Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation Review

You’d be hard-pressed to name another airplane-combat game outside of the Ace Combat series. The series has definitely become the main title in the rather limited genre, and whether you like it or not, it certainly has its devoted following.

Located between the arcade and sim flight titles, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation is a game that will really be hit or miss depending on the type of gamer you are. If you’ve enjoyed past Ace Combat titles, you’ll love this, because it’s essentially more of the same with some slightly updated gameplay mechanics and a shiny new coat. If you couldn’t stand the past titles, however, this will do nothing to rectify the situation.

As anyone who has read my reviews knows, I’m a huge fan of games with a great story and great characterization. That being said, Ace Combat 6 is a huge slap in the face in those departments. Once again we have a story involving two obviously fake countries going to war for some reason or another, and characters I never cared about. Mothers, old soldiers, random guys – I really stopped paying attention to the story halfway through the game, and just focused on the action. If I hear “Go dance with the angels” one more time I swear I’m going to break something.

If you can ignore the story and extremely stupid catchphrase, however, Ace Combat 6 isn’t too bad. The combat is fun (who doesn’t love a dogfight?) and it’s arguably the best console-based flying yet. (Certainly better than certain dragon-inspired affairs.) Flight is also really simplistic, and it’s possible for casual gamers or newbies to the series to pick this up and get into the action right away.

Even with the horrid writing, nothing is as exciting as being engaged in a great aerial dance against an opponent, and finally blowing him out of the sky. Unfortunately, when you get blown out of the sky instead is the game’s biggest problem. The checkpoints are just very infrequent, and it’s not rare to play the same stretch of a mission several times until you clear it, requiring more time dedicated to that one portion of the mission than other missions in their entirety.

Once again, that’s not something longtime players will be shocked by, because not that much has changed in Ace Combat 6. One addition does stand far and above the other minor tacked-on aspects, though: online play. For the first time, you can take the fight online against your friends and foes. Sadly, the online mode is fairly barren in terms of content. Namco Bandai is planning more content, however, so that will make it much better.

Still, playing a live person online is an entirely new experience for Ace Combat. There’s no questioning that even a mediocre player can fly circles around the game’s AI, so every match becomes that much more difficult, and that much more rewarding (if you win). It’s not anything innovative in terms of the gameplay types, but just the fact this iteration allows you to play online should be more than enough for longtime fans.

When you get down to it, Ace Combat 6 is really just like other Ace Combat games. If you loved the older titles, you’ll love Ace Combat 6. If you thought the older titles were overhyped, you’ll still feel the same. Nothing substantial was added to make the game better, and nothing was ruined to make it worse. Like any other Ace Combat game, expect moments of brilliant combat intertwined with moments of frustrating mediocrity and poor implementation.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.