PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360
By Project Aces
Scheduled Release: October 2011
After a three-year abatement wherein in the series went for the skies on portable platforms, Namco Bandai lately announced the return of Ace Combat to consoles. Ace Combat Assault Horizon is under development for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, coming back to Sony's console right after the 360-exclusive Fires of Liberation.
Project Aces is being deliberately tight-lipped around Assault Horizon, but the initial official trailer clued us in on a fresh direction for the franchise. The footage bespeaks that the title is an overall reboot for the series, pertaining to it as a "game changer" and "rebirth."
The trailer most notably spot lit an evolution of combat from something computed and mechanical to a definitely personal and more organic approach. Dogfights spread out in the thick of urban areas, with pilots narrowly averting skyscrapers as bullets rain on the lofty structures. Miami is the battlefield in this specific trailer, implying that we'll be witnessing more real-world locations. PSP's Joint Assault parted the series' tradition of fictionalsettings, and Assault Horizon seems to follow suit. Signs also show that the player will go for the skies being a member of the United States Air Force.
The dogfight ends in an explosion of fuel and debris, momentarily illuminating the sky on fire as tendrils of oil spider under the air.
This short exchange highlights the more familiar direction Project Aces is taking the series, with fighting so close that fuel rains down on your aircraft on impact. After a number of fiery takedowns, our pilot's luck expires and we are violently ejected from the cockpit. A safe landing looks to be a bit much to ask for, as an enemy craft advances from the periphery.
Other scenarios spot lit include air-to-ground combat by a helicopter, and a pilot undertaking a fleet of ships out at sea.
Perhaps close action and a come back to reality is precisely what Assault Horizon needs to invigorate the Ace Combat franchise.