PS3 Previews: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Preview

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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2011

Publisher:

Namco Bandai

Developer:

Project Aces

Number Of Players:

1-16

Genre:

Flight

Ace Combat will return this year, much to the delight of flight fans everywhere. Assault Horizon represents a reboot; a “rebirth” if you will, and will introduce a sweet new combat mechanic called Close Range Assault (CRA). Perhaps the biggest change will revolve around the amped-up intensity; those familiar with this franchise will recall recent entries, where we were routinely a fair distance from our targets. But this time around, developer Project Aces wants to put you in the midst of the action from the start; we’ll even be able to pilot helicopters and switch to the gunner in the rear (all for the sake of gameplay diversity, yes?). We will begin our harrowing journey in East Africa and end up in Dubai but really, the atmosphere and environment are almost secondary. This is about blood-pumping adrenaline from start to finish, which isn’t an altogether unpleasant concept.

For a bit of history, the first titles in this series, which debuted back in the original PlayStation days, were all about insane dogfighting with a small nod to the realistic and authentic. But recently, Ace Combat has taken on a more challenging position, and has been more about the mechanics of flying rather than the over-the-top battles with dozens of bogies. Well, like many other designers with legendary franchise names, Project Aces is returning to their roots with Assault Horizon, as you might’ve guessed from the available media. Close Range Assault is the key: when close enough to a foe, you simply press a button and enter the new mode. The camera will lock onto your target and you will temporarily forego control of your plane; during this time, you attempt to get your victim within the red assault circle. So basically, they’ve separated the two sets of controls normally required for dogfighting...how does that strike you?

Some fans may not like this; they may call it a “mainstream” alteration that detracts from any sense of realism the game may have had. And that’s a fair complaint. But as a trade off, we get a different gameplay style and the chance to see massive damage inflicted right before our eyes. You won’t just see a small explosion on the horizon where your missiles hit; you’ll see metal tearing free of the doomed plane and you’ll often fly right through those explosions. This is the kind of fast-paced entertainment that reigns in today’s world so it’s no surprise to see it included. It may have a lot less to do with realism and a lot more to do with shock value, but at the same time, we should expect a polished, top-quality production. Besides, in how many flight games do we get to watch a wing disintegrate when we nail it with well-aimed ammo? Sounds like a blast.

Online multiplayer ought to be fun, too. There won’t be a co-op mode for the single-player campaign – which will remain entirely single-player – although we have heard that Namco is contemplating bonus co-op missions. Can you say, “DLC add-on?” Based on the videos and screenshots we have at our disposal, we’re excited to see the end result, and although authenticity has taken a back seat for the sake of titillation, perhaps Ace Combat is in need of such an overhaul. The fans will have the final say, though. Expect Assault Horizon to land later this year.

2/7/2011 Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

Shadow_Ninja
Monday, February 07, 2011 @ 10:00:18 PM
Reply

NIce! I've been waiting so long for an Ace Combat to release on the PS3. that was honestly my favorite franchise on my PS2. i will definitely be buying this game. H.A.W.X. was cool. but i like how Ace has a more dramatic story.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

main_event05
Monday, February 07, 2011 @ 10:13:28 PM

AC set the bar. But I love me some H.A.W.K.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Akuma07
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 3:26:38 AM

I actually dont like HAWK for some reason.

I loooooove the Ace Combat games though. I wish they stuck with the old AC universe though. Going to real-world is lame.

This game looks freakin' sweet.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

TheCrazyMerc
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 9:11:45 AM

I love Ace Combat 4 and 5, and I'm really hoping I can get this one as well, hope I have enough money ;P

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Shadow_Ninja
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 1:41:10 PM

lol. you know the game is called H.A.W.X. right?

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main_event05
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 4:33:27 PM

I do. But I put H.A.W.K. on accident. No biggie.

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PasteNuggs
Monday, February 07, 2011 @ 10:08:51 PM
Reply

I like the sound of this. It sounds like you will actually be able to use your machine guns and be effective.

IMO, if you want realism you should go play Flight Simulator.

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Alienange
Monday, February 07, 2011 @ 10:14:12 PM
Reply

I don't like the change in controls. Aren't the only people buying this kind of game the ones who actually want to fly planes and not simply be playing an on-rails shooter?

Agree with this comment 2 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

enjoi
Monday, February 07, 2011 @ 11:54:18 PM

Agreed, the close up action is too over the top imo. I'm not saying the game has to be DCS A-10c, but modern fighters flying through exploding oil tanks seems a bit silly.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 10:25:01 AM

The problem is Alienange, the people who buy realistic flight games can be identified as a niche crowd. The ones who buy action shooters however, represent the best opportunity for Ace Combat to survive.

Check the sales of Hawx 2. Project Aces sure has, and that's evident by the direction of AC: AH.

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Alienange
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 1:12:50 PM

@ maxpontiac - No doubt. I'll stick with my IL-2 then.

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Highlander
Monday, February 07, 2011 @ 10:47:49 PM
Reply

Sounds good. Even with the change in game play, this is a kind of game we have been missing on the PS3. We've had what, one air fighter based game? At least there will be some competition now.

Last edited by Highlander on 2/7/2011 10:48:38 PM

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A2K78
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 12:10:52 AM
Reply

"For a bit of history, the first titles in this series, which debuted back in the original PlayStation days".

The first titles originated in the arcades(Air Combat, Air Combat 22) and it wasn't until Namco ended making AC games for the arcade that the name changed to Ace Combat(probably for legal reasons).

"Aren't the only people buying this kind of game the ones who actually want to fly planes"

If I want to fly planes in a virtual environment, then the X-Plane, Aero Dancing, Flight Simulator or the Falcon series is my cup of tea and simpily because they make the experience of flying much more better given the focus on realism. To futher add these games actually teach you something about military and civilian aviation as oppose to the unrealic situations of ace combat.

In the case of Ace Combat, there was a time when I used to like the games religiously, but to be honest when things were said and done the games were merely a carbon copy of former;it also make you make you wonder why Namco is complaining about game falling sales with eatch iteration:

http://www.play.tm/news/32005/namco-we-hurt-ace-combat-with-iterative-sequels

overall if there is the one thing I give Namco credit for when it come the AC game the fact their senerios/maps tend to be very good in terms of design, same can be said about the aircraft scaling with which is accurate. Other than that I have outgrown the AC games.




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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 12:47:30 AM

Thanks. As I said, ACE Combat began in the PlayStation days.

Quick. Tell us all the secret of life because you're a genius.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/8/2011 12:48:05 AM

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LightShow
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 6:56:22 AM

the secret of life is a good grilled cheese sandwich. next question.

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PorkChopGamer
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 8:20:39 AM

I'd say it's a good grilled cheese AND bologna sandwich with a cup of hot cocoa, and the love of your life who wraps her arms around you to help warm you up after a long morning of shoveling snow. That's meaning enough for me.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 10:14:26 AM

Bologna? Eeeeewwww...

Make it ham; then we'll talk.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 10:21:22 AM

Apparently you have moved on from Ace Combat. However, there are those who have not!!

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Alienange
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 1:16:41 PM

@ A2K78 - I said "want to fly planes" not "want to play boring flying games."

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Shadow_Ninja
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 1:48:16 PM

@ Ben

you have no idea how bad your second sentence made me laugh....that was genius.

on the other hand, i didn't know there was a difference between ham and bologna.

P.S. @A2K it's spelled simply :]

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___________
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 1:18:54 AM
Reply

really looking forward to this, been donkeys years since we had a decent flight sim!
HAWX sucks big time, simple!
almost everything sucks about it, story, graphics, controls, missions.
2 was slightly better, but was like going from AC2 to ACB.
a few new things, a few revised things, but somehow at the same time in some parts its slightly worse.

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Simcoe
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 10:08:30 AM

How long is a donkey year?
A human year is roughly 365 days,
a dog year is roughly 52 days, so what about a donkey year?

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LightShow
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 6:55:06 AM
Reply

if people want realism in their flight sim, go out and jump in a real cockpit.
/sarcasm

in all seriousness, this is a video game. i realize that its not feasible to go out and just hop in a several-million-dollar aircraft, but if youre gonna whine about it "losing realism" then we're gonna be at odds. its a video game, it needs to be fun.
/rant

actually serious here, i think fighter pilot games are awesome. if i werent a giant of a man i'd be in the air force to fly the suckers. really, i cant wait. =D

Last edited by LightShow on 2/8/2011 6:57:59 AM

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PorkChopGamer
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 8:26:49 AM
Reply

Looks fantastic!! Just devoured the awesome Apache Air Assault during Christmas holiday, so I don't mind taking a little break from realism. That game was intense.

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Simcoe
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 9:56:15 AM

I tried the demo of that game but just couldn't get used to the control scheme (even using the easier flight settings). I think part of the problem was that I am just too used to the helicopter flight controls in Bad Company 2! lol

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coverton341
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 11:32:11 AM
Reply

The only real issue I have is with the new CRA. From the sounds of it, it takes the control away from you and instead makes you guide the enemy into the cross hair. That kind of sounds similar to fuelling your plane in H.A.W.X.

I'm not complaining about losing realism, just wish that everything wasn't sliding towards big explosions, super fast paced twitching, and nonstop action

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A2K78
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 1:42:06 PM
Reply

Its kinda funny how people are using realism and Ace Combat in the same context, but truth is there was never anything realistic about games.

I mean:

- the use of some military/aviation terms is unrealistic

- bomb and missile loadouts are unrealistic

- take-offs and landings are unrealistic(never heard of a fighter plane landing at speeds above 300+knt)

- launching an AGM weapon is unrealistc

- attacking a ship with a air-to-air missiles is unrealistic

- the chatter is unrealistic(fighter pilots don't blab their mouths off during the course of mission for operational reasons).

- the games don't even simulate the effects of negative/positive G's e.g. redouts blackouts(G-LOC), altitude sickness, etc.

- portraying real fighter pilots in a unrealisc light, this when fighter pilots are trained to kill not feel emotional the enemy.

When it come the above the only console flight games that actually does all of those realistically is either the Aero Dancing or Energy Air Force games.

As I have said, the only good thing the AC games have done is the fact the maps and environmental effects are well designed;the various planes are well modeled and realistically scaled.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 3:09:04 PM

Nobody cares.

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Shadow_Ninja
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 3:43:44 PM

yea it's kinda funny huh? but oh well.

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 3:47:52 PM

I still wonder why you are here. Anyways to put it simpily :P I am a big fan of Ace Combat so I cant wait till it releases.

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Karosso
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 @ 6:56:08 PM
Reply

:( waited so long for it and this is what we are getting?
I'm not impressed. Graphs look like a XBox360 game and the game play is going to be totally changed (reminds me of "The Hive" a rail shooter for the PS1 were all you did was move the cross hairs)...I'll just have to finish the last one for the PS2 or wait for a HD collection or something.

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somethingrandom
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 5:51:17 PM
Reply

Yes, all you have to do now is put them in a crosshair the size of the screen. Great...

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