Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

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  • Summary: Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War thrusts players back in time, 15 years before the events of "Ace Combat 5," and reveals the events that led up to the last chapter of the franchise. Players will take on the role of a mercenary hired to fly for Ustio, a small country bordering Belka, and faceAce Combat Zero: The Belkan War thrusts players back in time, 15 years before the events of "Ace Combat 5," and reveals the events that led up to the last chapter of the franchise. Players will take on the role of a mercenary hired to fly for Ustio, a small country bordering Belka, and face off against rival pilots throughout the game. Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War introduces rival pilots to the series' traditional dogfighting action. Players will encounter highly skilled enemy pilots that they will engage throughout the course of the story. Adding even more tension to the game's dramatic air battles, these rival pilots utilize advanced battle tactics to attack the player while directing their own squadron. [Namco] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. The amount of intricate detail found on the planes is astounding, as the developers obviously put a lot of time and effort into making the aircraft as realistic as possible.
  2. 85
    The story is engaging and well-presented although its themes are a bit overused.
  3. Games Master UK
    81
    Multi-player adds afterburners to this pretty, nifty, slick acrobatic shooter. Good stuff. [Oct 2006, p.66]
  4. Ace Combat Zero may not do anything particularly different or better than its predecessors, but it still delivers some excellent dogfighting and a good story tying it all together.
  5. netjak
    70
    What a horrible, horrible waste. The game had it all. Slick presentation, a decent, yet completely predictable story, fun gameplay, and even branching to add levels of replayability. And then someone cast that all aside because of their stupid need to have their own version of the final trench run mission, combined with the fact that they have no idea how to create a good boss.
  6. Suffers slightly due to its similarities to previous games in the series, but the package is as slick as ever.
  7. Edge Magazine
    50
    Namco’s design process seems so addled by the multiform calls for improvement – the aforementioned mission design, multiplayer modes (which remain entirely offline), storylines and sheer content volume all trailing expectations – that it’s momentarily lost its focus. [July 2006, p.88]

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. SeanO.
    Sep 12, 2006
    10
    I am a huge fan of the series and I can't stop playing this game. I have already played through it 4 times and i still want to keep I am a huge fan of the series and I can't stop playing this game. I have already played through it 4 times and i still want to keep playing it. Best Ace Combat yet. Expand
  2. TariqW.
    Apr 23, 2006
    10
    The best of the stellar Ace Combat series so far. You either love it or simply don't care for it. If you're the former, then this The best of the stellar Ace Combat series so far. You either love it or simply don't care for it. If you're the former, then this is an absolutely must-buy! Expand
  3. May 13, 2014
    9
    Another awesome game in the underrated Ace Combat series. The game serves as a prequel to Ace Combat 5 (15 years prior). You play as a pilotAnother awesome game in the underrated Ace Combat series. The game serves as a prequel to Ace Combat 5 (15 years prior). You play as a pilot only known as "Cipher", flying with his wingman "Solo Wing Pixy". The two mercenaries are hired to defend the nation of Ustio. The story is very good, although it could be developed more. If the campaign was as long as AC5, then we might have a powerful story. However, if you're really good, you can easily finish the campaign in 4 hours. But replayability is what keeps the game alive. There are branching paths. Depending on the amount of neutral targets you destroy or spare, there are certain aircraft you unlock and different enemies you face. Find this game, and play the crap out of it. And help us Ace Combat fans in convincing Namco Bandai to release an HD remake of 4,5 and Zero. Expand
  4. StephenM.
    Feb 23, 2007
    8
    I think that this is probably THE best game out of the entire Ace Combat Series. There should be more games like Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan I think that this is probably THE best game out of the entire Ace Combat Series. There should be more games like Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War in the future. Expand
  5. May 18, 2017
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This review will be long, just for the sake of people interested in the game.

    The sixth entry in the whole franchise. This game takes you into the seat of a mercenary known as Cipher, and the game narrates of his efforts during the Belkan War, giving you an in-depth prequel that explains the events that were mentioned in Ace Combat 5. The game itself doesn't change much from the rest, as the mechanics are basically from AC5, which is a bit of a let down. That, and the fact that you can't choose your wingman's plane, anymore, but instead, you choose his special weapons, which is more useful, to a point.

    What the game doesn't have in new mechanics, it has in story and difficulty to spare. You don't have a tutorial mode, which is also a minus on its score, so it requires you to either have played previous AC games, or learn the controls by yourself. But when you master the controls and increase the difficulty up to ACE, the game rewards you. A lot. It presents a difficulty leap from the previous entries, which you'll either love or hate. The average Belkan planes are quite aggressive on their own, and the Ace squadrons only make it more challenging. And when you unlock the bonus mission, you'll understand that this game is not for the weak. Even more when you discover the secret boss.

    The story it's more than a simply "good vs bad", cliched trope that was previously used in AC5. In Zero, you manage to see the reasons of why Belka started the war, and why the Gray Men returned in AC5. The references in this game are a bit more implicit, excluding the WWII ones, and you'll probably have to replay the game several times to understand them, and do some subtle research on your own. The story on its own its quite engaging, and it becomes more mature and grayer than the plots used in the previous two games. And it gives you a huge leap in character building, giving you the records of almost 200 enemy aces, whose stories are seen in the Assault Records, which are updated every time you down an enemy ace.

    The soundtrack is nothing less than superb. More energetic and aggressive than AC5, which had orchestral and more refined tone, fitting for the story setting. The briefings have this 80 's synth bits that also fit the era, reminiscent to the Cold War era, The orchestral tracks are ominous and imposing, and the rock segments are quite really heavy, imitating what AC2 did back in its era, and the final mission has one of the best boss battle themes ever composed.

    Overall, this game is one of the best in the whole franchise. Zero, along with 5 and 4, has its place well deserved in what we AC fans call the "Holy Trinity" tier. It has its flaws. The lack of tutorial, not any particular new mechanic, short gameplay, as it only has 18 missions plus the bonus one, some tedious missions, and minor frame drops in a certain one. That being said, this game is truly a good recommendation.
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  6. IanC.
    Sep 9, 2006
    7
    Not bad. Fun missions, but could have been longer with more missions. I had a problem with the randomness of the targeting system. I would Not bad. Fun missions, but could have been longer with more missions. I had a problem with the randomness of the targeting system. I would have liked to be able to choose my target a little better. Expand
  7. JohnnyD.
    Apr 26, 2006
    0
    its pritty good butt the final missions was a huged let down.

See all 23 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

46
21
#21 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2006
17
#17 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2006