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Excited about “Top Gun: Maverick”? Then how about playing it… sort of!
The iconic aircraft of the new movie available in Flight Simulator and Ace Combat 7, along with missions and challenges
Remember movie tie-ins? You know, those games based on films that publishers used to rush out during the ’80s in order to coincide with said films’ theatrical runs? Games like Robocop and Batman and Red Heat? Well, we don’t have those anymore — as games now take more time to develop than it takes movies to be made apparently — but it just so happens that there are exceptions… of sorts! Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise’s new film considered to be a sequel to the 1986 cult classic Top Gun is being released across the globe and gamers have not one, but two different options if they’d like to play something resembling the movie. No, they are not complete TGM games or anything. But that’s the beauty of (official) DLC, right?
First off, there’s the much-discussed Top Gun: Maverick official expansion for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. This was announced in 2021 and, as the movie’s theatrical run was repeatedly postponed, so was this, but now it’s available for the PC and Xbox versions of the game. It features Top Gun: Maverick livery for the F/A-18E Super Hornet, three training missions for the Super Hornet that will allow you to master radical flight maneuvers, five high-speed, low-level challenges that require top skill to navigate, plus a carrier deck landing challenge. The trailer, to be honest, is more exciting than the actual content turned out to be, but hey: that’s what trailers are supposed to be anyway!
Not to spoil the movie or anything (sorry), but there might be a reason that the expansion also includes a never-before-unveiled hypersonic aircraft that can attain speeds of Mach 10 and altitudes greater than 150,000 feet above sea level. There’s even a relevant mission that will have gamers roar into the stratosphere using this aircraft. The official Top Gun: Maverick expansion for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is now available for the low, low price of free to all PC or Xbox owners of the game or to Game Pass subscribers.
Bandai/Namco’s official Top Gun: Maverick set for its own combat flight simulator, Ace Combat 7, is not free: it costs $19.99/€19.99, which is not a small amount of money for DLC content nowadays. It might have to do with the fact that it includes two music tracks obviously licensed from Paramount Pictures, the “Top Gun Anthem” and Kenny Loggins’ famous “Danger Zone”, both arranged by Keiki Kobayashi. The set also includes the following aircraft: F/A-18E Super Hornet (Top Gun: Maverick edition), F-14A Tomcat (Top Gun: Maverick edition), 5th Gen Fighter and Dark Star (spoiler alert!) as well as the regular editions of F-14A Tomcat and F/A-18E Super Hornet.
Not one to miss such an opportunity for additional sales — sorry, “in order to celebrate the release of Top Gun: Maverick” — Bandai/Namco has also released two special Ace Combat 7 editions. The Top Gun: Maverick edition ($79.99/€79.99) includes the original game plus this DLC set and the F-104C Avril aircraft. The Top Gun: Maverick Ultimate edition of Ace Combat 7 includes all of the above plus the extensive additional content released for the title since its original release through its season pass.
Handing out $99.99/€99.99 for the “movie tie-in” edition of a 2019 title, even for that much content, is not easy to recommend — but for those that “feel the need, the need for speed” after watching the new film it might be worth it (it is a quality game after all). All PS4/PS5, Xbox One S/X, Xbox Series S/X and PC owners interested in this should get hyped by watching the official trailer. Danger zone indeed!