Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Takes A Refreshing New Direction

Project Ace, the makers of the commendable Ace Combat series, is readying up the latest title in the action-based sim franchise. That’s right, we’re going to be seeing another Ace Combat game, and this one is a wee bit different than the rest.

The new title is Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, and is basically the 7th non-spinoff Ace Combat game to be released. What exactly is so different about this game you ask? Well, for starters it doesn’t have a fictional world like the previous games in the series (except for Joint Assault, which was for PSP). So that means no more Belka, Osea, or Yuktobania.

Instead we’ll be seeing a more known form of warfare: United States vs. Russia. Yes, it is a bit clichéd, but we have to first see what other changes have been made before we can start raising any uncooked comments.

For the first time in the Ace Combat series, you’ll be flying helicopters too. In fact, you won’t just be flying helicopters; you’ll also be playing as the chopper’s gunman, gunning down ground infantry with the massive mounted minigun.

The introduction of the shooter-styled gunning and the relatively slow paced chopper-flying will offer dynamism to the game. Another new implementation is the ‘Close Range Assault’ – a new method of dog fighting which emphasizes close-ranged duels rather than eliminating opponents with long range missiles.

This will add to the intensity and create a more destructive, shooter-styled combat system. The story of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is concerned with fictional tensions between the United States and Russia.

You take the role of Lieutenant Colonel William Bishop, and fly as a part of NATO force which is to stop insurgencies in different areas in Africa. An apostate Russian pilot named Markov is helping the insurgent forces with a new top secret weapon called ‘Trinity’.

So how will these changes effect what we have come to expect of the Ace Combat series? Will they be for the better? Personally the games seem to have taken influence from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, and has implemented it in their fantastic fighter-sim action game.

My personal favorite Ace Combat game was Ace Combat 5: Unsung War, simply because of its originality and fantastic story progression.

Will they be able to deliver the same impact with these new implementations ? or will this be the first wrong step in an otherwise near-to-perfect series? We can only find out on October 11th, 2011.