Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown VR E3 Experience

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Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown VR E3 Experience

Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown VR E3 Experience: A whole lot of “Wow!” and “This is amazing!” and “I’m getting dizzy but this is awesome!”

 

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown in VR is a serious trip. And by serious trip, I mean “flying a fighter jet to absolutely crush your enemies in the skies” kind of trip. This game is severely awesome.

During my time in the Bandai Namco booth at E3 2017, I had the tremendous privilege of getting to play the Virtual Reality demo of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. Let me just say, before this experience, I had only one previous experience with VR, and it was with the puzzle game Gnog. That game made me feel like I was on drugs. Ace Combat 7 made me feel like I was an actual fighter pilot.

The demo starts with you walking towards your jet on an aircraft carrier. You do your final pre-flight checks, and then suddenly you’re blasting down the runway and taking flight. The inside of the cockpit is supremely detailed, and the outside world looks just as great.

As I took off, I peered over the edge of the plane to take in the sight of the water. I peered over the edge. It doesn’t feel like a character that was doing it. And that is exactly what the virtual reality business is about. It felt as though I was in the cockpit, looking out over the water. I flew low for a little while before gaining altitude to meet up with the AI allies to battle with the enemies.

Let’s talk about attention to detail for one second. In Ace Combat 7, if you fly through clouds, there will be water on your windshield coming out of them. Eventually the effect will go away, but it’s just so amazing to see that sort of effect and others in a VR game like this.

Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown

As soon as I reached the group of enemies, things were getting serious. I have flown jets just like this plenty of times in games like Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, both of which had a 1st person view and a 3rd person view. This is drastically different. Although it is technically 1st person, you aren’t using sticks on a controller to look around, you are turning your head and doing everything yourself. This causes the game to overall just feel more intense than any other experience.

It also caused a little bit of sickness for me personally. Flying around, doing loops and barrel rolls and the like, actually made me just a bit nauseous. Which was still awesome, because I still felt like it was me doing all of these things in the moment.

The controls for this game were very easy to get used to, especially with previous experience flying in other games. The enemies were challenging enough to make things interesting, but not terribly hard to deal with. By the time I had taken them all down, I still had a little time in the demo to just fly around, explore, and try new tricks. I would like to think that it was my superior aerial combat skills that allowed me to finish early considering the people before me were struggling, but overall I think that the AI in Ace Combat 7 is pretty balanced.

Trying to catch up with some enemies was a bit difficult, just because a lot of the time you’ll get stuck in a loop, flying in circles trying to find them as they’re trying to find you. But what’s nice about VR is that it isn’t hard to just look up and around to find enemies while you’re also trying to fly and maneuver the jet. Looking around can be a little bit troubling in other games where you only have the two sticks on a controller, which both are often involved in just flying the plane alone.

I really do believe that if you have a Playstation VR headset, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown should definitely be in your inventory of games when it is released. It will be out sometime in 2018 on Playstation 4.

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