Ace Combat 5 Review

home > Playstation 2 > Reviews
Graphics: 10
Sound : 9.5
Gameplay : 9.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 9.5
Review by Scott “TheGoodEvil” Allred
Flying the friendly skies is a thing of the past now that I have Ace Combat 5. I crave aerial action and look forward to stealing the living room TV for the purposes of protecting Sand Island from the invaders of Yucktobania. Ok I guess I’ll have to fill you in eh? Here we go.

HA! Peace is for people too afraid to fight!
Ace Combat 5 takes place some years after the last war that ended with a nuclear blast. Everyone thought that peace would last forever but that didn’t stop them from actively recruiting new fighter pilots! Your squadron is the first (and really the only) line of defense from the Yucktobanian war machine, your job is to completely destroy anything that isn’t on your side, which is nearly everything. To do this you are allowed to buy new fighters as they are unlocked if you have the money to buy them. These fighter jets range from old F-4Es to F-22 Raptors and in between there are 48 others!!! You have to buy the right planes for the right jobs and have enough to supply your wingmen with planes as well. During certain missions you’ll want some wingmen to have air-to-air capabilities and others air to ground. You can command your wingmen to do various other tasks besides follow you; they will follow your orders as issued. Issuing the right command is a big deal in some missions because you’ll have more than one place to be so you’ll need your wingmen to be at the places you can’t.

“I wish this stupid war was over” “Get shot down and it will be over for you”The story in Ace Combat 5 is quite engrossing and the cut scenes are beautiful works of art in their own right. Where the game slips off into aggravation is when your rough and rugged wingmen turn into peace loving hippy scum! They joined the “military” to fly jet “fighters” that were designed to “kill” other “pilots”, they cheer when the battle has been won and they talk smack while in combat but damned all if they don’t whine the whole way to the fight. “I hate this stupid war” is often heard over the radio. I don’t need whiney, wimpy pilots for wingmen! I need crazy, Tom cruise in Top Gun pilots! Besides that the story is pretty deep and really drags you into it making you want to play “just one more mission” before you have to go to work “sorry boss”.

She handles like a Ferrari baby, oh yeah...Ace Combat 5 isn’t a flight sim so don’t get your hopes up. It’s an air combat action game that places more emphasis on gameplay instead of realism. This is great because while I do like flight simulators I like action more and you can’t get more aerial action than you will find in Ace Combat 5. You won’t have to worry about your plane sputtering out if you bank too hard nor will you lose responsiveness if you are hit a few time by enemy fire, you will however not have the UFO style agility of instantly glide to the side to avoid an oncoming missile. Basically physics are almost nonexistent but that in no way effects gameplay, it only adds to the style of the game.

Look in the sky it’s a bird... it’s a plane... it’s... no it’s a plane.
WOW the graphics and cinematics in Ace Combat 5 are simply stunning. Never before have I seen such beautiful graphics in any air combat game be them action or simulation. Things look remarkably real... when you can see them that is. The graphics may be godly beautiful but you can’t really see anything because of the distance between you and the target. You will be allowed to watch the mission replay afterwards though and get to see all the yummy detail that you missed while playing and you might find yourself watching them just to see the awesome aerial combat that Ace Combat 5 is all about.

Whoosh, Zoom (words can’t convey the greatness of sound in Ace Combat)
Absolute atmosphere. Plain and simple, the sounds add so much to the game that without them the game would absolutely suck. Voiceovers are of the highest quality, hearing the guy’s chatter over the radio adds more to gameplay than any graphics ever could luckily you get the goods from all angles. Hearing that you are targeted rushes your mind with thoughts of “EVADE! GET OUT OF THE WAY!” and you do, you’ll start to panic if you can’t shake the little terd that’s tailing you and you pray for a wingman to save your butt. Hearing your wingmen say, “Fox two” when they fire and yell about how they shot one down is pure yumminess. Explosions, missiles firing, gunfire, afterburners all add to the appeal of Ace Combat 5.

Of worthy mention, Ace Combat 5 has no multiplayer system at all, not even head to head. Very bad move compared to the near perfection of the game, could have been fun to shoot down people from all over the world.

TheGoodEvil’s Verdict
There is no other air combat game that can hold a candle to Ace Combat 5 besides Ace Combat 4. If you like air warfare, beautiful graphics, excellent sound, fabulous story, great gameplay and gorgeous cinematics than Ace Combat is the best possible choice for all your desires.

The Goods,
Beautiful graphics, excellent sound, fabulous story, and gorgeous cinematics, great gameplay

The Evils,
Morally confused wingmen.

Discuss this review in the forums.