Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

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Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
Ace Combat 6 Fires of Liberation Game Cover.jpg
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco Bandai Games
Director(s) Natsuki Isaki
Hiroyasu Hosoya
Masato Kanno
Designer(s) Satoshi Kawase
Composer(s) Keiki Kobayashi
Tetsukazu Nakanishi
Hiroshi Okubo
Junichi Nakatsuru
Ryuichi Takada
Series Ace Combat
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA 20071023October 23, 2007

JP 20071101November 1, 2007
EU 20071123November 23, 2007
AU 20071213December 13, 2007

Genre(s) Combat flight simulator
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution DVD-DL

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (エースコンバット6 解放への戦火 Ēsu Konbatto Roku Kaihō e no Senka?) is the sixth installment developed by Project Aces and published by Namco Bandai Games exclusively for the Xbox 360 as part of the Ace Combat franchise.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay during co-op mode. The player, center, is surrounded by the HUD in this camera view.

Throughout Ace Combat 6, the player must pilot a fighter jet or other aircraft to destroy foes both in the air and on the ground. As an arcade flight game, it simplifies flight controls and gives the player a large amount of bullets, missiles and other weapons, putting them up against a very large amount of enemy forces. In addition to missiles and a vulcan cannon, the player can equip special weapons such as heat-seeking missiles, bombs, rocket launchers, and others. The player can lock on to a number of foes, and assist different tactical squads by switching between their respective HUD readouts.

The game includes 4 default multiplayer modes: Battle Royale, Siege Battle, Team Battle, and Co-Op Battle. In Battle Royale, the basic Deathmatch game mode, up to sixteen players shoot each other down to earn the highest points at the time limit. In Team Battle, a basic Team Deathmatch game is created. Points are awarded based on the type of aircraft destroyed. A unique type of multiplayer game, Siege Battle is played with two teams, Attacking and Defending. The Attacking team attempts to destroy the target (usually heavily defended by flak) within the time limit. The Defending team tries to halt their attack. The co-op battle mode consists of two single-player missions without AI that can be played with up to three other humans.

Plot[edit]

Characters[edit]

Story[edit]

Ace Combat 6 follows the fictional cold war between the Republic of Emmeria and the Federal Republic of Estovakia on the Anean continent, north of Yuktobania. It begins with the invasion of the Emmerian capital, Gracemeria, by the Estovakian Air Force on August 30, 2015. Players take on the role of an Emmerian ace pilot and squadron leader who has the callsign Talisman. The player's wingman goes by the callsign Shamrock, and will fight alongside Talisman throughout the entire game. Both characters are assigned to the Garuda team of the Emmerian Air Force's 28th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Prior to the war, an asteroid shower (Caused by fragments of the Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid, previously mentioned in Ace Combat 04) devastated Estovakia while Emmeria was left unscathed. After a period of chaos and civil war, the country was taken over by The Generals, uniting the country, and begins a massive military buildup to invade Emmeria.

The story begins in the Emmerian capital of Gracemeria, with the story of Melissa Herman as she watches her daughter getting on to a school bus for a field trip. As she watches, enemy aircraft suddenly swoop in and fire on the King's Bridge, the one Matilda's school bus will be crossing, cutting it in half. Emmerian fighter pilots scramble to intercept a surprise invasion by the Estovakian Air Force, resulting in a full scale war between the two nations.

The Emmerian Air Force and Navy manages to repel the first attack, but Nimbus cruise missiles launched from the P-1112 Aigaion destroys any aircraft and ship within their blast radius, crippling the entire Emmerian military. Ace pilots from the Estovakian Air Force's "Strigon Squadron" arrive on the heels of the attack to establish air supremacy over Gracemeria. With the military infrastructure crippled, an evacuation is ordered by Air Defense Command and all pilots are informed that the crippled military forces are ordered to rendezvous on Khesed Island, still under the control of Emmeria for all remaining Emmerian forces to regroup for a counterattack against the invasion.

Over the next 3 months of fighting, the Emmerians in the mainland are losing the war as more Estovakians ovveruns their miliary bases and airfield, pushing the Emmerians west while the remaining active forces of the Emmerian military regroups at Khesed Island. Garuda team managed to repel bombing strikes in Khesed Island and pushes forward where Garuda Team are tasked to assist ground and air forces cut off from the bulk of the Emmerian Army. Eventually, Garuda Team assists with the Navy for an amphibious landings at Rargom Beach in Anea in order to reach the exhausting military forces fighting in the mainland. Once the coastlines are secured, the Emmerians begins their counter-offensive as they push Eastward towards Gracemeria, rescuing various units trapped at Silvat Town. As they proceed, Nimbus cruise missiles are stalling their pace, so the military decides to retake San Loma city and locate the "heavy command cruiser" which turns out to be a giant airship escorted by 4 more. Garuda Team made confrontation with the P-1112 Aigaion and its escorts, leading to its destruction alongside several members of the Strigon Squadron assigned to protect it, removing the threat of its Nimbus anti-air missile system in future operations. As the Emmerian military advances through the Moloch Desert, Air Defense Command orders all forces to suddenly withdraw just as they are on the verge of success. Shamrock ignores the order and engages members of the Strigon Squadron that are in the area, forcing Talisman to assist. They successfully shot down most of their members, but both were severely suspended from all combat operations and reprimanded for disobeying orders. It is revealed that Estovakia is planning to disperse chemical weapons inside Gracemeria as a last resort option should Emmeria succeed in breaking through. Talisman and Shamrock are tasked to destroy a convoy carrying the WMDs which would redeem themselves from a short restriction from flying, Garuda Team is tasked with the destruction of the WMD catalyst stationed at Fort Norton and retreats until they realized that the Estovakians have set a trap in order to destroy Emmeria's best combat ace in the military as more squadrons encircles Garuda Team, overrunning them, but the Garuda team managed to repel their attacks with a help from their squadrons to show their loyalty to their best ace in their Air Force. After its destruction, the Emmerian military is now free to begin their operation called the "Liberation of Gracemeria".

After an intense ground, naval and air battle, the Emmerians manage to liberate Gracemeria. Ilya Pasternak, the new leader of the Strigon Squadron, orders his squadron to retreat and faces off against the Garuda Team in the skies over the city alone and nobly sacrifices himself, knowing that Garuda Team is superior, but wanting the final challenge. Garuda team and various other pilots are then assigned to a night-time air patrol over the capital city in celebration. During the patrol, Shamrock reveals that his family, his wife and daughter, who he had been fighting for all along, were killed in the war and that he could not call himself an Ace pilot since he was unable to defend those he cared most about, and announces that he intends to resign after the mission. Subsequently, a surprise wave of cruise missiles are launched at Gracemeria from a previously unknown Estovakian weapon, the Chandelier (which had been originally constructed as a defense against the Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid), accompanied by stealth fighters which engage the pilots. Garuda Team proceeds to shoot down the missiles before any serious damage is done. During this time, Melissa is reunited with her daughter. Lt. Colonel Voychek, an Estovakian officer, is disgusted at his country's willingness to slaughter civilians and hands over vital information concerning Chandelier, including its weaknesses.

The final mission takes place deep within Estovakian territory, the only time Emmeria enters Estovakian territory throughout the game. Realizing that their destruction is imminent, Emmeria decides to pool their active air squadrons in the air force including the Garuda team in an all-out assault to destroy the Chandelier. They manage to slip past the Chandelier's defenses and damage the railgun's cooling systems but fail to destroy the weapon. Shamrock then goes on a suicide mission to locate the final weakness of the weapon by performing a recon of the loading trench below the gun to confirm the position of a backup cooling unit. With his plane heavily damaged by anti-aircraft fire, he crashes his plane into the ground. Talisman follows through with the destruction of the cooling unit, before flying into the barrel of the cannon to blast the core, destroying the Chandelier. Voychek narrates the ending, stating that Estovakia's war was born out of desperation and convinced that it was still the right thing to do under the circumstances, but also hoping for a peaceful future between both nations. He also reveals that The Generals were ousted from power as a result of the war and the new government negotiated a peace deal with Emmeria. Shamrock is also seen narrating the ending, however he is restricted to a wheelchair due to injuries sustained from the crash. The final cutscene shows him arriving at the Herman household, which has become a shelter for war orphans. The scene finishes with Shamrock narrating to Talisman that the peace between both nations had been what they'd always been fighting for and that it had finally come.

Downloadable content[edit]

Namco has released seven sets of downloadable paint schemes for Ace Combat 6's aircraft. These paint schemes modify the plane's maneuverability, speed, armor, and payloads.[1] Among the schemes available are those of Ace Combat 2's protagonist, paint schemes based on aircraft prototypes, an A-10 with the Shark mouth, and a Halloween paint scheme for the F-14D that gives the plane stealth capabilities. "Colored Wings", aircraft with monotone paint schemes each themed to a different color for airshows are also available. There are also a series of paint schemes modeled after various Ace Squadrons from previous games. These Ace Squadron colors include the Grabacr and Razgriz Squadrons from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War; the Rot Squadron (EF-2000 Typhoon), Espada Squadron (Rafale M), Gault Squadron (Su-47 Berkut), Galm Team (Cipher and Pixy F-15E), and Crow Team (PJ F-16C, currently not available) from Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War; Mobius 1 (F-22A Raptor) and Yellow Squadron (Su-37) from Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies; Gryphus 1 (F-22A Raptor) from Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception and Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere organizations UPEO (Eurofighter Typhoon) and General Resources (A/F-117 Nav Hawk).

In addition to the above, alternate paint schemes for several planes based on characters from the Namco Bandai game The Idolm@ster are featured.

Furthermore, Japanese players were awarded a bonus for pre-ordering the game online. The bonus came in the form of a card with two codes on it. Both would unlock special paint schemes for the F-15E Strike Eagle, based on the Yellow 13 Su-37 and Mobius 1 F-22A Raptor from Ace Combat 04.

Namco has also released downloadable co-op versions of single player missions. Ragno Fortress, and Chandelier are now available in addition to The Aigaion and San Loma which came with the game.

As of early November 2007, GAME, a leading UK gaming retailer, awarded the same pre-order bonus to buyers in the United Kingdom.

Ace Edge[edit]

Ace Combat 6 Flight Stick
(Ace Edge)
Ace Combat 6 - Ace Edge.jpg
Ace Combat 6 Flight Stick
Manufacturer Hori, Namco Bandai
Type Flight Joystick controller
Generation Seventh generation era
Retail availability October 23, 2007
Connectivity USB

The Ace Edge is a joystick and throttle controller designed specifically for Ace Combat 6. Produced by Hori, it was only made available for purchase in a special-limited edition package of the game. The Ace Edge package was only officially released in North America and Japan. The price of the package was $149.99 US dollars. The package also includes an Ace Combat 6 faceplate for an Xbox 360.

It is called "Flight Stick EX" in Japan. It is very similar to the Saitek X45 HOTAS joystick / throttle system popular with PC flight simulation players. The throttle unit is identical, while the control column is slightly different (likely to better accommodate Xbox button maps). The top of the X45 stick featured two 8-way hat switches, one on the left and one at the bottom, and three thumb buttons above them with one under a safety cover; the Ace Edge retains the left 8-way hat switch, but swaps the positions of the thumb buttons and the second hat switch, with three of the Xbox controller's four main buttons in a rearranged order (Y, B and X, left to right, A being the trigger) below an analog mini-stick rather than a second hat switch. The stick also features both a flexible sleeve over the shaft and spring, and a wrist pad, neither present on the Saitek X45.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 81.57% (56 Reviews)[3]
Metacritic 80/100 (54 Reviews)[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 6.5, 6.5, 8.0[7]
Game Informer 8.75/10
GameSpot 8.5/10[5]
IGN 8.4/10[6]
Official Xbox Magazine 8.5/10

The game received generally positive reviews from critics, although these were slightly lower than the previous games. TeamXbox gave it an 8.8/10 rating,[8] while X-Play rated it a 4/5.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]