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Why did I choose Ace Fighter? I have played a few modern air combat sims, then some were too lite while others too tough. I will stick to a game only when I realise that it has sufficient potential for me and my channel. To put it bluntly, Ace Fighter is one such game that fits the bill that I have explored.
Before this game, I had played War Wings which was a WW2 air combat sim. The game was good, no doubt. Due to the lack of developer support, there were no updates to the game for a long time. Eventually, I lost interest. I did try other games. Those games did not spark that kind of interest.
What is the game all about?
Getting back to Ace fighter, the game is a modern air combat sim that has everything from the 3rd generation to the 5th. The game is made from Unity so you can expect good graphics, right? Let’s find out.
Ace Fighter does not disappoint on that front as you can see in most of my videos. The fighter jets, environments and combat animations are well made. Fighter jets are accurately made and are taken from the real world.
It has a plethora of them which is nice. The environments are nicely done and often changes from level to level. You will be pleasantly surprised how good it actually is.
As with all games, Ace Fighter takes you through the tutorial of how to play the game.
Flight controls are simple. You have a choice on how to control your fighter, from D-Pad to tilt. These controls can be made default either before or during gameplay which is nice. I prefer the traditional D-Pad where the throttle control is conveniently placed. Considering how varied the controls are, the developers have done an excellent job by offering choices to the gamers.
Not everyone would be comfortable with one kind of control. The option to change how to fly your jet is something I appreciate. This freedom should be duplicated in all sims. It offers the flexibility one needs to play a game.
The weapons you have here are the primary weapon which is a single missile. Your secondary weapon is a cluster of missiles that shoot multiple targets. I often call the secondary weapon cluster missiles. The other is your cannon for close-range combat.
Playing the Game:
The tutorial isn’t comprehensive as expected but it is enough to get you started. The combat starts directly in flight by default so, there is no landing or take-off on and from the ground.
Controls are surprisingly easy and require a little getting used to. That’s because initially, you would not know when to best use the chaff and flares to escape heat seekers. It is natural as with any game the mechanics are different.
Let’s not compare it with other games out there that takes realism seriously. That’s not what Ace Fighter is good for. There are other things.
The physics is realistic but the gameplay is not realistic enough. Some combat sims try to showcase close to the real thing by banking hard left or right to escape a missile. The way you out manoeuver a SAM or AAM lock-on is not how it happens in real life in this game. However, no game can mirror the real-life scenario unless you’re not an Ace Combat!
There are dedicated buttons to do either a barrel roll manoeuver, banking right, left or an Immelman manoeuver and deploying chaff or flares. It’s expected because I think the game has kept air combat as simple as it can. If that’s what it is trying to achieve then the developers have done a good job. Realism is acceptable.
Understanding the game mechanics:
There are no upgrades, but you can buy better planes and ammo with the in-game gold. This is easily done not just with the rewards you get after every mission but by getting rewards after playing ads. On this front, the game is very generous in doling out rewards. You spin the wheel as in the wheel of fortune and you get some good rewards.
The campaign mode explored:
The campaign is the first gameplay mode you must play and then slowly as you progress with high scores, other game modes unlock. There are sufficient game modes to keep you engaged and busy. Combat is intense and just because you can complete a level easily does not mean that all levels are easy. You will come across levels with the last mission that is challenging to complete. It is important that getting better planes will only marginally help. A better plane does not necessarily mean you can complete the level. You must use minimal tactics to complete the level.
You start with the F4 Phantom and gradually build your way up from there. The jet buying process is linear. It means you cannot skip the jet to your immediate right. This linear upgrade may irk you. I have explained the ‘linear jet buying process’ in more detail in my video. Be sure to check it out.
When using weapons, make sure you achieve a successful lock-on. You may encounter situations when you have locked on to a target, but after firing your missile, the enemy pilot may evade or you may miss hitting your target. It is normal. Don’t fear losing your stack of missiles. Next, I will tell you how you can spend less to maintain your stash of gold.
The Wheel of Fortune will come to your rescue should you need more gold. How does it work? Tap view to see a commercial ad. After that, tap to spin the wheel of fortune. You get whatever the pointer points to when the revolving stops.
Follow this for the campaign mode. This strategy is also helpful when you play the other game modes, which I will discuss in the next video.
Exploring other Game Modes:
There are different modes for you to try out with other human players. There are a few modes you can use if you get bored with the campaign. The pacing of the game is just right – not too fast, not too slow. How fast you manage to take out enemy fighters will also determine the pacing.
Death Match consists of up to 8 players that include yourself duking it out against one another. Here too, your skills come into play. But needless to say, it is better to win to make sure you get some fat rewards. There is a way in which you can earn more. Stick around, and I will give you a tip to earn more gold.
Team Online also consists of 8 players. It is similar to the deathmatch, except, in this case, you are in a 4×4 dogfight.
Naval online is by far the most interesting of all the modes out there. You do two things: sink four ships and defend yourself from the enemy doing the same to your fleet. Here your mission is to destroy the enemy fleet ASAP.
Why you should play these modes:
It offers variety. A strong reason is to top the leaderboards. Even if you have completed the campaign, you can continue playing these to top the leaderboards. You can see your ranking here and strive to improve it with every game.
The purpose of these game modes in Ace fighter is to give you other available options to play the games. Not all modern combat sims will treat you with these things. So, it is best to make good use of these modes.
I mostly played the naval and the deathmatch. The naval fight is interesting, as you are busy taking down enemy ships while struggling to survive. Compared to the others, it takes longer to complete this mode. That’s because naval ships have a higher health point as compared to fighter jets. So, taking them all out does take time.
Here’s a tip should you want to succeed in the naval mode. If you desire to finish the game faster, do your best to fire the cluster missiles rather than firing the single missiles all the time. Use this tactic and notice the difference. You can thank me in the comments.
Gold – The only in-game currency:
Let’s face it sooner or later in the game, you will run out of gold. Getting newer jets is your top priority, but how are you going to get it.
The easiest and simplest way is the most obvious – play the game, collect the gold and buy your new jet. That might sound easy, but the trouble exists elsewhere.
The Wheel of Fortune works entirely at random. I recommend using it as often you can because few things work: if you get the gold, good for you. You can use it to buy better jets or increase your stash of missiles. The other is you other things like anti-missile, which is chaff and flares, more ammo. Don’t spend gold to buy missiles. Use this method to stack them up instead. Use your gold for only two things – buy a newer jet and increase your stockpile of cannon ammo. Yes, the wheel of fortune does have the cannon ammo in it. But, depending on what fighter jet you have, the cannon ammo on that wheel, may not be compatible with your current jet.
For example, if you have the F22 with GAU-8 as the standard cannon. The wheel of fortune does not have that listed. It has the previous one M61 Vulcan cannon. Do you see how much ammo I have collected with it? It is of no use because GAU-8 is much better at taking out enemy jets in close combat. You will realise this just as I did when you use it.
The game is fun to play but not that challenging. I managed to beat the boss in one try. A few more retries would be nice. I think that may have been done on purpose to let the players know on what to expect. The rare challenge comes in the form of one task that you may have to retry several times.
But, you can also easily overcome once you realise the workaround. What keeps the game interesting are the campaign mode, one-off challenges at random levels that comes in it and the different game modes. But, as you progress deeper in the campaign, you will need better planes as the enemies are bound to get tougher and longer survival, better ammo is needed.
The only benefits in getting better jets are the higher health points that can ensure longer survival and the better ammo which you can load. There is no upgrade system in place. The in-game buying process is sequential or linear, you cannot jump planes to get a better one. You must buy planes that are in sequence. This is achieved by how much you score. It seems odd but it is like forcing the players to use every plane which I feel is not necessary. But the choice is yours, if you can afford it you can buy the next best plane and skip the previous one altogether. You fly one jet and all the others feel just the same.
Combat is intense and engaging and despite the repetitive gameplay, it does not feel entirely monotonous. But if you are looking for no hassles air combat sim with an engaging and intense dogfight, then Ace Fighter is just what you need.
Overall, it may seem fairly easy for serious gamers to play this game but for hardcore gamers, the lack of realism in it may restrict their interests. I found the game to be easy and not sufficiently challenging. Out of the total score of 20, Ace Fighter gets 17 from 11 gaming parameters with an average scoring of 1.54 points which makes it a good game earning a final rating of 7 out of 10.