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For those of you feeling the need for speed, or perhaps wanting to live the Air Force lifestyle without all of that beach volleyball and melodrama, Ace Combat Infinity is here to save the day as a free-to-play aerial combat game for the PlayStation 3.
I’m going to do my best to make it through the rest of this news post without further Top Gun references, but no promises.
Coming from the team at Namco Bandai, Ace Combat Infinity will be available for free download via the PlayStation Network with an expected release date of sometime later this year. The game will offer a brand new single player campaign, as well as competitive multiplayer.
According to Namco Bandai Games Europe Senior VP Olivier Comte, Infinity will be a big step in a bold new direction for the series.
“The Ace Combat franchise has evolved dramatically over the years, but never before have we been able to offer its amazing graphics and tactical action for free,” said Comte. “The team at Project Aces listens very carefully to its players and is bringing the best the series has to offer to Ace Combat Infinity, with plenty of new surprises, too.”
Ace Combat Infinity is the latest in a growing line of free-to-play games arriving on consoles, something that PlayStation really seems to be pushing for here at the end of the PlayStation 3’s life cycle and the beginning of the PlayStation 4. It will join games like DC Universe Online and Dust 514 on Sony’s current console in the pro bono category with the PS4 set to offer games like Blacklight: Retribution, Warframe and Planetside 2. All of these titles feature some sort of micro-transaction system with various degrees of content available right out of the gate at no charge. Some you can actually experience the full game with a price tag only attached to cosmetic items or the occasional boost to make individual play sessions more exciting.
No word yet on what the paid (if any) content for Ace Combat Infinity will be but, as of right now, Namco Bandai is making it sound like the single player and at least one mode of multiplayer will be available at no charge.
Set in the near future, Infinity will offer series staples like super weapons and slick visuals packed into a series of “perilous solo missions.” The multiplayer portion will divide players into two teams going after the same enemy. The team that dishes out the most damage will be victorious. No word of a free for all or direct team-verses-team mode, or even a one-on-one dogfight, so there’s a possibility that such offerings will either be available post-launch. This is all speculation, but that’s exactly the type of content these free-to-play games typically put a price tag on. Hard to complain when a chunk of the game is available at no charge, though.
Thankfully, we don’t have much longer to guess about what the final list of features, modes and possible for-pay content might be, as Ace Combat Infinity is due out sometime in 2013.