Ace Combat: Distant Thunder - PS2

Also known as: Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies

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Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Combat Game: Flying
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Namco Soft. Co.: Namco
Publishers: Sony (GB)
Released: 8 Feb 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only
Accessories: Memory Card


Namco’s arcade Ace Combat series has been very well received since it moved to console in the early days of the PlayStation. Satisfying both simulator gurus and arcade fans alike, the series has now reached its fourth instalment, and this time it's on the next-generation console, PlayStation 2.

As the newest air combat recruit in a fictional world, you are seeking revenge for the death of your family, and you must find and bring to justice the pilot who destroyed your life. It’s the usual Namco fodder, but it works so well.

There has been more focus on realism with Distant Thunder, and this is clear in the final result. The backdrops, environments and aircraft themselves look stunning. Each craft has been accurately modelled to match the look and feel of its real-life counterpart, and the mechanics have been greatly enhanced thanks to the fully analogue control pad. This level of precision keeps sim fans happy, but what’s on offer to the general public?

Well, Namco has always been very good when it comes to providing an intense action game, and the arcade guru hasn’t let us down for Distant Thunder. The battles are thrillling to say the least, and take place over all kinds of terrain. A two-player split-screen option makes Distant Thunder a much more appealing game in which players can compete in dogfights and score attacks.

Distant Thunder is a careful balance of both simulation and arcade qualities which is its greatest strength. And it’s on PlayStation 2. Great!