Ace Combat the Belkan War PS2 Review - -

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 8.1
Sound 7.0
Value 7.7
Distributor: Sony
Review Date:
September 2005
Andrew B


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Ace Combat the Balkan War

Ace Combat: The Balkan War is the latest chapter in the acclaimed Ace Combat franchise on PlayStation 2, widely considered the definitive arcade-style aerial combat series. Serving as a prequel to the previous PlayStation 2 release, The Balkan War will answer questions surrounding the dramatic conflict fought in Ace Combat™: Squadron Leader.


A whole host of new game features have also been introduced, to provide an even more exciting and immersive dog fighting experience for rookie Ace Combat pilots and seasoned aces alike. Contest varied missions as you battle invading forces and the fate of Ustio and its people hangs in the balance.



The storyline of Ace Combat the Balkan War is set around 15 years before the original Ace Combat game and is set in the turbulent region of the Balkans. Thus by completing a variety of linear missions, the player advances through the storyline until the final crescendo through a massive battle fest.


The story is also progressed nicely (although graphically strange) through a variety of characters that tell the tale of this turbulent time that uses real actors. The use of real actors is a mixed bag because they don’t quite fit with the pre-rendered backgrounds and sometimes their acting is quite over the top. Needless to say, some may enjoy the extra "realism" of the in-game cinemas.




  • Epic plot and missions, and more than 30 licensed aircraft
  • Improved enemy AI – some team-up, others choose to take you on in one-on-one dogfights
  • The Ace Style Gauge System – your combat style and choices in battle determine the reactions of other pilots and affect the missions and enemies you will face
  • 2 player mode – take on a friend in split-screen dog fighting action and dominate the skies

The original Ace Combat was ahead of its game when it was originally released on the PlayStation 2 and usually when developers are onto a good thing, you can expect a myriad of sequels and Ace Combat the Balkan War is no exception to the rule.


Ace Combat the Balkan War follows the same gameplay of its predecessors that is heavily reliant on the arcade genre, so those expecting a realistic flight simulator had better purchase a PC but if you’re after a straightforward shootem-up, then you may have come to the right place.


Even though the simulation may have been thrown out the window, the developers have done a great job at modeling all the aircrafts on the game with their real-world counterparts and with that said, the physics and movement of the planes are rather realistic, albeit a little easy.


The control system of Balkan War is rather straightforward and it uses the controller to its advantage with the analog sticks used to control these massive fighter jets through the gaming environment. Combat on the other hand is a little harder with players fighting a variety of different enemies in a number of different dog fight settings. Fortunately, your primary weapon has unlimited ammunition so you can basically shoot until the cows come home.


Probably the most noticeable feature of Balkan War is the all new and improved wingman that don’t just sit in the background but actually become involved in the combat and can handle their own. This is a great touch to the series but interestingly enough, aside from the new missions and wingman, this is really the only difference between this new incarnation and its predecessor.


Graphically, Balkan War is quite impressive on the PlayStation 2 that uses a wide gamut of realistically modeled plans with some great texture detail. Nothing is more entertaining than flying through the skies at high speeds which the developers have managed to successfully implement. The only downside to the graphics as with most flight simulators are the textures on the ground that look a little flat and uninspired... that and the use of real-world actors.



The sound effects in Ace Combat the Balkan War feature everything you would expect to hear from flight combat, whether it’s the loud sounds of the engines or the huge Hollywood sounding explosions, they have all been implemented into the title. Voice acting ranges from excellent to amusing as the actors try to give their own unique spin on the characters they play.


In conclusion, Ace Combat the Balkan War is a sturdy arcade flight simulator but if you’re after a little more than the previous installment, you might want to wait until this title is released on the PlayStation 3 because it really doesn’t deliver much to the series at all. Recommended for those that have never played the series, great graphics, a clichéd story and sturdy gameplay, worth checking out.


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