In a controversial move to many fans, Namco Bandai’s Project Aces team has taken Ace Combat: Assault Horizon in a completely new direction from previous games in the long-running flight combat series. Some would say that it has been Call of Duty-ified, shifting to more of a Hollywood blockbuster action movie approach with new helicopter battles, on-rails gunner missions, scripted stealth bomber objectives, and a stronger emphasis on pretty explosions. Does the change in style work out? Let’s take a closer look:
Assault Horizon is not your average Ace Combat game. It goes way beyond evolutionary; it is Ace Combat completely reinvented with an entirely new in-your-face attitude. Purists are likely to disown it if for that very reason, but to me the series has been getting staler by the game (except for Joint Assault on PSP — I really liked that one!), so I welcome the developer’s clean-the-slate-and-start-anew approach.
Fortunately, Assault Horizon makes the change of direction work fairly well. Well enough to warrant a test flight at least.