Ace Combat 7's Sound Design Is Amazing

If you haven’t checked out an Ace Combat game before, the amount of on-screen information might look overwhelming. But most of what you need to know is communicated to you via the game’s audio. And Ace Combat 7’s audio is so damn good.


Watch the video to see and, more importantly, hear it all in action.

In the middle of a fight, you’ll hear the plane’s warning system blaring when you’ve got an incoming missile locked on you, and your team’s helpful chatter on coms helps you navigate the chaos. My favorite touch is what the game does with the music when you’re slicing through a cloud. Clouds serve a pretty strategic purpose during fights.

If you can’t shake a missile, just jump into a cloud and confuse its tracking systems so you can get it off your back. The trade-off is you lose visibility for a brief moment. If you’re going too fast, that can mean a quick dip in the ocean.

Spend too much time inside of a cloud and you run the risk of also icing up your plane too much and stalling out. Any time you’re inside of a cloud, the game adds a nice moisture effect on the camera too. Hands down, the coolest touch is the way the music’s volume dynamically changes inside of a cloud. The moment you slip into a cloud, the music gets muffled, sort of like you’re underwater.

It leaves only the sound of your squad along with the system’s warnings and the sound of your plane as it rockets its way through the void. The muffled music adds a nice tension to the feeling of losing your bearings and makes breaking through to the other side feel heroic when the music swells up again.

It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a subtle decoration on an already-tense situation that might actually impact your gameplay. Either it makes you more stressed or helps you focus. We’ve seen countless examples of dynamic audio lately weaved into the experience of playing a game, but this one is one of my favorites.

Video Producer, Kotaku. Fluent in Spanglish. Tetris Master. Streamer. Host of The Optional Podcast.



This is me weaving in and out of the clouds while chasing UAVs, with a close call with the ground.