A solid multiplatform strategy could put the series back on track after the disappointing Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
Publisher Bandai Namco revealed that its upcoming flight sim Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will launch across multiple platforms in 2017, and is now set to arrive for the Xbox One and PCs in addition to a previously announced PlayStation 4 release.
PlayStation VR owners will still want to keep an eye out for the PS4 edition, however, as the port will offer exclusive missions specifically suited for Sony’s virtual reality headset.
Ace Combat 7 continues Bandai Namco’s long-running flight simulation series for the current console generation. The game offers a lengthy single-player campaign mode penned by Sunao Katabuchi, who previously tackled scriptwriting duties for the PlayStation 2 series entries Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
The story remains a central part of the experience in the series’ latest sequel, continuing a tradition established in the franchise’s early days for the original PlayStation and PS2. Previous games in the series featured campaigns offering multiple branching storyline paths, and with writer Katabuchi at the helm, Skies Unknown will likely follow suit.
The last time the series attempted a multiplatform release was in 2011 when Ace Combat: Assault Horizon launched for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC platforms. Many longtime fans considered Assault Horizon a disappointment due to its drastically overhauled dogfighting mechanics and outsourced writing staff, who shifted the series away from its traditional fantasy setting in favor of a story that took place in the United States.
A new trailer released this week for Ace Combat 7 makes note of several fictional settings for its campaign missions, potentially marking a return to form. Other returning features include online multiplayer dogfights and a one-on-one local versus mode.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown launches for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms later this year.