Group warfare

As beloved as the Ace Combat series may be, we can't help but wonder why it's still not online. Who wouldn't want to hop in the cockpit of a sound-barrier-shattering fighter jet and spray missiles across the countryside? Well, that desire may be relieved somewhat by Ace Combat X's newly announced multiplayer modes.

Two-player split screen's been done in the franchise already, but Ace X will offer five different four-player ways to smoke your friends out of the sky. The most interesting appears to be the squadron escort battle, where you're destroying enemies and securing a safe route for ground troops. The person who gets their troops to an enemy base first, wins.

The other four modes are more standard fare - deathmatch, capture the flag (or beacon, in this case) checkpoint tagging and attack the base. They're traditional in name only, though, as having four fully loaded, real-world jets tearing ass though mountains, forests and the open ocean tends to be more exciting than sneaking around empty warehouses.

Ace Combat X lands on September 19, just before the holiday deluge of software.

June 29, 2006