• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 10, 2003

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. 65
    The whole package seems to have been constructed to drift onto retail floors, sit around for a while and then fade quietly into history.
  2. The controls are just a little too sluggish, making it feel as though you're driving a run-down school bus instead of a quick and nimble jet fighter or helicopter.
  3. A realistic flight sim. Sometimes realistic games can drive people away, which is what Aero Elite did for me. Most of the time I was doing nothing but trying to get in range of my target, then shot a missile.
  4. The gamers that it will appeal to most of all are those beginning or dabbling in flight sims and/or for those looking for a game that presents a very realistic challenge.
  5. An excellent flight simulator, but a poor action game. [May 2003, p.83]
  6. 77
    It may be on a console, but don't let that deter you: it's actually surprisingly deep.
  7. 40
    Aero Elite’s true failure, though, is its boring gameplay. Dog fighting and attacking ground forces just isn’t entertaining.
  8. 60
    Why are so many missions so dull? Why is the combat-radio voice work so insipid? And which unemployed sports commentator and soccer mom did the tutorial and combat voices, respectively?
  9. Stringent pilot-training courses and competitions seem dull at first, but as you unlock cooler aircraft, the fun blossoms. [Apr 2003, p.111]
  10. More of a simulation than arcade, which may seem good at first, but it's not.
  11. The game tends toward actual-world realistic, but in a fancifully dull way.
  12. The main problem is that there's just no sense of speed. You can be going Mach 1.2 and it feels like you're driving a charter bus. Uphill. Against the wind. In a foot of snow. Towing another charter bus. [Apr 2003, p.84]
  13. Visually stunning and incredibly complex, Aero Elite is a work of art that takes time to appreciate. [Apr 2003, p.34]
  14. As good as the control and visual re-enactment of the real-life planes come across in Aero Elite, AM2 and Sega drop the ball somewhat when the players become proficient armchair pilots and start itching for new challenges beyond those of the Training missions.
  15. Graphical shortcomings aside, hardcore fans shouldn't fret. AE is easily one of the most full-fledged flight sims available on any console. [Apr 2003, p.71]
  16. 75
    The missions are somewhat predictable. [Apr 2003, p.50]
  17. This game can only be recommended to flight fanatics or those into self-abuse.
  18. While cheesy flight simulation goes back to the original PC, this incarnation's technical detail brings CNN's gee-whiz graphics-and-stats fighter plane descriptions—indicative of our fascination with death from above—to life.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Sep 13, 2010
    The game is truly held back by it's frustration factor. The game itself tries to be a more realistic sim, in which it does succeed. The scramble missions are a lot of fun and the flight model itself is fairly responsive. However, the arbitrary speed limit is a huge downer. Even in electrical system failures which knocks out your airspeed indicator and altimeter (Something that wouldn't happen in a real aircraft as the pitot-static system is mechanical) you still have that asinine speed limit. To make matters worse, there's an aircraft that needs you to hit Mach 2 to acquire it. Have fun constantly going into free flight over and over and over again trying to break mach two, but not go over the speed limit. This strikes me as the developers attempt to add challenge and it just comes off as inane. The murky scenario descriptions do nothing to aid you at all and the finicky system in which the completion of objectives comes off absolutely arbitrary as well. This is especially an issue in the Recon missions. The rotary winged vehicles are beyond awful. Why did they even bother adding them to the game? To try and squish down the complex workings of a helicopter's throttle collective into two buttons is, in itself, unrealistic and stupid. They should have either just kept the controls simple (as they did with a jets and not include a spool up time) or not include the choppers at all. The visuals are lack luster but given it's age that is to be expected. The aircraft are modeled very accurate and it doesn't look so bad as to repulse, so the visuals have aged in a satisfactory fashion. What good can be said about the game is often over shadowed by the bad. Enemy aircraft all seem to handle the same and enemy ground targets see you through mountains and hills (yet another reason why the rotary winged section is not worth your time. The developers should have spent more time with making missions for the utility craft (US-1A and C-1) and perhaps a campaign as opposed to even including helicopters. In the end, AECA tries to appeal to both Ace Combat and Sim fans, and fails at both. AC fans will cling to their great trilogy on the PS2 and sim fans are incredibly better off with Lock On: Modern Air combat. Full Review »