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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Review

An engaging flight title that showcases the visceral side of aerial combat

Posted by (SpectralShock) on
The action transitions to online play rather smoothly. There aren’t many modes on offer, with competitive ones including deathmatch, capital conquest, and domination playing out in a similar manner. All of the mechanics from the campaign carry over to multiplayer, and the action feels just as satisfying with smooth control and absolutely no lag issues. Those looking for a cooperative experience can also take part in a number of coop missions, most being taken directly from the campaign. By playing online, players earn points which can be used to unlock new airplanes as well as abilities and weapons, adding some incentive to long term play. Aside from a lack of competitive modes, the bigger problem perhaps is the lack of players. Just a month or so since release, lobbies are barren and those few that exist have more AI opponents than real players.
 
Ace Combat Assault Horizon
 
Ace Combat is a respectably pleasant visual experience. Airplanes are well designed and offer full 360 degree view at any point of the game. Perhaps the most scrutinized area for all flight games, the ground, looks detailed enough to forgive some low resolution textures. It may not be completely real-world accurate, but the landscape and buildings were designed with care and present themselves well. Cutscenes and some story events are surprisingly interactive, actually allowing the player to look around (but not move), thus adding an interesting sense of immersion that is unseen elsewhere. Combat and destruction look great, offering detailed views of your enemies going down in smoke and pieces. Sound design is mostly forgettable with basic effects, but at least the soundtrack is very catchy and energizing.
 
The return of the Ace Combat series is a welcome one. The game clearly attempts to become more accessible to the general public and perhaps borrow an idea or two from other flight games, which is OK. It’s a rather action packed thrill ride that is only let down by its own focus on forcing players into minigames during combat in order to be effective. A decent story suffers from poorly translated dialogue, but voice acting and cutscene visuals are mostly good. Online modes are a bit scarce, both in variety and player numbers. The game sounds well enough and looks great when focusing on destruction, amped up by a rocking soundtrack. It may not offer anything wholly original, but Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is a fun air combat title that’s well worth a look if you enjoy the genre.
 

Presentation
74
Good visuals and solid soundtrack are coupled with average sound effects and poor dialogue.
Gameplay
80
The air combat is essentially filled with minigames, which all work very well and add to the intensity of the action. Both planes and helicopers handle well and are a joy to pilot.
Single Player
78
The decently long campaign has a few nice twists but most characters are a bit underdeveloped. Friendly AI is mostly useless but at least enemies pose a respectable challenge.
Multiplayer
79
Competitive modes are a bit lackluster, but coop can be fun as its a better way to complete the missions from the single player campaign. Online play is very smooth regardless of location. Lack of online players is a concern, though.
Performance
85
The game runs smoothly and without issue. Some checkpoint saves can be frustrating.
Overall
77
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon may lack any groundbreaking features, but it's still a fun air sim that's bound to please fans of the genre. With some unique - if repetitive - gameplay mechanics and a strong focus on destruction, it's a flight worth taking for those who choose to jump on board.
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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon box art Platform:
PlayStation 3
Our Rating
77%
Fair
We Said:
Game Ranking
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is ranked #415 out of 806 total games.
414. MotorStorm: Apocalypse
PlayStation 3
415. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
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Screenshots

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
18 images added Sep 1, 2011 01:11
Videos
Ace Combat - Full-Blown Assault
Length: 2:10
Posted: Aug 11, 2011 20:59
Ace Combat Assault Horizon: Helicopte...
Length: 10:30
Posted: Sep 14, 2011 00:09
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