Ace Combat the Balkan War
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.
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
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
2 player mode –
take on a friend in split-screen dog fighting action and dominate
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.