Ace Combat 7: That I’ve never seen Top Gun is one of my many shames that I try so hard to keep concealed from the prying eyes of polite society. Even while I appreciate awesome fighter jets and Kenny Loggins, those interests have never coincided with my time spent watching Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and other sombre icons of faux-military macho get sweaty goofy on screen.
As a result of the release of the long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick, Bandai Namco has teamed up with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown to bring classic American jets to the game. Tom Cruise returns as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who by now must be the oldest jet jockey in the US Navy, if not the entire military (opens in new tab).
Additional playable aircraft include the Northrop Grumman F-14A Tomcat and Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, all of which are available in regular and multi-skin Maverick editions. A fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 looks like the Dark Star prototype from the film as well as an undisclosed fifth-generation aircraft. However, I believe that every great hero requires a worthy adversary—there would be no Maverick without Iceman.
You’ll find plenty of planes and movie-inspired callsigns and insignia in this collection. My favourite parts of the album are the two new songs based on some of the most memorable and iconic movie themes ever composed: the Top Gun Anthem(opens in the new tab) and the Kenny Loggins ’80s ultra-classic Danger Zone (which opens in the new tab) (opens in new tab). Despite the fact that they’re remixes by Ace Combat composer Keiki Kobayashi, there’s no mistake about that beat. When I see this picture, I’m inspired to ride my Kawasaki without a helmet right into the Danger Zone.
It’s not just Ace Combat 7 that has a demand for quickness in its yank-and-bank manoeuvres: The Top Gun: Maverick addon for Microsoft Flight Simulator has also been released (opens in new tab). The game’s F/A-18E Super Hornet gets a new Maverick paint job, as well as additional training missions and obstacles, including a carrier deck landing and a “never-before-unveiled hypersonic aircraft that can approach speeds of Mach 10 and altitudes greater than 150,000 feet above sea level.” (I believe that is the Dark Star.) All users of Microsoft Flight Simulator can get the Maverick add-on for free. The Maverick DLC for Ace Combat 7 – Top Gun: Maverick costs $20/$17/$20.