Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation nicely managed to create its own niche on the market. Where previously just about every pc gamer had his joystick standing next to his keyboard to play some titles like Strike Commander, Wing Commander of let’s say Flight Simulator, wannabe-pilots now have to be satisfied with this series. But we don’t mind that so much in the end.
Those known with the series will quickly feel at home. Top Gun is never far away and you feel like Tom Cruise on speed, with unlimited ammo and more bleeps on your radar than days in a government formation. G-forces are flying around your ears and when you fly stable for more than a couple of seconds you can expect some warning signals and rockets locked onto your jet. This is arcade to the max, but you do get the feeling that the good ending of the story depends on only one thing: how well you handle your stick.
Revvin’ up your engine
Listen to her howlin’ roar
Metal under tension
Beggin’ you to touch and go
And you’ll want to do this well; the storyline was really well-made with ambitious cut-scenes that want to be more than something on the side and appeal on emotion, drama and complex political situations. To be praised no doubt, but not always equally fitting with the gameplay and most of all just a tad too over the top to convince European gamers like us. The lesser voice-acting pushes the whole over the edge, the only downpoint in a for the rest very good soundtrack, finished with vivid sound effects and realistic jitter on the radio.
During the 15 missions that can take up to an hour to finish, you’ll be happy to use your ears while your eyes feast on the truly breathtaking environments. As a modern arena the blue sky fills quickly with anti-aircraft fire and gentle white smoke left behind by desperately curling rockets. The only thing that makes you realise you’re not looking through your window is the ballet of metal, directed by you, your wingman and the hundreds of adversaries.
Highway to the Danger Zone
Ride into the Danger Zone
The action doesn’t only play high in the sky. Your objectives, several in each mission, are dynamic and varied and require you take on targets in the air, on the ground and on the sea. From AA guns over battlecruisers, oil rigs, tanks, jeeps, AWACS and even gian flying sci-fi airplane carriers. A detailed briefing nicely explains everything and lets you choose and buy the right planes and add these with the weapons and superweapons of your choice. After that, it’s up to you to set priorities and offer support where necessary.
If you’ve finished the different difficulty degrees then this time there’s more to do online. There you can find an even more intense chaos of downloadable content, well crafted online modes and a handful of co-op missions. It hardly ever gets better on Xbox Live than loosing yourself with sixteen people in the green shine of the HUD and making each other swallow one manoevre after the other.
Headin’ into twilight
Spreadin’ out her wings tonight
She got you jumpin’ off the track
And shovin’ into overdrive
The feeling of being a metal angel has never been told so beautiful, intense and immersive as in this Ace Combat 6. I’ll see you up there!
Highway to the Danger Zone
Gonna take you
Right into the Danger Zone