Sony Shows More ‘Ace Combat 7’ VR Gameplay Ahead of Jan. 18 Launch


Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is headed to PlayStation 4 January 18th, and while it’s true Bandai Namco isn’t letting players experience the entire campaign in VR, instead creating bespoke VR-only missions, at very least it appears to translate a bit of the flatscreen game’s charm to PSVR headsets in a new demo from Sony’s ‘PlayStation Underground’ team.

The PSVR-specific demo comes right at the five-minute mark in the video (linked above and below).

While understandably less visually detailed than its PS4 counterpart, the PSVR missions aim to ramp up the game with greater immersion. Flying through clouds creates condensation on the canopy and destroying an enemy from behind results in a rain of fiery shrapnel that looks pretty convincing.

When asked why the the studio didn’t put the whole game into VR, Bandai Namco’s Kazutoki Kono said in a 2016 interview with Monster Vine that VR development “turned [out] to be a little tricky than we thought. So we’re actually in a way developing the Ace Combat and the VR experience independently.”

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Despite some clear advantages to player immersion, in our time demoing Ace Combat 7 we foresaw a few other potential hitches that might have made the time investment less worthwhile.

In our hands-on at E3 2017, we noticed that despite its high speed and twisty turns, the game was ultimately a comfortable experience thanks to the cockpit, which is considered a tried-and-true method of keeping VR users grounded. At face value it was also pretty visually impressive, but once you get into the meat of the game, the fluffy clouds and gleaming oceans are less important to the task of keeping an eye on enemies:

Spoiling some of the fun, enemies seemed like an eternal jumble of tiny pixels in front of me, fuzzing into a blueish background. This issue can be blamed on two main factors: PSVR’s limited resolution, and the unavoidable problem of being literal miles away from enemy fighters. You can’t really knock Ace Combat for being Ace Combat in that department, as you almost always rely on the plane’s targeting system to keep an eye on distant baddies, VR headset or traditional monitor. While lower perceived resolution doesn’t effect the gameplay at all, highlighting a singular, low-resolution object that you’re constantly straining to see is a bit of turn-off visually.

Although pure speculation at this point, level difficulty might also be a limiting factor here as well. The flatscreen version of the game offers both third and first-person views, the former giving users an impossibly large field of view to make keeping an eye on enemies an easier task.

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Naturally, you’d have to keep your head on swivel in VR to keep every bad guy in your sights, and it may just be something that didn’t playtest well enough for the company to confidently market the game as a ‘PSVR compatible’, instead giving it the subtitle ‘PSVR mode’.

While the VR mode alone probably won’t justify the $60 price tag (it’s still not clear how extensive it is), if you’ve been sitting on your hands waiting for Ace Combat 7 since before the PSVR was even available, you can at least rest easy knowing the day is almost here.

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  • JesuSaveSouls

    Jesus Christ, God’s Son saved my life and soul.He is my Lord and Savior!

    • Ask JC to put in a word to Big Cheese so he can make Bandai Namco give us more than 3 VR missions.

      • Icebeat

        do you remember SW battlefront in VR? same history.

    • jj


      • Jerald Doerr

        jj, your spellcheck is jacked I know you meant HAIL Lucidfeuer!

    • jj

      literally first post on here and you make it religious spam…..

      Anything you or anybody else has ever said to defend you on here is so so so quickly thwarted by your actions…..

      Racing here to be first comment so you can post about jesus is an insult to every single person involved…. You really think jesus would be proud that you moved your fingers and annoyed people?

      Well like i said before, even jesus probably hates you, because you make christians look more and more insane every time you post.

    • Ian Shook

      Stop already.

    • theonlyrealconan

      No such thing as god. But if there was: it is rather obvious he/she hates us all. (Then again, EA is the devil, so if there is a devil………?)

    • Hivemind9000

      Yeah enough is enough. Reported as spam. Suggest everyone else do the same.

      • gothicvillas

        Yup reported as well

    • polysix


      We’ll eventually evolve to leave idiots like you dead with nothing but your fairy tales for comfort.

    • gothicvillas

      You need help

    • namekuseijin

      tell Jesus his VR headset is top-notch, but the minigames are boring

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Where are all the FPS VR games then?

    • YesPlease

      Arizona sunshine, Firewall: zero hour, superhot, Bravo teem and Doom VFR just to name a few

      • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

        I can’t believe you mentioned Bravo Team! What a pile of crap!

        Doom VFR should be renamed Doom: To Teleport or Hop.

        Firewall: Zero Hour is a multiplayer teleportation game.

        You can play Superhot without spending money on an hmd.

        So, I ask again, where are all the FPS VR games?

        • the vast majority

          Far Point, Borderlands , Raw Data.
          Doom had free movement on psvr and was a lot of fun IMO.

  • Ted Joseph

    I am a Rift and Go owner, but picked up a PSVR for xmas for my son, and purchased the aim controller. I play it more than him! Love VR!

  • polysix

    Great, now Sony just need to release the PS5, PSVR 2 and I’ll (re)buy.

    Had PSVR it’s pretty cool for what it is, nice headmount for jet game too, PS4 (og here) underpowered AF though. Still got the PS4 obv, but sold PSVR back when it was hot.

    I spend 100% of my VR time now on fast pc + rift (doing mostly my own stuff in UE4 – HYPER reality – rather than playing cartoon trash shovelware that most of VR consists of so far)

  • MadMax1998

    I REALLY hope the VR mode makes it to the PC version but if previous PC ports are any indication it won’t…

  • antonio mora

    For $60 I’d rather buy a DCS module.

    • Icebeat

      the problem with DCS is the performance in VR, their software/graphics department is outdated.

  • Kyokushin

    Yes, PSVR is a low res thing, but on PC we can use Samsung Odyssey+. Higher res, no SDE. I would like to buy that game only becaue of VR if it will be avaiable to PC.

    • Tom Szaw

      me too. I also have Odyssey+ 2080 RTX and PC = the best combination

    • Jerald Doerr

      No VR for PC….. I was waiting sooooooo long…. Soooooo disappointed… But anyone interested in AC7 should download the free PC demo of this Kickstarter game called Project Wingman… It’s basically a rip off of AC7… Kickit… Or Google it.. For a free demo, it’s not disappointing at all…

      It looks like he has or will support VR but I don’t have my Vive drivers installed so I don’t know if the demo supports it yet.

    • Dont get to upset you do know there are only 3 vr missions right?

    • dogbite

      I doubt it would come close to the flight sims available on the PC. I do like it when I see a flight game show up on a console though. Many are intimidated by the complex nature of pc sims and this is a way to promote interest in flight that will have some looking for the bigger challenges down the road and moving to pc. They will want the “full Monty” -HOTAS, rudders, haptic feed back seats and such.
      The bigger the community, the more interest by developers.

  • Arcticu Kitsu

    Well, I’m seeing quite a number of these hybrid games being partially VR while being full flatscreen. It be nice if Bandai-Namco actually pushed through it all, even if it was flawed to them. I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it probably explains why they’re not making Gundam VR, even though it would be a big seller for them, or it being under wraps. Who knows which. Probably giving them too much credit (benefit of the doubt) assuming they’re still learning how VR works with these just being “prototypes” to them. They’re still learning, thus nothing serious yet. They should try an actual full game now that they know how it ticks.

    This Ace Combat game looks highly promising in VR with what they’ve noted, and I do respect PSVR for being a top seller of VR with how much Sony poured into the VR market. It’s also easily accessible.

    But, god damn….. Gundam VR…. When?! Not just PSVR, but also PCVR on PC Steam. I’m sorry I keep saying this, but it’s such a major wasted opportunity it’s stupid how it’s not being pushed, nor teased. Bandai-Namco made theme-park & arcade versions of Gundam in VR, now release it properly onto PSVR. Simulations is where VR shines, but I guess Battletech or Mechwarrior “might” knock Bandai-Namco off their chairs. Bandai-Namco has to push…..

    Be assertive. If you do nothing, you gain nothing.