Okay, this is going to be long and hard but trust me, it's worth it.
Okay, starting off: Damn, this game has potential. Classical Ace Combat controls for ease-of-play, Unreal Engine so it's damn easy to code and mod for, and oodles and oodles of visuals and scenes that even make Crysis 3 Blush. Since I want to make this as in-depth as possible, here's a convenient list of the pros in more detail (also - sorry, I'm a real pilot so I'm going to go pretty damn specific):
- The whole first mission SCREAMS Bartolomeo Fortress from AC6. Green shrubbery, hillside forts, aircraft and AA guns, and lots of nice clustered enemies. Definitely a way to tap into the Ace Combat fan-base (and HAWX fan-base, for that matter) without being downright plagiarism. It'll help build hype.
- Okay, this one I'm 50/50 on and I'll explain why later... For an alpha, general aircraft handling such as turning, burning, stability and over/under compensation is preeeeeeeeetty good. Could use some slight tweaking (i'll get to that later) but overall, it's damn good for an Alpha.
- Weapon Balance - This one I'm more 70/30 on. I LOVE the idea of being able to take up to 3 or 4 different kinds of weapons in addition to standard Missiles and Cannon, but balancing of the amount right now just feels a little... off. Like, having 38 bombs, 20 AMRAAMs, 8 QAAMs, yet still like 80 to 90 missiles and unlimited cannon on an F-15C... AN AIR SUPERIORITY fighter. It just feels... not OP, but weird. (okay, maybe a little OP :D)
- You picked the right engine. I can already see steam workshops, NMM's, and file repo's stacked to the brim with add on aircraft, custom skins, user-made missions and maps, and hundreds upon hundreds of FLYING ANIME CHICKS!
- (Getting super nitpickey) Roll and initial pitch response on the F-15C is sluggish but firms up (giggity) after a few moments of input. MiG-31 suffers from a severe case of Kamakawiwoʻole disease (google it). F-18 turns on a proton, and the F-14 needs aviators duct-taped to the front.
- QAAMs dont care about flares, azimuth, or distance. You see red, it's gonna be dead.
- "I said DART gun, not FART gun!" (cannon; maybe a better sfx?)
- All craft accelerate kinda slow but are fucking drag racers when stopping
- Optimization(?). I ran it on two rigs, one a 6950x and 2x Titan XP's (Say what you will about me burning money) and another on a I5 4460 and MSI 970. On the first rig, SLI was not recognized (meh, big whoop) and ran at a stable bajillion frames per second, EXCEPT the exact moment the interceptor wave spawned in. It dipped to roughly 144 then went roight back up. 4460 rig was roughly 60-65 fps, going slightly higher in times of low combat and dipping to the 50's when flying through explosions and burning F-18's (MICHEAL BAY STYLE)
- No anime girls (this kills it)
All in all, I'm hyped and I want more. More planes, more missions, more scenes, more weapons, more sounds, more story, and more flying girls. 'Nuff said.