Well, fellow fictional aviators, we have a wealth of information before us. All we need to do is sift through it. I’m just going to focus on the plot, and not get into the politics of the PS3 exclusivity. My analysis of each individual picture follows:
- First is our new logo. It bears obvious similarities to Mobius Squadron’s insignia from Ace Combat 04, and I think this is intentional. Project Aces has based this trailer around evoking a sense of a return to the familiar, while also keeping an air of mystery around its contents.
- Second, we have two images of what are presumably asteroid fragments hitting our Earth. While this may be disappointing to those who were hoping for a return to Strangereal, I wouldn’t be so quick to form an opinion. There is certainly more here than what is simply on the surface. In the second map picture, we can see that Eastern Europe has been hit very hard. This is reminiscent of Strangereal’s lore; Estovakia was an nation very similar in culture to Eastern Europe that was economically devastated by the Ulysses impact. Perhaps we will see the same sort of repercussions here.
- Next we see four black aircraft flying in formation. While they aren’t F-14s, this should make any Ace Combat veteran instantly think of the Razgriz.
- We are then teased with superweapons. We see Erusia’s Stonehenge anti-air cannons and Estovakia’s Aigaion. Clearly some technology from earlier in the series is returning, and if the rest of the trailer is any indication, the similarities don’t end with the weapons.
- The black aircraft are revealed to be ASF-X Shinden IIs. These aircraft only appeared in Assault Horizon, but the trailer doesn’t seem to show any similarities to AH other than it’s real-Earth setting. Perhaps Project Aces are simply pulling together all of their favorite designs?
- The trailer flashes a series of dates on a globe; these begin with 1869 AD, so I doubt every single date has significance. There wouldn’t be much to do in a mission set in 1869. However, the last few dates do match up with events in the Strangereal timeline, so it remains to be seen what exactly they are indicating.
- A brief image of a nation or territory called “Iyuli” is shown. It is located near the real-world border of Russia and Ukraine. The human-shaped icons seem to indicate that it is some sort of overcrowded evacuation zone, or that there is a casualty estimation taking place.
- Finally, we see a large crater in a coastal city. This is reminiscent of the Erusian capitol city of Farbanti, which was almost entirely annihilated by a Ulysses fragment. After this image, a single PAK-FA is shown flying over the city. This is possibly a main antagonist, given Project Aces’ new-found fondness for casting the T-50 as an enemy ace.
Overall, I am caught between two hypotheses: Either this is a scenario meant to explore what would happen to our Earth if it was faced with the Ulysses planetfall, our it is a crossover with some sort of parallel universe theming. While clearly set on our earth, the technology and situation is directly lifted from Strangereal. The game’s first tagline is ”That day our sky fe||, the heavens split to create new skies.” There is a continued emphasis on the use of two parallel lines, not just letters, in the games marketing. This seems to suggest there is meaning to this usage, and one conclusion is the indication of parallel timelines. Until more information is available, I can’t give any more analysis, but I welcome other theories and comments on my thoughts.
All in all, I don’t think any of us can complain yet. What little we know seems to show that we’re headed back to good old fashioned Ace Combat grandeur.
I had mixed feelings about the trailer. But like these guys said, I’m gonna wait ‘till more info comes out. Either way I’m a big fan of the series, and even though AC:AH is not necessarily one of my favorites I still get giddy at anything AC.