Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Game Poster Image
Take to the skies in challenging, fun aerial combat game.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Themes of redemption, bravery, sacrifice set against backdrop of warfare, destruction, treachery.

Positive Role Models & Representations

"Trigger," the player's pilot, never speaks but is portrayed as a pilot who does his job against increasingly difficult odds and is recognized for his efforts. Other wingmates range from boastful to brave, but they all vary their commentary based off of Trigger's actions.

Ease of Play

Gameplay starts easy but ramps quickly with timed missions. Three difficulty levels are included, but some missions require very accurate shooting, flight maneuvering to succeed. Many levels will need to be replayed repeatedly before you succeed on a mission.

Violence

While violence in missions in the middle of combat can be fast and furious, there's no blood or gore shown. Jets fire missiles, bombs, and machine guns at rival jets or vehicles, which blow up when eliminated.

Sex
Language

Frequent use of "ass" and "s--t" in dialogue.

Consumerism

Logos of jet makers show up at start of game, and there are well-known planes available, but otherwise, nothing is included. This is the latest installment in a long-running franchise. VR missions require use of a PSVR headset, which is sold separately, but it isn't necessary to complete the game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One cutscene shows characters drinking, and there's some mention of opening bottles of wine at the end of some missions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is a flight action game for the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. The game is the latest in a long-running franchise that pits players as pilots flying against seemingly impossible odds against the backdrop of war. While dogfighting, strafing, and bombing are all part of combat, there's no blood or gore shown in battle. Planes and vehicles, when destroyed, explode into large fireballs. Swearing is frequently used in dialogue, with "ass" and "s--t" used most often by pilots in comments. There's also one cutscene where characters appear to be drinking, and references to opening bottles of wine to celebrate. Players interested in playing the PS4 VR missions will have to purchase a VR headset, which is sold separately. Players should also be aware that the difficulty level of the game can spike suddenly, forcing many replays of missions and increasing frustration.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous January 23, 2019

Had to ask for a refund

There is a lot of swearing and naming of Jesus's ame in vain (as another swear word). I waited for a year to buy it for my kids and sadly we had to take re... Continue reading
Adult Written byOsMrp February 22, 2019

Weak plot, great gameplay

Game is pretty difficult, but extremely rewarding to play. Despite some...inaccuracies (*cough* having over a 100 missles on a plane *cough*), there are many gr... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 1, 2020

an amazing and thrilling dogfighting experience!

this game is one of my favourite games and to me this game is too unpopular and due to the cursing in the game which includes
curse/impolite words like "... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byOwen D November 9, 2019

Best fighter game for a long time

Loved it. Lots of swearing but the dialogue-based story telling requires it in a few instances. The music is so good. It looks beautiful and runs really well. I... Continue reading

What's it about?

ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN is set in the middle of a conflict between the Osean Federation and the Kingdom of Erusea. The Kingdom launches a massive surprise attack upon the Osean forces, capturing the former Osean president along with a large amount of territory. Players are cast as Trigger, an Osean pilot that tries to repel the invasion along with the rest of his squadron. Unfortunately, during a rescue mission of the president, Trigger is accused of shooting down the escape plane, resulting in a court martial and the assignment to a penal base. Over the course of 20 missions, Trigger will fight alongside a variety of pilots and squadrons to regain standing in the air force, eliminate the Erusean threat, and bring an end to the war. Based on how successful players are during missions, they'll acquire resource points that can be used to purchase new planes, weapons, or plane upgrade parts. They can also earn these points through multiplayer matches. PlayStation 4 owners can get farther into the cockpit with VR missions, making the action seem much more explosive in the skies.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about positive character traits like perseverance. The pilots in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown frequently face seemingly impossible odds and still accomplish their goals. Can you take anything from this perseverance and apply it to your life?

  • Is the violence in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown affected by the lack of realistic violence shown, even though you're constantly destroying enemies? Would the violence be intensified if you were destroying pilots from real countries instead of the fake nations in the game?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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