Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

This first level threw three Operations our way - so, upon entering the battle, we had three separate scraps to consider. Do we take out a cache of weapons that's supplying the enemy frontline, knock out their HQ or gun down a set of choppers that are raising hell with our landing strip? The order we complete them in can affect the overall outcome, so it's not a throwaway decision (that landing strip might come in handy later, after all).

Just to get a lay of the land, we opted to go for the cache. This is the point where we couldn't believe how many targets there were on the screen. It seemed like there were more things shooting at us in this one level then five average levels of previous Ace games. With all these bogies flashing on the radar, it was pretty damn easy to lose our place. Luckily, the developers thought of this - you can cycle the radar through each Operation's targets, so your desired objectives can stay in site while everything else fades into the background.

But even then we had a hard time taking care of all the targets. There were just so damn many it felt like we were flying forever, battling a seemingly endless supply of bogies. The Allied Support System is designed to alleviate this stress, enabling you to rally troops, ships and planes towards one targeted area, wiping out anything in sight. You have to fill a gauge by bagging enemies before you can use this measure, but given the ample supply of targets, it wasn't too difficult to accomplish.

The next mission we tried featured the A-10 soaring over a frozen, hilly wasteland. The setting sun and snow capped areas look super hot on the 360, so graphics whores will really eat it up. It was during this mission we were told only a set number of Operations must be fulfilled to complete the mission, so it's not like you have to utterly annihilate the enemy to proceed. However, with secret jets so prolific in the series, don't be surprised if you can get some extra goodies by doing so.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.