Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Hands-On Impression – Flight Simulator Enhanced

Everything about Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is new, a complete rebirth. The way the game looks, the way it plays, the way it feels, and most of all, the intensity. A key staple of Ace Combat has always been the flying, that’s the main lure of the game, to pilot blazing fast warplanes. Well, this years Ace Combat has stepped it up a notch with a new game mechanic called: Close Range Assault and when I say it’s an adrenaline rush I really mean it and that’s putting it lightly.

To activate Close Range Assault you have to get within range of an enemy craft and lock on to that enemy. Once you are locked on you are presented with a brand new over the shoulder/ aircraft view that produces a visceral experience never before seen in a military jet fighter video game simulator. It’s a really frantic affair because the enemy that you are locked onto will try his best to out maneuver you to break your lock all the while the environment is rotating and changing direction at 60fps. The graphics have also improved giving the environment a very realistic look. The water effects are stunning and your mouth will drop while in a dogfight as your fighter jet is whizzing through buildings at over 1600 miles per hour. As we all know the payoff in dogfights are the explosions and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon has what is called the ‘steel carnage’ effect. This effect showcases the effects of planes being ripped apart, pieces dislodging due to damage which, can actually damage your craft if hit, culminating into epic explosions. It’s a very cool effect, which adds to the visceral feel of the dogfighting found in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.

Another amazing improvement are the locals in the game. Ace Combat has always fashioned their stories in fictional locations, not any more. The locations in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon are now real world locations. Your airspace will now include Miami, Africa, Dubai, and others. To further the realness of this years Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, New York Times best selling military author Jim De Felice was brought on board to write the entire script for the game, clearly, Ace Combat is taking things in a whole new direction – Intensity, Action, and Realness.

A lot of information could not be given as far as multiplayer is concerned but one bit of info was shared and got everyone pretty excited. In multiplayer there will be a mode called: Capital Conquest. Basically you will either protect the capitol of a major city or you will try to capture the capital of another major city which will be protected by other online players. It sounds like a very intense scenario and everything experienced in the single player mode will be available in multiplayer as in the new Close Range Assault mode.

Now if that’s not enough there is another experience that’s never before seen in any Ace Combat games of the past, Helicopter Combat! That’s right, you can now man an Apache and gun down enemies such as tanks, humans, and of course other choppers. It’s a slower type of game, which can make for a nice change of pace. The graphics are top notch making the new mode appear to be a genuine addition rather then a last minute throw in.

There are always pleasant surprises at E3, games that catch you off guard or you didn’t expect to surprise you and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was one of them. Expect a lot of Tom Cruise wanabees and a lot of dogfighting with players from all over the world this year on October 11th, as Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is coming to both the Xbox 360 and PS3, I can’t wait!!!

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