Feeds
75%
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Wings and roundabouts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Review “For good or for ill, air mastery is the supreme expression of military power,” said Churchill, “and fleets and armies, however vital and important, must accept a subordinate rank.”

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Taken under the wing

That may be true in the real world, but when it comes to videogames air combat has long accepted a subordinate rank to the supreme expression of digital conflict: the First Person Shooter.

By taking a leaf from Call of Duty's military manual, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon hopes to challenge that preponderance. From the acronym-heavy jargon and 'ooh-rah' camaraderie of cut-scenes to the unlockable perks and killstreaks of multiplayer, Assault Horizon's influences are obvious. But despite the familiarity, there's enough novelty to prevent contempt from shooting down Namco Bandai's reboot of its popular dogfighting series.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Bomb jetonated

That novelty doesn't extend to the narrative, though. The story of an ace NATO squadron fighting to prevent a Russian military coup so closely follows the flight path of Hawx 2 that Jim DeFelice, the "best-selling author of military thrillers" who penned it, must have plotted it on autopilot. Fortunately, the prosaic yarn of WMDs and ultra-nationalist secession is played out in skipable cut-scenes that only briefly and occasionally interrupt gameplay.

The dogfighting is, however, a lot more exhilarating. Resolutely arcade, Assault Horizon eschews plausibility in favour of bone-jarring thrills. Flight dynamics are kept simple, but there's enough variation in airspeeds, manoeuvrability and weapon loadouts to ensure its bleeding-edge military fighters all behave distinctly. As do enemy fighters which, thanks also to decent AI, require you to tailor your tactics on the fly for effective combat.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Clockpit

Bogeys are classified as regular Targets or Target Leaders to distinguish rookie pilots in inferior fighters from combat aces in superior ones. While a missile lock or cannon fire from behind is sufficient to down most regular Targets, Target Leaders present a more formidable challenge, demanding the use of Assault Horizon's novel mechanic, Dog Fighting Mode.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Air fix

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Leak: Intel readies next round of NUC
Cheap boxen to get a refresh
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?