Ace Combat 7’s VR mode is an absolute adrenaline rush

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Dogfights reach a new level of intensity in VR mode. Screenshot from Ace Combat 7/Bandai Namco

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Dogfights reach a new level of intensity in VR mode.

Screenshot from Ace Combat 7/Bandai Namco

SINGAPORE – After 6 years, the latest sequel to one of the most popular flight simulation games will finally be released this 2017. Though no specific date has been given, Bandai Namco did announce that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will be released for the PC, Xbox One, and the PS4.  

Bandai Namco also announced that the newest Ace Combat game will be taking advantage of VR technology, and players with the Playstation VR will be able to take their dogfights to another level of realism. 

I was able to test out the game’s VR mode and I have to admit that it’s been one of the best VR experiences I’ve had to date. 

The graphics will be a little jagged at first when you step into your jet, but as soon as you take to the skies, you’ll be pleased to know that it quickly smoothens out as you zoom in and out and take down enemies. 

As you climb up to higher altitudes and shoot through the clouds, you’ll notice just how well rendered the atmosphere is. Going through a fluffy white cloud would partially obscure your vision just how it probably really would when you’re on an actual plane, and would even leave droplets of precipitation on your screen. And when you fly with the sun directly in your sights your eyes would even feel the flares. 

Perhaps the best aspect of Ace Combat 7 is how the jet flies when you’re in VR mode. While I’m no pilot or expert in flight simulations, the controls set up for Ace Combat is definitely a little more complicated than most games that involve dogfights. It may seem intimidating at first, but the reward for this is that you have a lot more control on how your fighter jet moves, and this ups the immersion when you’re using the PSVR. (Read: Unboxing the PS VR)

Don’t get me wrong, it will disorient you at first but as soon as you get over the learning curve, piloting becomes a lot easier and more fun. The visual cues guiding you also helps you stay on the right track. The jet moves smoothly as you yaw, accelerate, and tilt to make difficult aerial stunts seem easy.  

It’s also an absolute blast to chase down enemies. Targeting them takes some time, but once you get the hang of it, shooting them down becomes a walk in the park. In fact, the game makes it easier for you to shoot down enemies with its "aimlock," a feature I highly appreciate it allows me to focus more on piloting the jet.  

Adding to the rush is when you’re also being chased down by a homing missile or relentless enemy. The game will warn you if you’re being targeted, and it becomes the perfect opportunity for you to try out some death defying stunts in air.  

I didn’t think I’d be looking forward to a high-flying game like Ace Combat 7, but after trying out its VR mode, I’m a little more convinced to purchase it once it’s released. –