Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War

aka: Ace Combat: Jefe de Escuadrón, Ace Combat: Squadron Leader

Description official descriptions

Fifteen years ago, the Belkan Federation began a war of conquest, invading nearby territories. To stop them, a military alliance was set up between the Osean Federation and the Union of Yuktobanian Republics. These two great powers drove the Belkans back but their counter-invasion was cut short when the Belkans detonated 6 nuclear warheads on their own soil, preventing the alliance from advancing on them. This ended the great war and a time of peace has reigned. The Osean and Yuktobanian nations have remained allies. On the small remote, "Sand Island", off the western coast of Osea, a skilled veteran of the war named Captain Bartlett (callsign: "Heartbreaker") trains new pilots as the 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron, designated "Wardog" in the Osean Air Defense Force (OADF). During a routine training operation, unidentified aircraft appear on the radar and proceed to shoot down many of the squadron's not fully trained pilots. The squadron is left with few survivors, and the incident covered up while the military tries to figure out what's going on. Soon after, the nation of Yuktobania declares war on Osea, thus beginning a new conflict.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War is a first person air combat and flight simulator. Like other Ace Combat games, each mission is determined by a level briefing and objectives. There are 32 missions in the main campaign mode, while an additional "arcade" mode puts the player in the role of Mobius One (from Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies) as he faces endless waves of enemy attacks. Regardless of the mode chosen, once in the air the player will have control over speed, direction, altitude, gun cannon, missiles and special weapon of their aircraft. A new feature from previous Ace Combat games, is the concept of Wingmen and being able to issue simple orders to them in the air. This allows the player to better coordinated group attacks as well as giving each wingman a personality of their own. Additionally, the player as squadron leader will be asked to make decisions ("Yes/No") while flying in the air. Between missions, the story is progressed through a series of cutscenes.

Successful destruction of enemy targets earns the player money, which can be used to purchase new aircraft. Unlike Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies special weapons no longer need to be purchased, however airplanes in the inventory apply to the entire squadron so if the player wishes a full wing of F-16s, they must have enough for everyone to fly.

Ace Combat 5, though situated in a fictional world highlights real-world models of aircraft including the F-14 Tomcat, Su-27 Flanker, F-16, A-6 Intruder, A-10 Thunderbolt, F-15, F/A-18, Tornado, and many more.


  • エースコンバット5 ジ・アンサング・ウォー - Japanese spelling
  • 皇牌空战5 - Simpplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

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Average score: 84% (based on 44 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 1 reviews)

A decent follow up, but not without its flaws.

The Good
The first time I saw Ace Combat 5 on the shelf I was a bit intrigued and yet cautious. Even though it's predecessor (Ace Combat 04) was a decent game, it still left me wanting more from it and looking at this game it seems as though as it was going to do the same. After constantly encountering it on the shelves, watching the price drop each and every time I finally bit the bullet and bought it when the price was just right enough ($9.99). My first impression of the game was very optimistic, the sounds were very much improved from 04, this time I can actually hear the missile impact on enemy planes and the sounds of the jet's passing by actually give you the feeling of a real battle.

One thing I did like was the CGI cinemas to tell the story as opposed to 04's storyboard-style presentation and while the story is a little hokey at times, it still does the job. The graphics are also improved with a more realistic approach then the "soft" feeling that 04's graphics seem to have, especially the explosions. While the previous explosions seemed like a cell-shaded tack-on job that seems to be used in old arcade games, AC 5's explosions actually seem like real ones and with the sound effects, you get the feeling that you actually brought down a jet as opposed to a pure arcade feeling as before.

The music is OK, nothing terrible and yet nothing exceptional, but since you will be caught up with the crazy action going on in some of the stages you tune it out, so it's no big deal. There is a lot to like about this updated version, but sadly there are some weak points to it.

The Bad
Well, a few things bothered me, one of which is the pointless and stupid conversations you have during missions. Why this was added to this I'll never understand, it does nothing to the storyline. Originally when I first encountered it I picked the positive option each time, fearing that somehow it would screw up the mission or eventually hurt me later in the game, but it turns out you can keep giving the negative option each and every time and the story remains the same. It seems pointless that it was added to the game since it contributes nothing and distracts you during some of the most intense sequences. This also leads me to the voice acting.

While the voice acting isn't terrible, it isn't the best either. It's just enough to tell the story, but I swear did they secretly hire Bill Paxton? One of the wing mates in the game bears and uncanny resemblance to Paxton's performances in sci-fi movies like Aliens and Predator 2, complete with annoying cocky attitude where you just want to turn your plane around and blow his ass out of the sky. I swear, Paxton could sue for copyright infringement, that is who well this guy sounds like, but the bad part is, it really hurts the experience since he is so damn annoying, I have been tempted to turn on the mute just to avoid it.

The final thing that bothers me is that it just feels like the same game over. The formula is still there: fight off a seemingly invincible army, become an ace pilot, fight off hordes of enemy fighters, take on a super weapon, save the world, game over. It does tend to get boring at times when you constantly have to fight off a massive amount of enemies, but there is some variety, though some missions are annoying as hell especially the attack on the ally capital city. There is an attack on the capital city where the enemy is using bio weapons and use must take unguided bombs and drop them on gas clouds scattered throughout the city to counterattack the virus. It seems simple enough, but flying low into a mass of towering buildings you tend to get mashed against the sides of them and you will keep trying over and over and over until you finally pull your hair out.

The Bottom Line
In the end, Ace Combat 5 is a decent game over it's predecessor with better graphics, CGI storytelling and gut wrenching sounds and sense of speed. However, the same formula from 04 and that damn annoying Bill Paxton wannabe does hurt it a bit, but nothing that hurts the overall feel of the game. If you liked the first one, you'll probably like this one too, but just to be safe rent this first. It's not the best in the series, but it still isn't the worst, still worth a try though, give it a shot.

PlayStation 2 · by Big John WV (26944) · 2009



There's a hidden reference to Pac-Man, Namco's mascot. Hidden away in the mission named "Desert Arrow" (near the end of the campaign), it is located on the ground of section 5d of the radar.

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  • MobyGames ID: 19548


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Shoddyan, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, piltdown_man.

Game added October 21st, 2005. Last modified March 22nd, 2023.