Over the weekend, the official Ace Combat fan page (which is run by Namco) updated its facebook page with images of what looks to be a new Ace Combat game. Project Aces is the dev team at Namco responsible for the Ace Combat games. The Facebook page’s primary promotion was for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, with the last update related to that game posted on January 31 of this year.
Looking at the image, some would wonder whether this is related to another Assault Horizon game, or Ace Combat 7. To me, the color scheme present seems more reminiscent of the older Ace Combat games like AC04 and AC5, compared to Assault Horizon‘s more muted, earthly tones.
The trails of light also harken back to the Ulysses Meteor fragments and the Stonehenge cannons from Ace Combat 04, suggesting that this next entry could go back to its more sci-fi oriented roots, and once again take place in Strangereal. It’s hard to tell which direction the beams of light are going. If they’re coming from the sky, it could suggest that these are the meteor fragments from the Ulysses Meteor (or something else) that continue to plague Strangereal from time to time and left a lasting legacy of anti-meteor weapons. If they’re coming from the ground however, it could suggest that this is probably Stonehenge and its cannons (or a weapon like it) concentrating all of its shots.
Around the release of Assault Horizon, director Kazutoki Kono stated that that game was not Ace Combat 7, but a “rebirth” of sorts. Post-release fan reaction was none too pleasing, and the real-world setting meant that much of the cross-nation melodrama and crazy sci-fi setups would be toned down. If this is a new game with a fictional setting, it could be a numbered title.
While I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer — I am a big fan of Ace Combat after all and would like to see another Strangereal story — this image could also be the fan page becoming a more general page for all Ace Combat games. Or it could be a pushing different flying game altogether. Still, with Namco updating this Facebook page with nary an explanation, one can only speculate what this means.