Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 71 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 71
  2. Negative: 1 out of 71
  1. Oct 24, 2011
    92
    As we approach the engagement zone, we are treated to one undeniable truth and that is Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is the premier flight game for the Xbox 360. There are a ton of new innovations packed in every area and aspect of this game and with the included support of the Ace Edge flight stick, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is the king of the skies. Now marshal your talent and focus pilots for it's time to fly.
  2. Oct 16, 2011
    91
    Ace Combat has finally returned and it's awesome.
  3. Oct 11, 2011
    91
    It's not quite flawless, and it would be great to see a current gen Ace Combat that would run at 60fps, but Namco's attempt at revitalizing the series is actually pretty solid.
  4. Oct 16, 2011
    90
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon not only attempts something new in the arcade flight space but absolutely nails those goals and intentions.
  5. Oct 11, 2011
    90
    Ace Combat Assault Horizon walks that dangerous line many modern franchises are attempting these days: make an old formula more accessible and streamlined without alienating the hardcore fans.
  6. Oct 11, 2011
    90
    Speaking as someone firmly on the casual end of the flight spectrum, I've never had more fun in the Wild Blue Yonder.
  7. Oct 23, 2011
    87
    Combining gritty realism with an accessible arcade feel makes this a winner. [Dec 2011, p.78]
  8. Oct 11, 2011
    87
    Namco Bandai has showed that air combat games can be as thrilling and spectacular as first-person shooters. Every wargame fan should give the game a try, even those who have never tried a flight simulator game, for its great new gameplay features.
  9. 87
    Adding some of Modern Warfare's gritty realism gives the Ace Combat series a shot in the arm, while its arcade accessibility and enjoyability remains intact.
  10. Oct 11, 2011
    87
    An important and very welcome turning point for the series, with a more enjoyable and spectacular gameplay, and a greatly improved storytelling. If you're intrigued by air combat and don't mind a more forgiving and arcade approach, it's a recommended buy.
  11. Oct 11, 2011
    87
    While there are some rough edges, Project Aces has done a fantastic job overhauling the series, breathing new life into what had otherwise become a 'fish in a barrel' simulator.
  12. Oct 10, 2011
    87
    A flight-sim for the rest-of-us. It's silly, it's fun and it looks absolutely stunning. The new helicopter missions prove to be an excellent addition to the Ace Combat fare. On the negative side this game is way too fond of setting mission critical time limits for the player. [Oct 2011]
  13. Oct 31, 2011
    86
    Overall, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is an excellent diversion from most modern military shooters which take place, you know, on the ground.
  14. Nov 14, 2011
    85
    A great story, and ferocious and intense air combat missions in a variety of different flying war machines soars Ace Combat Assault Horizon to dizzying heights as a great skyward-bound fighting shooter.
  15. Oct 21, 2011
    85
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon proves that the franchise still delivers quality after all these years.
  16. Oct 12, 2011
    84
    It's still a hell of a relaunch to a long-running series, an imaginative – and captivating – trip through various game types, including overhead bombing and some breathtaking dogfights. If you thought Wings of Liberation was a nice piece of flight fun, you haven't seen anything yet.
  17. Nov 8, 2011
    83
    Ace Combat Assault Horizon continues the legacy of the series by giving fans of the series the new title that they've wanted. With a deep storyline included in the campaign and an online community that is quite strong upon launch, there is plenty of replay value with the title. Some issues with the gameplay do exist, but nothing that truly detracts from the game enough to not justify picking the game up.
  18. Oct 21, 2011
    83
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon turned out to be quite a nice surprise considering that I didn't have very high expectations for it and it wasn't exactly on my radar this jam-packed Fall release season.
  19. Oct 11, 2011
    83
    If you've been looking for an entryway into the flight combat genre this is a great place to start, and if you're already a fan, Assault Horizon has something a little bit different to offer you that you can definitely appreciate.
  20. Oct 11, 2011
    83
    An interesting game. It attempts to combine an increasingly niche genre with one that couldn't be more populist right now. The danger it faces is to alienate its hardcore fans without luring enough FPS players over.
  21. Oct 11, 2011
    83
    Assault Horizon is a good evolution of the Ace Combat series, it retains some typical flaws but balance those with a good integration of new elements as reguards contents and technical progress. The inclusion of the helicotper is a good diversion and the all new multiplayer section adds a good amount of gameplay.
  22. 82
    Has all of the lavish production values of a blockbuster movie, with a fantastic soundtrack and a story that just about manages to keep you engaged. As a package, Assault Horizon ticks all of the boxes and will have sky-jockeys weeping with joy. Go on, MAKE METAL BLEED! You know you want to.
  23. Oct 12, 2011
    82
    Ace Combat may never fully overcome its identity crisis, but its latest sortie is a successful one. Assault Horizon creates some spectacular moments with its visually impressive, close-range battles that make up for some of its slower, more repetitive lulls, and incorporates several different types of gameplay without compromising its overall quality or theme.
  24. Oct 13, 2011
    81
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon provides frenetic gameplay and a funny arcade action experience with its blockbuster presentation and great multiplayer side.
  25. Oct 27, 2011
    80
    Namco Bandai should be proud of what they have here. Sure, there are a few hiccups in play here or there but it is nothing that is so bad as to turn you off from the experience.
  26. Oct 24, 2011
    80
    If you're looking for a simulator this is not your kind of game, but for the rest it's a very entertaining and cinematic experience worth a try.
  27. Oct 23, 2011
    80
    The game is a lot of fun and there is something satisfying about shooting your enemy out of the air and watching a big mid-air explosion.
  28. Oct 20, 2011
    80
    Assault Horizon offers an exciting cocktail of action, nice graphics and intense dogfights. But its far from perfect and not all Ace Combat-players will enjoy the new tweaks.
  29. Oct 16, 2011
    80
    It looks great, has a suitably OTT plot, plenty of explosions, a solid online experience and has enough depth to reward committed pilots – all of this adds up to make it a very tempting alternative for anyone who fancies kicking off the bloody, muddy boots of the foot soldier to instead soar high into azure blue skies.
  30. Oct 16, 2011
    80
    A new direction for the series, and in my opinion, a welcome one. I loved the diversity of missions and the focus on action. I didn't, however, like the drawn out missions and frustrating objectives later on in the game.
  31. Oct 16, 2011
    80
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is the best air combat game of this generation. Project Aces nail the art of aerial action, with intense gameplay, sublime presentation and excellent solo and multiplayer modes.
  32. Oct 16, 2011
    80
    Ace Combat changes its course slightly in order to deliver a more visceral, thrilling and cinematic experience, and it's for the better. One gets the new systems quickly, but it doesn't mean there aren't subtleties in it. In terms of visual, it's superb, and online play provides great fun in various ways.
  33. Oct 14, 2011
    80
    While it stays true to the formula that made the franchise so popular, Assault Horizon introduces some new ideas -at least for Namco's series- that work well and offer a great experience.
  34. 80
    A handful of heinous difficulty spikes will try your patience - especially when you're protecting something other than your own backside - but even in the game's roughest moments, its unexpected diversity keeps you engaged.
  35. Oct 13, 2011
    80
    A triumphant mix of masculinity and pastiche, an excitable exercise in action gaming that moves the genre forward into exciting new territory, by taking the sim side out of the equation and focusing on the most important thing: action. It's ridiculous in every sense of the word, from the controls to the combat, but it remains an undeniable thrill throughout.
  36. Oct 13, 2011
    80
    Ace Combat Assault Horizon is a really fun game. The dogfights, the really cool online mode and the helicopters are great additions, make this a need to buy game for every aspiring pilot.
  37. Oct 13, 2011
    80
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is more frenetic and spectacular than other Ace Combat games, but simple. A new way into the franchise with intense campaign and good multiplayer.
  38. Oct 12, 2011
    80
    It's brash and beautiful, and in looking outside its own boundaries has found fresh ways to keep you coming back to the danger zone.
  39. Oct 11, 2011
    80
    It's a good all-around package, but I expect that it will sneak under the radar now that the fall release season is in full swing. It's a shame because the single-player is every bit the addictive sugar rush that Modern Warfare is, and it's handsomely produced to boot. It's the perfect palate cleanser for a game like Dark Souls, which is the diametric opposite in terms of mood and gameplay. After being lost in a dungeon for hours on end, sometimes you just want to jump into a jet fighter and blow stuff up for a while. And in that regard, Ace Combat fits the bill perfectly.
  40. Oct 11, 2011
    80
    Assault Horizon can be a frustrating experience at times, but when things are going to plan - when you've waited to the very last second to pull off an evasive manoeuvre or taken out two bogeys at once with a few well placed missiles - you'll be left with an intense feeling of satisfaction.
  41. Oct 11, 2011
    80
    Fans of the brand will find it changed in an even more deep arcade fashion, allthough some of the new ideas actually work, and gameplay flows in a spectacular way.
  42. Oct 11, 2011
    80
    Under the hood, Namco's designers have upgraded the series' engine and mechanics in effective and interesting ways, making this the strongest Ace Combat in a decade.
  43. Oct 11, 2011
    80
    Cheesiness aside, Assault Horizon is an endlessly thrilling and mature addition to a franchise that continues to soar above its competitors.
  44. Oct 10, 2011
    80
    A nice multiplayer game. The single player Campaign can be kinda boring due to the lack of intensity. The multiplayer modes, on the contrary, can be really funny and interesting to play with. If you're looking for a different kind of multiplayer experience, you should try this game.
  45. The chopper and bomber bits just end up getting in the way. [Christmas 2011, p.107]
  46. Oct 21, 2011
    79
    In the end, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is one of the most enjoyable games of the last few months because it's a totally different console game with some amazing graphics, especially of the aircrafts and sturdy gameplay.
  47. Oct 17, 2011
    79
    There's a fine line between genius and madness, and Ace Cobat Assault Horizon swings both ways. The action-oriented dogfight mode in jets is brilliant jet simple. Unfortunately, the developers included helicopters as well, and piloting them is tedious. Ace pilots will surely grit their teeth and sit through those mission, though, just to get more of the dogfighting action.
  48. Oct 18, 2011
    78
    It doesn't necessarily ace aerial combat, but it's a fun diversion when you need a break from grounded shooters.
  49. Oct 11, 2011
    78
    There's not too much post-game content, but the story mode is plenty of fun and multiplayer modes are a nice diversion.
  50. Nov 2, 2011
    75
    Odds are, this one is destined to be overlooked by some, but if you have the slightest inkling to try a flight sim, if you like flight sims or are somewhat interested in the Ace Combat franchise, give Assault Horizon a shot.
  51. Oct 19, 2011
    75
    Does a lot right-and well, at that-to make it worth your time and money to jump into the cockpit. Give it a spin even if you're just an action shooter fan, but if you're specifically into the source material (i.e. dogfights, pew pew, vrrrmmm!), this is an experience you won't want to miss out on.
  52. Oct 14, 2011
    75
    Dogfights are exciting, the helicopters are interesting (though underdeveloped), and the real world setting and story ground the game in reality.
  53. Oct 13, 2011
    75
    It might not be the perfect console arcade combat flight sim experience, but Ace Combat: Assault Horizon remains a treat for any fan of the genre or fans of stupidly awesome looking air combat action. Where it breaks with tradition, it injects a shot of epinephrine straight into your heart and keeps it pumping until a mission is over.
  54. Oct 11, 2011
    75
    What it loses in realism it makes up for with variety and a strong presentation.
  55. Oct 31, 2011
    72
    Taking the series in an unexpected route, Assault Horizon provides a more polished, narrative driven game. While this new stance might prematurely take some hardcore veterans out of the mix, once you are in the sky, all is forgotten.
  56. Nov 15, 2011
    70
    Just good. [Issue#78, p.82]
  57. 70
    An extremely fun action experience that is sure to induce Tourette's to the most levelheaded gamers. It's a blast for the most part, but on occasion it defies explanation by breaking its own conventions and using shoddy camera angles and unresponsive controls to artificially increase difficulty.
  58. Oct 29, 2011
    70
    Taking inspiration from games such as the Call of Duty-series, this is less of a flight simulator and more of an action game played in the air, and is all the better for it. The somewhat tedious flight missions are mixed up with much more entertaining helicopter-missions and the online modes for both competition and co-op work well.
  59. Oct 25, 2011
    70
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is solid fun for anyone wanting to experience cinematic dogfighting, though subsequent playthrough are going to reveal the smoke and mirrors behind the illusion.
  60. Oct 14, 2011
    70
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is already dubbed by some as the Modern Warfare in the skies. It is moving towards that direction, no doubt. But before being worthy of that title, it needs to improve a few things.
  61. Oct 13, 2011
    70
    The sixth game in the Ace Combat series seems to have Call of Duty as its main influence. It is intense and entertaining, but Assault Horizon has some flawed game mechanics and tries a bit too hard to be cool.
  62. Oct 11, 2011
    70
    At its best, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon hits a glorious balance of careful tactical play and explosive bombast. It's frustrating because it comes so close to perfecting the formula, only to throw it away by growing tedious when it has the opportunity to shine.
  63. 70
    A mess of compromises and sops to more casual gamers and yet somehow the game still manages to offer a fun and accessible facsimile of real air combat.
  64. Nov 30, 2011
    65
    It's not a great game by any means, but there are much worse ways to spend an afternoon than making jets explode.
  65. 60
    One of the greatest disappointments of the year. Once great and entertaining flying arcade became an average Call of Duty-copycat shooter. [Christmas 2011]
  66. Oct 26, 2011
    60
    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, while not especially unique, provides a lot of fun especially during the DFM moments both on and offline. However, most of the game is taken straight from Modern Warfare and its simple controls risks alienating hardcore fans.
  67. Oct 21, 2011
    60
    For some of you this is going to be a catlike degradation of the arcade series, for the others it's going to be their first moment to grab their plane and let their dream come true. There are helicopter missions and they are just fine. However, the story campaign full of turnovers and flashy broiling turns Ace Combat closer to passive gaping. Those simulator guys of you should wait for the upcoming hit by Jane's, for those of you bird of prey lovers – you should be enjoying this Namco's arcade video game under your Christmas tree.
  68. 60
    The problem is the pacing of the game. Missions are too long and repetitive, which causes the drama of the dogfight mode to wear out. The problem is worse in helicopter missions, where the strategy of the dogfight mode is replaced by panic rolls when missiles are close and some rude checkpointing.
  69. Oct 10, 2011
    60
    Just like a trashy novel, Assault Horizon is a decent page turner just as long you try not to think too hard.
  70. Oct 11, 2011
    55
    With Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, a respected series takes a nose-dive.
  71. Oct 11, 2011
    33
    Really the only thing Ace Combat has to offer that its predecessors don't is a couple of new flight modes and real world locations. This would be enough to recommend the game to die-hard fans, but the camera cut aways make the game a worse experience than its predecessors. If you want a good Ace Combat experience, you should play an earlier game in the series.
User Score
6.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 28
  2. Negative: 13 out of 28
  1. Oct 11, 2011
    5
    "The new Ace Combat has the depth of a college freshman; there's just very little substance to be had."
    Pro:
    1. This game is full of
    cinematography and in-game cuts that tantalizes even the oldest fan (at first). 2. Again, the visuals are fantastic.

    Cons:
    This cannot be real? The utter destruction of everything that has made Ace Combat what it is incarnated in Assault Horizons? What's obvious is that the game was revamped and reformatted to cater to the masses.

    The zoomed in game model {and dumbed down} controls allows for a 20 second learning curve ( 5 of which are accounted in picking up the controller). For any fan of the old Ace Combat games, everything that was admired has been stripped out of this game - depth, storyline, a sense of accomplishment after a tough mission on a plane 15% in tact, and a weird sense of connection to your squadron. Ace Combat Assault Horizon proves little more that the zoom button on the camera works (hurray). Easily, the most annoying thing about the game is the zoomed in chase view, which can suddenly turn to dog fight mode in which literally require zero skill to shoot down an enemy plane.

    For die hard fans like myself, I would suggest to stay away form this one.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 18, 2011
    4
    I'm a big fan of Ace Combat but I have to say that I'm greatly disappointed by Assault Horizon.
    The DFM (Dogfight Mode) or ASM (Air Strike
    Mode) destroyed the Ace Combat gameplay for me entirely by taking the controls of the planes away from me, placing me in a rail shooter sequence to show me some scripted events and effects. The destruction camera gets old especially quick and is distracting to the point it left me disoriented several times.
    I was not even able to pass on this â
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2011
    9
    While it can take some time for veterans of the series to adapt to the new "Dogfight Mode" the game overall has the stuff to take a place with the other great Ace Combats like Shattered Skies, The Unsung War, and The Belkan War. Now, yes the switch from the fictional universe of Strangereal to our very own Earth is a bit disappointing the story that is told is as wild and imaginative as any told in Strangereal. Mechanically the game is solid as a rock. The flight mechanics on planes are smooth and responsive and Dogfight Mode is surprisingly fun and useful. Things can get sticky when using an attack helicopter, but you don't use one often enough to get angry with it. The graphics are amazing. The planes look sleek and realistic and jaggies are far and few in between. Surprisingly the ground doesn't look like a low resolution composite image anymore, it actually looks realistic. The game has large amounts of replayability when it comes to 3 player co-op and 8v8 competitive multiplayer. Capital Conquest is a base defense game that requires a large amount of teamwork to win at. Overall while the game may have a few quirks, it is still the best Ace Combat game since The Belkan War. Full Review »