The latest installment in this long-running flight franchise brings fast-paced action to the skies, and while difficulty can sometimes be steep, there's a lot of aerial fun to be had. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown brings players into a new conflict between two rival nations. They'll face off against a variety of hazards, ranging from anti-air vehicles to drones and even enemy fighter aces. The story can be somewhat confusing, especially because Osea, Erusea, and the continent of Usea where this takes place all sound very similar. That makes it possible to mix up sides and storylines, especially with the cutscene narrators. Fortunately, you can ignore that in favor of destroying your objectives from the seat of your plane that's bristling with missiles and ammunition. Each plane (many of which are real planes, like A-10s, F-16s, and others) is incredibly nimble and responsive, and in minutes, you'll feel like you've been soaring through the skies for years. Pulling off inverted turns and high-speed banks and flying through canyons will start to feel like second nature. If you have a PS4, you can dive further into this with the VR missions, which really make you feel like a top gun.
That's extremely important, because the difficulty can really soar between some missions, especially in annihilation missions, where you're tasked with reaching a specific score in a limited amount of time. These can be some of the hardest stages to complete, because you have to be incredibly accurate, destroying your targets quickly to rack up enough points to pass the level, all while avoiding incoming fire. While the difficulty of these missions decreases as you unlock some of the more advanced planes (which require a lot of multiplayer matches or fights through previously cleared missions), they'll still test your flying skills, which can possibly frustrate you as you replay them over and over. Annoyance aside, Ace Combat 7 flies with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat.