Virtual pilots in North America, Japan and Europe are now officially invited to take to the skies in Ace Combat Infinity, a free to play aerial combat game from Bandai Namco featuring tons of planes, a single player campaign, online combat and more.

Originally set to release a few weeks back, Ace Combat Infinity was delayed on the runway for some last minute repairs. It appears the developers have everything in order now, as the game is officially up and flying exclusively on the PlayStation 3 in all three major territories. Simply head on over to the PlayStation Network and get to downloading this 3.3 gig file in order to join your fellow pilots on the highway to the danger zone.

*Short break for a sand volleyball montage*

“With this new instalment of the renowned series, players will dive into the game’s wealth of free-to-play content and fight to rule the skies with powerful combat aircraft, advanced weaponry and cunning piloting skills,” reads the official launch announcement from Bandai Namco.

This is Ace Combat’s first foray into the free-to-play market, but that doesn’t mean Infinity is skimping on content or game modes.

First up are the online co-op missions, a 4v4 mode allowing teams to either cooperate to achieve group goals or fight against each other to make life for the other players more difficult. According to the release statement, “teamwork, trust and individual skill are mandatory to beat the enemies.” I actually quite like the idea of a mode where competitive play isn’t mandatory, but absolutely an option. You never know whether or not you can trust the other squad and, even if it seems like everyone is working together toward a common goal, they could turn on you at any second, turning a cooperative effort into an all-out dogfight.

Also available for play is the solo campaign mode, taking players through a story-based series of missions in order to become more familiar with the game’s mechanics and objectives. Customization Mode, however, allows players to create their own aircraft utilizing the rewards they’ve gathered in-game.

In order to celebrate Ace Combat Infinity’s long awaited launch, several special events and goodies will be available in the early goings, including exclusive challenges and an Everyone Sortie Campaign that provides cooperative play and rewards Stocked Fuel for free. That’s especially important, as Stocked Fuel is typically a for-purchase item that lets you play the game more on a given day. As always, “free-to-play” only goes so far.

Also available in this launch window will be special plane skins, a Launch Commemoration Pack including some additional goodies, and a Worldwide Launch Commemoration Present that amounts to another skin for your craft.

More details? Head on over to the official website.

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