This review is from: Ace Combat Assault Horizon - Limited Edition (Video Game)Firstly I should point out I have not played any of the old games, so I cannot comment as to whether it is a worthy continuation of the series.
Having played though the story and spent and spent a good few hours in mulitiplayer it seems to be like a perfectly good game to me:
Gameplay is fine, the controls function well, the graphics for the planes and enviroments are generally decent(however the ground textures were quite poor in places), the sound was suitably loud and crunchy and I found it easy enough to handle even with flight assist turned off.
The game itself I found to be engaging and fun, I had no real problem with the ASM mechanic, except that some of them drag on way to long but they were counter balanced by the destructive fun of the ground equivilent. The helicopter sections I enjoyed greatly, the inevitable AC130 mission was a slightly pointless venture I found but was great fun when flying a pink one in free mode.
I do have some problems that mainly focus upon the story mode; the heavy scripting of some levels can jar, with some planes seemingly being invincible until a scripted moment (the final boss dogfight being particually annoying), also some of the missions are simply too long with not enough variety, some missions seemingly being nothing but endless fights with inexplicacbly huge numbers of enemies. Another gripe I have is the story, while technically competent feels sadly generic and predictable, being another fair of America (good) vs Russia (mostly bad), the civil war plot being a nice idea had it not been done many times before (example. CoD4). Also in a combat of that scale surely other nations would get involved? I vaguely remember UK and France getting mentioned but the actual gameplay features nothing but Americans.
The multiplayer is a decent venture as well with games being frantic affairs, decent enough game modes and bots to fill in blank slots. It would be nice if you could have a skirmish style bot game though to hone your skills in. Play enough multiplayer and you unlock extra colours and points to buy upgrades.
However the real fun is to be had in Free Mission, I've had great fun designing cool colour schemes and kitting out on upgrades to better my score, the naval combat mission being my favorite (annoyingly it is one of the shorter missions). And the removal of cutscenes speeds up the pacing nicely.
Another very minor point is despite it being a'limited edition' you don't get much, a notepad, sound track and plane, the plane itself not being very good. However this is a minor complaint as any bonus material is always welcome.
Overall despite having some problems that occasionally annoyed me I enjoyed playing through it and find the free missions and multiplayer good reasons to come back to it.