Holy hell, this has been one wild weekend, everyone. Lots of new stuff has come out for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown! I've been meaning to make a summary blog post detailing everything that's happened and all of the updates to Acepedia, but every time I tried starting this post, something else came up!
So, here's a recap of what's happened:
- "Burn Osea to the ground!"
- ― Unnamed female prisoner
On June 9, 2017 at 10:57 PM Tokyo time, Kazutoki Kono tweeted the following: "Three more minutes?" At 11:00 PM Tokyo time, the non-subtitled version of Ace Combat 7's E3 trailer was released exclusively via GameSpot.
Three hours later, at 1:57 AM Tokyo time, Kono then tweeted another three-minute warning. At 2:00 AM Tokyo time, the subtitled versions of the trailer were released via Bandai Namco's various YouTube channels.
The E3 trailer contained many new details on the game's story. The biggest points are that Farbanti will indeed be in the game, and it got heavily damaged in an early Osean assault, which includes their new aircraft carrier, the Kestrel II. The AC7 briefing maps will also be provided to us via the IUN, an organization that previously appeared in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies promotional material. Erusea has also occupied the International Space Elevator -- it seems like that's all they know how to do, occupy things.
The story is going to be very morally gray. Erusea, supposedly led by its Princess, Rosa Cossette D'Elise, claims that Osea is, once again, attacking indiscriminately and affecting civilian lives. We have yet to see any Osean leadership, so we'll have to see how the plot plays out. We also got a hint from the still-not-yet-named scientist that, despite Erusea declaring war, it's actually unclear as to who made the first attack. There's quite a bit of Osean hatred going on, but as to why exactly, we still have to find out. There's a few more story details that got teased - a satellite network of some kind, as well as an unknown aircraft that looks like a new UAV.
"But I don't care about any of that," I hear you say, "what real aircraft are confirmed?!" You're in luck, as the E3 trailer confirmed the following new aircraft for the playable roster:
- MiG-29A Fulcrum
- Su-33 Flanker-D
- F-15E Strike Eagle
- F-35C Lightning II
- Gripen E - brand-new to the series!
The final frames of the trailer reaffirm that the release date is now in 2018, but we don't know yet what month or day.
E3 Demo Gameplay
- "We're up against that thing? God help us."
- ― Osean pilot
We have confirmation that the VR Demo is at E3, but for the first time, a flat-screen demo is finally available! And boy, there's a lot of info to talk about.
Next, we got a good look at the hangar and its UI. It appears that every aircraft will have three special weapons, but in addition, each aircraft can be modified by parts! In fact, each aircraft can have up to seven parts equipped, each of which will take up a certain number of slots in the Body, Arms, and Misc categories. That's right, the Ace Combat Infinity tuning system is returning for Ace Combat 7! We have no information on what parts will be in the game, or how to unlock them. According to the demo, the F/A-18F Super Hornet will get 36 part slots in each category, and the F-14D will get 38 slots in each category, but this is subject to change.
We've also got some information on new special weapons. The F/A-18F will eventually be able to equip the EML, and the F-14D will eventually be able to equip the brand-new 8AAM through dedicated weapon pods.
The briefing maps will also look and function very similar to Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, and will use the same briefing map seen in the E3 trailer. Checkpoints are back and will work exactly how they did in Infinity. Flares, as previously confirmed, are also back, and instead of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon mapping the flares to L3, flares will require pressing both L3 and R3 simultaneously to launch them. On PlayStation 4, the touchpad will be used to change the radar size (bottom-left) and pause the game (bottom-right). No word on being able to remap the bindings, but both Normal and Expert control schemes are available as usual.
Finally, the clouds. Clouds will contain some wind shear and turbulence, so when you fly through them, you'll hear the wind pick up and your aircraft will shake. It almost seems like you'll lose some handling control, but that's not all that clear just yet. In addition, when enemies fly through denser cloud formations, they will almost entirely disappear from radar and you will lose your radar lock and cannot regain it until the enemy leaves the cloud or you get a better angle that isn't interfered by a cloud. This applies to standard missiles; no word on how other weapons are affected yet. Lighter clouds will still allow you to maintain your lock.
Final note on gameplay: the health bars from Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and Infinity have been removed, but instead, the Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War radar system is in effect. All enemies show up white on the radar, and their color will then change to yellow, orange, and red as they are damaged.
Story spoilers follow.
As for the story, it turns out that we are, in fact, Trigger. Trigger is Number 2 in the Osean Mage Squadron; our squadron leader is Clown. Other Osean squadrons include Golem Squadron (Number 1 Knocker, Number 2 Brownie, Number 3 Boggard, Number 4 Footpad), Gargoyle Squadron, and Skeleton Squadron.
The E3 gameplay demo is of Mission 03, Two-pronged strategy. Clown and Trigger enter the airspace over the Chopinburg Rainforest as Erusean forces are entangled with the other three Osean squadrons mentioned above. According to AWACS Sky Keeper, at least one of them is an aerial recon squadron from Fort Grays Island. The dialogue implies that Brownie is a rookie and that Knocker is attempting to teach her the basics of combat.
After shooting down all enemy bandits, the Arsenal Bird makes its entrance, dropping many of its MQ-101 UAVs. The UAVs and the Arsenal Bird consistently fire missiles, and they manage to shoot down the entire Skeleton Squadron, as well as damage Brownie's aircraft. At this point, everyone is ordered to retreat, and you need to shoot down some pesky UAVs that are still chasing you and your friendlies down. At that point, the E3 demo fades to black with a "To be continued" sign.
In the middle of all of this, Acepedia has gone through some design updates! Here's the main points:
- The Spoiler rule is now in effect. All AC7 mission articles, and anything that refers to an AC7 mission or its contents, will be marked by spoiler tags.
- Fandom has completed its header update!
- As part of this, I can now change the top text, so I have replaced our graphic wordmark with the Project Aces logo and put the name of the wiki in the standard title text.
- I have changed the Ace Combat 5 header image with the Arsenal Bird image that is used on other Acepedia social media headers.
- I've also added a brand-new Ace Combat 7 section for the navigation menu. Let me know what you think!
- The mobile main page has been updated with the same content on the AC7 navigation menu section. Remember, we have mobile apps for the wiki now! Check out the AC7 section for all available content.
E3 is still not over, and we've got a live AC7 demo on PlayStation's E3 stream on Thursday. Bandai Namco has also claimed that there will be an interview with the developers, taking questions from the fans on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, so we've got that to look forward to as well. As well as all that, Famitsu brought out their interview with Kono, and we got the F-2A confirmed as well!
There's more to come, and we're going to keep as up-to-date on the wiki as possible! Thanks to all of our editors for helping us get all of the new content and images, we've got a lot more work coming up :)
- ↑ https://twitter.com/kazutoki/status/873177260068544512
- ↑ https://twitter.com/kazutoki/status/873222739837964288
- ↑ 『エースコンバット7 スカイズ・アンノウン』最新バージョンを体験！ そして河野Pにあれこれ聞いてみた【E3 2017】(2/2). Famitsu. Published on June 13, 2017. Retrieved on June 13, 2017.