17 Reviews

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

Take your breath away...

Hand your controller over to your gran or mum and watch as they tilt their head and shift in their seat as they take a corner in a race or attempt to explore the world in an FPS. Oh, how it makes us laugh! Except Ace Combat makes us do just that - every sharp high-G tilts our heads. See, Ace Combat 6 draws you in. It drags you to the edge of your seat and makes you gnash your teeth at every missed shot or dodged missile.

Although it's often referred to as a flight simulation, Ace Combat 6 is no more a simulation than Top Gun is a documentary about the RAF. Every plane handles differently, but we're fortunate enough that they don't handle and fight like the real thing or else we'd spend a lot of time firing missiles at one another from ten miles away or, more likely, upside down in a field.


Where the past Ace Combat titles were limited by the hardware, this throws dozens of planes around the skies of Gracemeria with abandon. Finally set free of technical restraints, Namco have constructed battlefields laced with canyons and littered with vehicles, buildings and trees. Ace Combat 6 is one of the best looking games on 360, and for the first time, the world is complex enough to be a truly functional space.

Shake that enemy pilot by dropping into a canyon and leading him on a tour of sheer rock faces, zip beneath bridges to scare off pursuers and, should you be feeling especially suicidal, fly through a tunnel carved into the side of a mountain where only the bravest will follow.

Do a barrel roll!
It's a game that tests that kind of bravery throughout. Snap decisions made in the heat of combat will haunt you forever; those few miliseconds you took to line up a crucial missile on the enemy fortress may result in glorious victory or sudden deadly-projectile-related explode-o-death.

It's still an air combat game, of course, and they're never everyone's mug of cocoa, but Ace Combat 6 is the best game of its type in a very long time. Even once you've gotten over the visuals and learned the lay of the land on the game's thirteen missions, every level is still an assault on the senses - attacks coming from all directions; targets to the left, right, above and below; dazzling sunlight and blinding rain. It's almost too much; but if you can stick it, step up to the plate and grab a taste of liberation, you can be our wingman any time.

The verdict

One of the prettiest games you'll ever see and the best air combat going.

  • Eye-melting visuals
  • Bum-clenching stuff
  • No stick controller in Europe
Xbox 360
Namco Bandai