The new installment in the long-running Ace Combat series is free-to-play, and project leader Kazutoni Kono has offered details on exactly how this model will work. He’s also said that this game is going back to the roots of the series both in terms of gameplay and standards.
Infinity has a campaign mode which will be completely free of charge. However Kono says that this mode really serves as “more of a tutorial” for the online competitive multiplayer.
This takes the form of 4v4 matchs competing over a killcount. Kono says that a multiplayer deathmatch mode was considered, but was not included as “it would make the game complex and discourage newcomers and novice players.” After all, the point of the free-to-play model is to welcome beginners.
Multiplayer mode contains a Fuel system, which is where money comes in. Players have a limited amount of Fuel that runs down over time. It will replenish over time without charge, but players can pay for an instant refill. The game will also contain purchasable in-game items.
So, it’s possible to play the entire game for free. You just might find that refuelling stops takes a while.
Ace Combat Infinity is a PlayStation 3 exclusive due out in Japan later this year. As of yet there’s been no announcement about a western release.