $ 24,99 price tag.

Major additions from Alpha to Beta:
• 20 new playable aircraft
• Lots of new weapons
• New boss units
• Over 50 new missions
• New visual effects
• Several new maps
View the full list of the Beta update via the Steam Discussions

16 comments Read more

January 26


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

  • 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

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 250 fully playable aircraft (through various iterations of over 45 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.
  • Keep coming back for more with 20 missions (in EA Beta stage) via a series of campaigns.
  • Unlock over 250 aircraft through a simple yet competitive Challenge Mode, which currently includes 150+ challenges.
  • 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

    • OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1 Ghz
    • 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
    • OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 3 Ghz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB DirectX®–compliant, Shader 3.0–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
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Early Access Review
As a huge Ace Combat fan who has completed AC4 on Ace difficulty multiple times, I have really enjoyed the game so far, and I'm still playing it as of right now.

It reminds me of the good 'ol flight sim days, and I got lots of joy out of killing enemies with a simple MiG-21.

However, I have some major issues with the game, knowing that the game is indeed in Early Access:

1. The graphics are horribly unoptimized. Even on Very Low, with an i5, I'm getting some subpar framerates. That needs to be improved a fair bit before this exits Early Access.

2. Enemies spam flares all of the time, something which I surprisingly didn't see much of in Ace Combat 4 from my time playing it, not including aces. It's almost as if they have unlimited flares on their plane. This needs to be improved.

3. THE MISSIONS ON THE CAMPAIGN. The second mission, you're absolutely unaware as to where the enemy bombers are, and by the time you kill the fighters, you fail the mission. This needs to be massively improved.

Other than that, I absolutely enjoyed Vector Thrust and can't wait for further updates.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Early Access Review
Try playing this game while singing along to Aces High.

10/10 would strain my larynx again.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
Early Access Review
What can I say about this game. Comparing it to ace combat would be giving it too high a praise and comparing it to H.A.W.X. Would be a kick in the groin to the developers. The controls and mechanics are basically the same controls you'd find in ace combat (and any other arcade game with planes) since this seems to be heavily inspired on that franchise.
It needs work in order to not just be another rip off, and by that I mean a lot of it. This isn't on the level of games like Air Force Delta Strike and will never be on the level of Ace Combat, but it's more playable than the abomination that is a game like H.A.W.X (Yes, I am a big Ace Combat fan, H.A.W.X is and will always be a horribly made abortion of a game).

What does this game need? For instance it needs voice acting, but before that they need to fix the grammar on the text driven sections. Specially during debriefing and the loading sections where they show you different planes and what not, as well as the aircraft viewer.

Either way, is this game worth your money? Eh... I'm going to say yes and no. Yes if you want to help the developer/s while enjoying something you like/love. And no, since it's still an early access game that was released despite having so many silly non major mistakes that affect the gameplay and the overall experience you get from it. Hopefully the small and silly mistakes won't translate into anything major that is actually game breaking.

Buy it at your own risk. This is not Ace Combat and will never be. People need to start taking it for what it is.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
Early Access Review
Great flight simulator! Fun aircraft, great feel; with each craft feeling unique and believable!
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
Early Access Review
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
Early Access Review
Can't recommend this enough for someone that has already played any Ace Combat game. Absolutely love the cel shading as well. 10/10.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
Early Access Review
Good game but please add a more easier/simple control mode selection.
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37 of 38 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Early Access Review
Vector Thrust is an arcade dogfighting game similar to the likes of HAWX and Ace Combat but with cel-shaded graphics. Its fast paced combat combined with the hundreds of unlockable planes makes this game extremely fun but it has many flaws in its current Early Access stage. Please note, this review is structured differently due to the amount of stuff I have to talk about.

Graphics and Appearance:
The graphics and appearance of this game are a bit hit and miss (mainly miss), thankfully it doesn't subtract from how good the game is too much and hopefully these things will be fixed soon.

+The planes look absolutely awesome in the cel shaded style of the game as do enemy vehicles and turrets.
+The sky and water in this game are pretty damn beautiful (see screenshot)

-The textures of the maps are absolutely terrible, they are very low resolution and are particularly bad to look at when flying close to the ground. Textures of airports (because they aren't actually 3D) are also bad and look like they're just 2D images pulled from Google Earth
-Particle effects are also pretty bad, explosions created by destroyed aircraft are very small and disappear completely after two or three seconds, plane's don't have noticeable vapour trails.
-Lens flare is also bad, it's pretty much just a grey ring on your screen which really does not look nice.
-This game has no cockpit view which is absolutely ridiculous considering the type of game it is.
-Flares aren't very bright and are difficult to see.
-The game's UI is only visible when looking straight ahead.

Gameplay and Replayability:
Gameplay is where this game really excels, the combat is near perfect and with so much to do it's difficult to get bored of this game without pouring a considerable amount of time into it.

+Fast paced combat
+Many different enemy types, ranging from drones to flying fortresses (that's a B52 for those who don't know)
+Each plane that you can fly in the game does something particularly well making different planes suited to different missions
+While the campaign is short (and pretty dull) the main game mode is 'Challenges' where you take part in different challenges, ranging from shooting down balloons with your forward mounted gun or bombing enemy tents, to unlock the literally hundreds of planes that this game has. You start off with a few of the families, such as the F-104 and as you progress through each family of planes you unlock more families to do challenges for such as the F4, F6 and F16 families.
+Vector Thrust has an incredibly powerful editor which allows you to create your own scenarios to play yourself or to share with others.

-While the game has multiplayer it's difficult to find a match unless you have friends to play it with due to multiplayer being in the beta branch and the small number of players on the game.
-Takeoffs and Landings aren't in the game (yet?).

As with Graphics and Appearance, Sound in this game is pretty hit and miss.

+The roar of the engines on the planes is great
+The sounds of your weapons firing are good

-The voice acting is pretty awful (credit where credit's due it was just one guy using a voice changer for all of the characters in the game).
-The noise for you locking on to a target is very similar to the missle alert which can be confusing at times.

Menus, Controls and Options:

+I played with the default (slightly tweaked, we'll get to that) control scheme for an XBOX360 controller which worked great apart from the fact that it didn't have flares mapped to it which I had to do myself, apart from that I thought the controls were extremely good and the planes themselves were very responsive.
+This game has a lot of options, it has everything you would expect graphically but it also lets you choose the colours of your UI, what measurement system you would like to use and more.
+The menus are simple and easy to use.

-The menus can't be navigated using a controller.

Things Worth a Mention:

+The development team are very active in the forums which is always nice to see.

-This game contains quite a few typos/spelling mistakes which I found quite frustrating.

9 for fans of similar games

7 for people new to this kind of game

Despite it's flaws this is an arcade dogfighting game superior even to the HAWX series (HAWX 2 being one of my all time favourite games) BUT due to its numerous flaws this game might not be as enjoyable for people new to this type of this game (hence the two scores). Whether you're new to arcade flight simulators or you're a veteran of the HAWX or Ace Combat games I would strongly recommend this game.

El K.
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
67.0 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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
7.0 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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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 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!
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
Early Access Review
to all of you ace combat fans...... for god sake buy this game
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Early Access Review
This is somewhat a customised version and mod free flight sims arcade. It's still in Alpha so my opinion based on it, maybe in full released all the "Cons" I listed might get fixed and improve.

-Classic manuever and engage like good ol' Ace combat.
-No ACAH DFM/ASM just classic style of hunting prey with missile and gun.
-Tons of creation or scenario can be made with the editor, You can re-create some of your favourite AC mission
-Tons of Aircraft to be played, More aircraft hope to be added in future.
-Variety enemy, even a giant fortress and large missile sub, maybe an "Arkbird alike or SOLG" in future dev?
-Good AI, feel the tense when battling.
-Difficulty is somewhat mixed match some easy to finish some tough

-The graphic for terrain and surrounding need more improvement
-The aircraft viewer look plain need some creativeness
-Need aircraft viewer in ALL gamemode since it help on navigate the aircraft/weapons choosing
-Still feel some latency on firing the weapons
-Graphic need some improvement, I keep getting Frames drop during massive battle
-Voice actor, please find more passionate not drunk
-music and ambient average, some of the music good but most feel plain
-some crash but rare occasion only since this still in Early stage

Final words: Eventhough It still in early stage and there so much thing need to improve. I can see this game has bright future it even give me better experience than AC:AH (the only AC pc). This game mostly sandbox for now, if you hoping for story mission just for wait for the game to full release since I can't recommend it for now. But for those who want to get going test all aircraft available and create your own battle GO AHEAD Worth A While For You. Best Flight Arcade Sims on par with AC

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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people 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
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
Early Access Review
A cell shaded (Borderlands Graphics) Ace Combat. Since Ace Combat Assault Horizon is the only AC game on steam, I'll gladly take this one. Work in progress but a fantastic start. 8/10
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
234.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Early Access Review
If you enjoy the Ace Combat franchise then you will enjoy Vector Thrust. It can run on almost any computer that has Windows XP (Which is what I use) or later and still looks fantastic. The game is a little buggy at points but since its still in Alpha its understandable and these issues will most likely be worked out in future updates. The game is also very easy to modify (At least in Alpha) where you can add your own music, missions, skins, aircraft and much more. And with an active fansite and monthly updates this game will be played for years to come.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
Early Access Review
It's like Ace Combat and Robotech: Battlecry had a party, and fun was invited.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
Early Access Review
Closest thing to ace combat since I had my dreams shattered into a thousand shards by Ace combat: assualt horizon.

Vector thurst has a long way to go but It brings back the good old days when ace combat was as it should be.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Early Access Review
A fantastic game that is like a cell shaded Ace Combat, although it freezes up and crashes here and there, mostly during explosions and other particle effects. Otherwise fantastic. 8.5/10
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
Early Access Review
With the way Ace Combat is going, this is one of the gems of arcade flight sim that sums up the entirety of AC and more with originality that's kept me months from playing Ace Combat: Infinity.

It's still an Early Access, but even at that the AI aces pulls me to point-blank range without pulling off maneuvers where you'd need an omni-directional thrusters to pull off. All of that without the missiles being suckish.

Guaranteed will be better than AC. ∞/infinity
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