ACE COMBAT™ ASSAULT HORIZON Enhanced Edition
Kamfrenchie Mar 2, 2013 @ 6:59am
A review from an Ace combat newcomer
Alright, unlike many persons that made a review I never had the occasion to play much of the ace combat serie. I did however play some arcade space sims like freespace 1 and 2 (well and i played top gun on gamecube but does that count ?).
So here are my thought on the game.

GRAPHISM
While overall I'd say the game looks fairly nice, it has some really awful texture on several occasions, which is made worst by the fact the game showcase them a lot through dogfight mod slowdowns.

Indeed, while the camera centers on the plane being blown up, very ugly texture appears, another major offender being the aircraft carrier, which shows textures inferior to ps1 stuff.
In the 1st mission, the houses of florida look quite ugly aswell. The ground units are poorly modelised aswell, these t80 and tunguska really look terrible after seing those in European escalation.

Note that this wouldn't be such a problem if the game didn't force you to look at them.


GAMEPLAY
I'd say the core jet gameplay is faily solid, but control configuration isn't ideal. The big problem isn't that dogfight mode exist, the problem is that it's obligatory against leaders, and tend to be much faster. I can't even say if it requires that much skill, most of it seems to be automated.
What's worst is the scripted invincibility of targets until a certain moment.
THIS IS A GAME NOT A MOVIE. STOP USING SO MUCH SCRIPT AND LIMITING PLAYER AGENDA AND OPTIONS.
Otherwise you have fairly good missions, i'm especially a fan of the siege one with rafale.

REMOVE REGENERATING HEALTH, it's an abysmal lazy system that breaks tension and immersion aswell.

and oh my god, why oh why did you include these rail shooter moments and why are they so goddam long ? You didn't even make sure they were done properly. In the AC 130 you can use the main gun on the ruins despite the orders of spooky. C130 and blackhawk add very little and last too long. They also hilariously break immersion and coherence, when rebels materialize out of tin air and run in the open screaming "shoot me heroic american!"

Remove those, or make them optionnal and shorter.


I'm not necessarily entirely against the idea of heli missions, but god they're mediocre. The Apache main gun is way too weak. Seeing autocanon ( it's not a mg, it's an autocanon namco !) bounce off pick ups is infuriating. firing at hinds for 5 min before they die is infuriating. Being a told a single pick up is gonna wipe out Delta is infuriating, and stupid.
Watching the other apaches sit on their asses while hinds are on me is infuriating.
Unlimited X dodges is a lazy and stupid mechanic. Redesign these entirely or replace them with more jets missions.


MUSIC AND SOUND
Sound was fairly good, voice acting is quite decent in the french version, many great track, it ain't Jeremy soule level but it's quite great still. Except the credit song, gotta stay fly, what's awful rap doing there ?


WRITING:
Written by an american author of military best seller ? oh dear... are american so thrilled by "evil russian heroic american" manichean plots ?

It's an unoriginal cheesy plot, really. It made me cringe several times.
I'm not hating on the US, but all those plots where the US characters are flawless-parangons-of-virtue-last-hope-of-humanity with the bad guy being baby eating russians bent on destroying the US really feel like propaganda.

5 minutes in, someone is praising bishop for his awesomeness in .... Iraq ? WTF ? wasn't Iraq a massive roflstomp with little challenge for the US ? It's kind of like saying "nice job beating up that handicapped 9 year old boss". Is that US wanking really needed ? Does the US army need to compliment itself at every opportunity ?

What's this african rebellion about and against ?
Have Su fighters become dirt cheap all of sudden ? where are the nato allies they sometimes mention ? Why did Illich have to be such a ♥♥♥♥♥ (omg we're BFF and you saved my life so i'll help you in your insane revenge plot) ? Can Guts spend less time bragging and more time killing ?
Ok, so the bad guy is bat♥♥♥♥ crazy because a US bombing killed his wife (why he didn't evacuate her before we don't know) , why not, but why are so many pilots bent on dying for him even after he lost in russia ? How did he sneak into the general's office in moscow tehn escape without being caught. Why didn't he grab an actual nuke while he was in power in russia instead of using his trinity firecracker ? He then wouldn't have needed to hit the white house/pentagon straight.
Illich trying to stop his ex-BFF would have made the plot much better than this.
kudos for Bishop being a quite professionnal guy that i don't have anything against though.


TLDR overall

while the game is basicly fun to play when aircraft are involved, it does its best to sabotage hitself with poor obligatory railshooter segment, obligatory Dogfight mode, and cheezy uninspired writing. It also features the awful regenerating health system
I guess 30€ is a faily decent price, though i would only recommend it at even lower price.

rating range (if you believe in rates) : 4 to 6.5 out of ten
Last edited by Kamfrenchie; Mar 2, 2013 @ 7:00am
Showing 1-12 of 12 comments
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MrThebigcheese Mar 2, 2013 @ 7:01am 
Online is where the game is at.
Kamfrenchie Mar 2, 2013 @ 7:41am 
Originally posted by MrThebigcheese:
Online is where the game is at.

i haven't seen that many people online tbh. GFWL isn't too great, and there is no way to know how many people are online.

Planes seems to be a bit unbalanced aswell. F22 pakfa and a few other seem to be much better than others. What can one do with say, a mirage ?
MrThebigcheese Mar 2, 2013 @ 7:49am 
A variety of planes are necessary to win. In terms of planes being unbalanced....what?

Any fighter is more or less about as effective as any other, it's all about what weapons you bring and how you use them. A Fighter class can easily kill an Attack plane (large bombers etc), as designed. A multipurpose fighter is an in between, it has a disadvantage to a fighter but is superior to Attackers in the air, it can also clear ground well and can attack the HQ. Fighters are weak against ground targets and can not attack the HQ. Attackers are effective against ground and can do heavy damage to the HQ. It's very balanced.

You need a mix to win. There is no 1 plane everyone can choose if the team is to be effective. Helis are even good, they destroy ground and a good pilot can clear missiles before they hit.

If someone locks dfm on you, you can call for support or put on moves then hit the brakes when he gets close and turn the tables on him (flip behind him). You can also use terrain, buildings and ground support to your advantage. If all else fails you can even fly them into the ground if you are slick and they aren't paying close enough attention.

It's quite fun, your loss if you miss out.
Last edited by MrThebigcheese; Mar 2, 2013 @ 7:54am
Kamfrenchie Mar 2, 2013 @ 8:04am 
Originally posted by MrThebigcheese:
A variety of planes are necessary to win. In terms of planes being unbalanced....what?

Any fighter is more or less about as effective as any other, it's all about what weapons you bring and how you use them. A Fighter class can easily kill an Attack plane (large bombers etc), as designed. A multipurpose fighter is an in between, it has a disadvantage to a fighter but is superior to Attackers in the air, it can also clear ground well and can attack the HQ. Fighters are weak against ground targets and can not attack the HQ. Attackers are effective against ground and can do heavy damage to the HQ. It's very balanced.

You need a mix to win. There is no 1 plane everyone can choose if the team is to be effective. Helis are even good, they destroy ground and a good pilot can clear missiles before they hit.

If someone locks dfm on you, you can call for support or put on moves then hit the brakes when he gets close and turn the tables on him (flip behind him). You can also use terrain, buildings and ground support to your advantage. If all else fails you can even fly them into the ground if you are slick and they aren't paying close enough attention.

It's quite fun, your loss if you miss out.
I did play some mp, but mouse and keyboard, while sufficient for medium difficulty campaign, shows its limit online. I still don't see how planes like the mirage can be viable when they feel much less manoeuverable than most other planes. I'll take your word for the rest though.

However my rafale A2G missiles weren't doing an amazing load of damage to the hq when I tried.
Omnipotent Mar 2, 2013 @ 8:07am 
I have to agree, fairly apt review of the game(Kamfrenchie), I guess for me, the only thing that even makes it "barely" exciting, is that I haven't really played a "good?" Combat Flight Sim, since the F-15 Strike Eagle series (even before Jaynes version,,,yes it's been that long),,,I have FlighsimX from MS,,and it's very well done, but it does get boring, just flying around,,,and I still can't stick the Swiss approach (or what ever it's called) lmfao!!!
Last edited by Omnipotent; Mar 2, 2013 @ 9:47am
MrThebigcheese Mar 2, 2013 @ 9:34am 
Originally posted by Kamfrenchie:
However my rafale A2G missiles weren't doing an amazing load of damage to the hq when I tried.

If the HQ Defense level is set to high by the host it can look like you aren't doing much because they have so much health. I like the machine gun pod and dumbfire bombs for HQ damage.

Another thing, if you get a good kill streak a popup will appear. You can Select the PAK (Multipurpose) and use it's secret weapon, which is a nuke type bomb. That does huge area damage. It takes a chunk out of the HQ or will clear a base entirely.
fisk0 Mar 3, 2013 @ 3:32pm 
Originally posted by Kamfrenchie:
Originally posted by MrThebigcheese:
Online is where the game is at.

i haven't seen that many people online tbh. GFWL isn't too great, and there is no way to know how many people are online.

Planes seems to be a bit unbalanced aswell. F22 pakfa and a few other seem to be much better than others. What can one do with say, a mirage ?
The matchmaking interface is pretty terrible, Quick Match rarely works, my best suggestion for finding a game is to use the "Custom game" option and leave all options to "Any", and then it'll list all games of that type. You still have to do one search per game type, but you'll generally find 2 or 3 games of Capital Conquest or Deathmatch going on at any given time. Domination seems entirely dead.
As for plane balance, I think it's pretty good actually, it's of course ridiculous that the Phantom II or MiG-21 and other ancient fighter jets can stand up to the PAK-FA or F35, but that speaks to the game's balancing rather than sticking to realism - none of the planes seem overpowered in my opinion, all have their roles in combat, and an experienced pilot with the MiG-21 and dual machine guns can be just as deadly as someone flying the YF-23, F-22 or one of the Ace Combat series fictional super jets.
deagleonfire May 17, 2013 @ 7:12am 
Originally posted by Kamfrenchie:


Is that US wanking really needed ? Do the US citizens need to compliment themselves at every opportunity ?

Yes, and it's laughable.

Good review btw
Kamfrenchie May 17, 2013 @ 10:21am 
Originally posted by deagleonfire:

Yes, and it's laughable.

Good review btw

Thanks
Proprietor May 18, 2013 @ 12:33am 
TLDR
Kamfrenchie May 18, 2013 @ 5:46am 
Originally posted by F1aw1ess:
TLDR

i put a tldr sum up at the bottom :S
Ōkami May 18, 2013 @ 6:51am 
Originally posted by Kamfrenchie:
Originally posted by MrThebigcheese:
Online is where the game is at.

i haven't seen that many people online tbh. GFWL isn't too great, and there is no way to know how many people are online.

Planes seems to be a bit unbalanced aswell. F22 pakfa and a few other seem to be much better than others. What can one do with say, a mirage ?

On boring deathmatch games, yes, but you haven't tried conquest or dominion obviously, most of the time I like playing the F35 for air to air missions, has a larger payload than the F22, and handles a little better.
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Date Posted: Mar 2, 2013 @ 6:59am
Posts: 12