Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War

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a game by Namco Ltd.
Platform: Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Flying Games, Ace Combat Games
Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War
Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War
Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War
Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War

A daily commute can be a real pain. The early morning starts to beat the rush hour, the innumerable skipped breakfasts, the tedious chore of driving to your destination and oh wait, you get stuck in traffic anyway. There is nothing worse than powerlessly sitting behind the wheel with no means of making an evasive manoeuvre, barrel rolling into a clearing and then launching a missile right at the enemy. Take that random blonde woman in the Toyota convertible. Perhaps we are getting a little carried away but in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, you are completely in control and the high octane action promises to never stop!

This game plays very similarly to predecessors from the same series such as Ace Combat: The Unsung War or Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. Or alternatively, if you aren’t familiar with the series, you may find this one similar to Tom Clancy’s Hawx or to some extent Microsoft Flight Simulator but with more aerial dog fights. The game aims to deliver the realistic and authentic portrayal of a day in the life of a fighter pilot.

A Sense Of Deja Vu

We begin with the overall narrative for this title which in all honesty, barely distinguishes itself from The Unsung War. You follow the story of Pixy and Cypher, as they fight in the great war between the Belka and the nation of Osea. It treads on previously walked ground and old clichés such as ‘there are no winners when it comes to war’ or ‘are we the bad guys?’ Ultimately though, the story only serves as a means to an end. It’s enough to carry you from start to finish without too much fuss but it’s nothing that will live long in the memory.

The real reason that anyone comes back to these titles, however, is the gameplay. Sadly this title fails to build on the success of its predecessors, only managing to roll out a series of missions and story objectives that have you seemingly playing the same game you were in the last iteration. The mechanics are the same, the objectives are mostly the same. The only real bit of praise that can be thrown the developer’s way is that the mission formats that were unanimously disliked by the Ace Combat fan base don’t resurface in this campaign.

Little Victories

The game does tighten up a lot of issues that previous titles had and makes small design changes for the better. For example, the pacing of missions is much improved in this title. You will find that combat has an ebb and flow to it, with a drastic spike in the action inevitably coming towards the end of the level. This usually consists of planes that are much more agile and hard to lock in your sights, making for a much more diverse and challenging experience overall.

Then on top of the tweaks to gameplay, there has been an improvement in the visual department also. You can see that the once grainy graphics of the early fifth-generation era have been refined to give the most up to date and high-quality flight simulator that the system can manage. The plane models are beautifully designed and plentiful, the environments are outstanding considering their size and also, the animations are phenomenally slick. In short, the game removes the jagged edges of the past to offer a visual spectacle like no other.

Take To The Skies

While it would be easy to discredit this title as a carbon copy of the original with a new campaign, it’s slightly more than that. The visuals are definitely an improvement from the last outing. The gameplay is much more varied with all the filler content and frustrating sections removed and the narrative while coincidentally similar to a former title, is still written very well and delivered with aplomb.

7

How we see it, this is the definitive edition of the previous Ace Combat title. It’s not going to to blow the socks off returning players, but it serves as the best way to play Ace Combat and that’s all that matters.

Pros

  • Delivers a strong narrative campaign
  • Visuals are much improved
  • Gameplay is much more varied and diverse

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a great deal of new mechanics or gameplay for returning players
  • Attempts to vary gameplay don’t always come off

Download Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Playstation 2 Screenshots

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