Ace Combat Infinity
|Ace Combat Infinity|
|Developer(s)||Namco (Project Aces)|
|Publisher(s)||Bandai Namco Games|
|Genre(s)||Combat flight simulator|
Ace Combat Infinity (Japanese: エースコンバット インフィニティ; Ēsu Konbatto Infiniti) is a free-to-play combat flight simulator video game developed by Project Aces exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It is the eighteenth title in the Ace Combat series, and was released worldwide at the end of May 2014. It is the first free-to-play title in the Ace Combat series, and takes place on Earth; however, it includes certain elements from past Ace Combat games, including historical events, organizations, superweapons, and original aircraft.
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Setting and characters
Ace Combat Infinity is set in an alternate timeline, in which Earth was ravaged by "the Ulysses Disaster". In 1994, a fictional asteroid collides with one of Jupiter's moons, 5254 Ulysses. This event sends about 10,000 meteors heading for Earth, all expected to impact the planet in five years' time. Faced with the prospect of extinction, the world's major superpowers began "Stonehenge", a network of anti-meteor railguns across the planet. Five years later, in July 1999, the meteor storm finally struck Earth. While Stonehenge destroys enough of the inbound meteors to prevent human extinction, the remaining meteors still ravaged about 20% of the Earth's surface, destabilizing the economy and collapsing the world order.
The disaster hits Europe and Asia especially hard, forcing the nations to reorganize and create automated refugee zones. 20 years after the Ulysses Disaster, the United Nations Forces finds itself fighting against terrorist organizations around the world, including one called "the Sons of Troia". To better combat the terrorist threat, the UN hires Arrows Air Defense and Security, a private military company specializing in aerial warfare.
The player character and silent protagonist, callsign "Reaper", is a rookie pilot employed by Arrows. Arrows assigns Reaper to the "Bone Arrow" squadron, which includes long-time pilot "Omega" and ace veteran "Viper". Part-way through the story, Bone Arrow becomes rivals with Ridgeback Squadron, a squadron of elite UNF pilots headed by leader "Slash" and his second-in-command, "Edge". The main antagonistic forces against Bone Arrow and the Ridgebacks are the Sons of Troia, a group of armed terrorists who later create an independent "Federation of Usea". Reaper's actions against the Sons of Troia and Usea soon make him a recognized mercenary ace pilot.
Callsign "Reaper" is deployed for his first mission in Tokyo, working with fellow Bone Arrow squad mate Omega to destroy terrorist forces deployed by the Sons of Troia. The terrorists then capture the "Greymen", an exclusive group of nine world leaders, and the UN finds out they're being held in Iyuli, one of the Ulysses refugee zones in southern Russia. Bone Arrow is joined by the Ridgeback Squadron, the UN's elite squadron, as well as UN Marines and other UN squadrons for the rescue operation. Upon arriving at the facility, the Marines find the location empty, with the Greymen nowhere to be found. Sudeenly, all of the UN forces in the area are attacked by railgun fire, and at least two UN squadrons are shot down. Bone Arrow and Ridgeback successfully escape through the canyon. The UN confirms the source of the attack to be the Stonehenge Type-3 installation in Turkey, which was captured by the Sons of Troia prior to the attempted rescue operation. The UN sends Bone Arrow and Ridgeback, as well as the UN Marines, to destroy the Type-3 facility. "Reaper" single-handedly destroys all of the radar jamming stations and railguns in the facility, earning himself a name among the UNF and mercenary forces.
Following the destruction of Stonehenge Type-3, Kacper Cohen, the leader of the Sons of Troia, publishes a statement to the world. Cohen was working for Wernher Noah Enterprises, an arms manufacturer that helped the world's economy recover from the Ulysses Disaster, but was fired when the UN discovered that he was working on a secret space weapons project. Cohen claims the UN has been too fully concentrated on the wishes of the world's superpowers, not the Ulysses refugees. Having executed the nine Greymen, Cohen declares the creation of Usea, a federation of multiple nations across the southern Eurasian continent. The Usean army simultaneously takes over the entire area they have control over, and the UN, slow to respond and few in number, sends all of their forces to counterattack the Usean forces in Dubai and Tokyo.
Bone Arrow and Ridgeback are sent to Tokyo; in the midst of their battle, they encounter a large airborne command cruiser. A highly maneuverable aircraft, identified as a QFA-44 and protected by drones armed with lasers, takes off from the cruiser and engages the two squadrons. During the battle, Slash is forced to eject, where a drone proceeds to kill him in mid-air with a direct laser. His second-in-command, Edge, becomes enraged and attempts to shoot down the aircraft. While Viper manages to stop Edge from getting herself killed, Reaper takes the kill, and the aircraft is destroyed. The squadrons then engage the airborne cruiser, and Reaper deals the final blow to its cockpit. The remaining Usean forces retreat, and Tokyo is liberated.
Having taken heavy losses in the operation, the UN invites Arrows into Task Force 118, codenamed "Arrowblades", to combat the threat of the Usean army. Arrows agrees to this request, uniting them with Ridgeback and several mercenary squadrons from all over the world.
Fighters MiG-21bis F-16C Fighting Falcon F-14A Tomcat MiG-29A Fulcrum F-14A -Zipang F-15C Eagle F-14A -Wardog Typhoon Su-35 Flanker-E F-22A Raptor T-50 PAK-FA F-14D Super Tomcat MiG-31 Foxhound Su-27 Flanker Su-33 Flanker-D Su-37 Terminator YF-23A Black Widow II
Multiroles F-4E Phantom II Mirage 2000-5 F-16F Fighting Falcon Mirage 2000-5 -White Tiger F-16F -Desert Rock Gripen C Su-24MP Fencer F/A-18F Super Hornet EA-18G Growler F-15E Strike Eagle Rafale M F-15S/MTD F-15S/MTD -Stripes F-35B Lightning II Rafale M -Vent d'Ange Su-47 Berkut ADFX-01 Block1 Morgan ADFX-01 Morgan ASF-X Shinden II
Attackers F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasel AV-8B Harrier II plus Su-25TM Frogfoot Su-24M Fencer-D F-2A A-10A Thunderbolt II F-117A Nighthawk F-2A -Shogun- Su-34 Fullback
Infinity had a lengthy teaser campaign by Bandai Namco and Kazutoki Kono (director of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon), consisting of posts from the Twitter accounts of Project Aces and Kono along with a website for the game published on July 11, giving various hints to fans of the series to decipher. The game's title and certain vague details were announced through a 46-second trailer released on July 19, 2013.
On August 2, 2013, a second teaser trailer was released containing more information on the game's single-player elements. The second trailer confirmed that the Stonehenge railgun network from Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, along with the "Estovakian Aerial Fleet" (composed of numerous aerial fortresses) from Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, would make an appearance in Infinity. In addition, an AWACS unit codenamed Sky-Eye was to be a recurring character, also referencing Ace Combat 04. The game itself was simultaneously announced on Bandai Namco Games Europe's website, where it was also revealed that the game would use the free-to-play model (the first in the series to do so). Olivier Comte, Senior Vice President of BANDAI NAMCO Games Europe, said, "The Ace Combat franchise has evolved dramatically over the years, but never before have we been able to offer its amazing graphics and tactical action for free. The team at Project Aces listens very carefully to its players, and is bringing the best the series has to offer to ACE COMBAT INFINITY, with plenty of new surprises too."
On February 4, 2014 (after a false start in November and a Japan-only beta in December), a week-long beta for Infinity was publicly released worldwide. It featured the first two missions from the single player campaign and a work-in-progress competitive multiplayer mode. Players could submit feedback to the development team during the beta phase, which went into consideration during the production of the final release.
The game was released worldwide in May 2014. It includes five story missions and eight multiplayer missions (three of which had a rare chance of appearing following a previous one). Since the game's release, various events have taken place awarding users limited-time items, and a Player vs. Player gameplay mode, as well as at least 3 future story missions, are planned to be added.
- Hussain, Tamoor (22 April 2014). "Ace Combat Infinity gets Japanese release date and new trailer". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- Gera, Emily (23 April 2014). "Ace Combat Infinity launching for free to PS3 on May 27". Polygon. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Ace Combat Infinity - PSN - Create new skies...(Teaser trailer)". YouTube. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Ace Combat Infinity - PSN - Create new skies...(Teaser trailer)". YouTube. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- "ACE COMBAT INFINITY M1". YouTube. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "Ace Combat Infinity - PS3 - The day our sky fell...(Teaser trailer)". YouTube. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Burrow, Alex. "Ace Combat Infinity open beta starts today". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
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