Ace Combat Zero is a prequel to the Ace Combat series, You get fully up to date graphics and gameplay, while finding out what happened to set up the wars in the Ace Combat series.
There are fewer yes-no types of questions than in previous games, and less character development, but the mission tree is much more nicely done - you often get to choose from "land missions" or "air missions" depending on your personal preferences. Also, your aircraft can now be configured to have the missile types that you enjoy using the most.
The cut-scenes have been improved with a more realistic look to them, but in game graphics are about the same as Ace Combat 5. That's not to say they are bad - you get high quality views of the planes you're in, the landscapes you fly over and detailed towns beneath you. It's really rather impressive how well they can render an entire "world" in 3D, in real time as you zoom over it.
The voice actors seem reasonably good, helping you feel involved in the air battles, and the soundtrack is epic in scope without overwhelming you or bombarding you with inappropriate modern music.
You only have one wingman at a time, compared to previous games where you could have multiple wingmen. Occasionally there are other flyers on your side in the sky - it's just that they are not under your direct control. You can specify what types of targets your wingman goes after.
If you're a two player fan, there's now a versus mode where you can fly head to head against a friend and test out your skills. On the downside, the game is MUCH shorter than Ace Combat 5, so if you're a good flyer, you'll finish quickly. Still, you can go back and replay multiple times to get all the endings and to earn all the medals.
A great game for flying combat fans - and especially for those who enjoy the Ace Combat series and want to learn more about its history. Well recommended.
Buy Ace Combat Zero from Amazon.com