Ace Combat 7 takes Hiiiiighway to the Danger Zone

Of the many secret shames I work so hard to keep hidden from the prying eyes of polite society is that I’ve never seen Top Gun. It’s a little weird, actually, because I like cool fighter jets and Kenny Loggins, but somehow that never turned into time spent enjoying the sweaty antics of Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and other thoughtful icons of fake military machismo.

Anyway, to the point: the long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick is now in US theaters, and to celebrate Cruise’s return as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell – who should now be the Navy’s oldest jet jockey, if not the entire US military – Bandai Namco is bringing classic American jets and more to Ace Combat 7: Unknown Skies (opens in new tab).

The Top Gun: Maverick DLC Pack features new playable aircraft, including the Northrop Grumman F-14A Tomcat and Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, each in standard and multi-skin editions of Maverick. There’s also the Dark Star prototype from the film and an unnamed fifth-generation fighter, which to my eyes looks like a slightly reworked Sukhoi Su-57. It’s a little unexpected to see a Russian fighter included in this red, white, and blue DLC, but I suppose every great hero needs a worthy rival – after all, there’s no Maverick without Iceman.

The planes are obviously the centerpiece and there are also a lot of emblems and signposts from the movies to enjoy. What really puts it over the top for me, however, is the inclusion of two new music tracks based on some of the most iconic, unforgettable, and unforgettable movie songs of all time: Top Gun Anthem (opens in new tab) and – you guessed it – the ultra-classic Kenny Loggins from the 80s Danger zone (opens in new tab). These are remixes by Ace Combat composer Keiki Kobayashi, but there’s no mistaking this beat. It makes me want to ride a Kawasaki really fast without a helmet—straight to the Danger Zone!

Ace Combat 7 isn’t the only yank-and-banker with a need for speed: The Top Gun: Maverick expansion is also available for Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab). It features a Maverick livery for the game’s F/A-18E Super Hornet, new training missions and challenges including an aircraft carrier deck landing and a “never-before-revealed hypersonic aircraft that can reach Mach 10 speeds and altitudes.” greater than 150,000 feet above sea level.” (That would be the Black Star, I’m sure.)

The Maverick expansion for Microsoft Flight Simulator is free for all players. O Ace Combat 7 – Top Gun: Maverick DLC (opens in new tab) is available for $20/$17/$20.

Oh, I can’t help myself. We’re jumping off the deck and pushing into overdrive!

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