Namco Says Ace Combat: Assault Horizon PC “Enhanced”

By Jim Rossignol on November 28th, 2012 at 10:00 am.


Namco Bandai (which still sounds like an exciting shiny-plastic toy name for a company in my head) have sent word that their dogfighting game Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is coming to PC. The Windows computer version, which is apparently due early next year, “features controls and graphics that have been optimized specifically for PC users. The PC version will include many of the DLC items released on the console versions of the game. Players will have immediate access to additional aircrafts and numerous aircraft skins as well as skills and maps.” So that’s sounds good. But also: “Players will have immediate access to additional aircrafts and numerous aircraft skins as well as skills and maps. The multiplayer portion of the game will feature support through Games for Windows Live from Microsoft.” Mmpf.

Still: zoom! As you can see below.

I understand this reviewed pretty averagely on the xstation, but I’m always interested to see a new flying game – they are so seldom masterpieces.

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72 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    Is that plane bleeding?

    • baby snot says:

      Cylon.

      • Gap Gen says:

        And they have a plane?

        • Werthead says:

          Cylons are planes (or they can be).

          Guessing you’ve never seen the Newer Battlestar Galactica?

          • Cenarl says:

            Maybe you know and maybe you don’t, but there is a newer new Battlestar these days. If your looking down at my youtube link and thinking this is is only going to lead to some kind of funny joke video – it’s actually a REAL new Battlestar show, that they decided to premier their new series on youtube in “webisodes” before it shows on syfy next year as movie, and the fate of the making a series will be decided sometime afterward.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      My thoughts exactly. How did they manage to include blood splattered screens in a flying game?

    • Paxeh says:

      I think it is oil, not blood.

      The same as when your engine is shot to pieces in IL2?

      • Turk Anjaydee says:

        Damn, I used to love that game! I always feared my engine getting shot while going through every little piece of the map ’till it was as flat as a pancake and then moving on to the next map. Gotta hope they’ll make a second sequel, I’d definitely buy Impromptu Lawnmower 3

    • D3xter says:

      It’s probably bleeding oil.

      This is something I might consider buying when it goes on Sale some day, but not on Release. xD I somewhat enjoyed HAWX in Co-Op.

      I wonder if Dark Souls coming out on PC has anything to do with this decision to release the game (that came out on the consoletoys late 2011).

    • Hakkesshu says:

      The game’s tagline was actually “Make Metal Bleed”.

      It’s actually a pretty cool game; would’ve been great if it was less repetitive. The missions go on for 3 times as long as they probably should.

    • three60mafia says:

      Are you saying planes can’t bleed?

  2. Yachmenev says:

    Choosing GfWL at this time is just lazy, and show a lack of understanding what PC gamers want.

    • stahlwerk says:

      …and where the hockey puck is going to be, in regards to Microsoft’s own support of this (ahem) service.

  3. RogB says:

    I like this. I probably shouldnt, as its like a COD in the sky but its one of the better arcadey dogfighters, and has got quite a lot of variety. (apache’s, ac130s, bombing runs, stealth missions, doormounted minigunner etc)

    dedicated ace combat fans hate it due to the rather dubious ‘chase up close’ minigame that is REQUIRED to kill the enemy aces. basically an ‘on rails’ rollercoaster ride with machine guns.
    Theres no way to disable this ‘feature’ which tends to annoy the fans but I dont particularly mind it.

    Sim fans will hate it. Ace Combat fans hate it. PC gamers will probably hate it.
    I kinda like it. YMMV.

    • KDR_11k says:

      HAWX 2 also has a lot of those variety scenes. I don’t really like them, they prevent me from using the fun toys I picked for the battle.

    • ThatAznGuy says:

      As one of those “dedicated Ace Combat fans” (I replay the PS2 tilogy on a year basis just because it’s fun, I love the fictious world of Strangereal and the OTT moments like flying through the barrel of a giant railcannon as it preps to fire a nuke), I’d have to agree with your assessment of why the majority of us long time fans didn’t like it. Also, lack of 80s/90s anime/sci-fi flying fortress and traditional tunnel run missions did add to the disappointment.

      Also for the others, part of the AC cult following isn’t just because of it’s gameplay. It has some of the best VGM I’ve listened to. YT the HD remastered edition of “Zero” and enjoy good bgm.

  4. Rii says:

    Tailhook makes it a Su-33 I think. Or a MiG-29K but the nose blending into the LERX reads more Flanker than Fulcrum to my eyes, even if the overall proportions suggest otherwise.

  5. Lord Byte says:

    I played it on the PS3 and got bored to tears… It’s always exactly the same. Shoot shitloads of crappy planes, then get a “Ace plane”, for which you have to go into “bossfightmode”, which means hanging on its tail and doing what amounts to QT actions to kill it… Then more crappy planes, rinse repeat.
    In between you get a few C130 missions which is just rote memorization of where enemies pop-up so you can shoot them instantly at the time they appear there, not before, instants before they fire. Miss a few and you lose the mission, restart! Seriously it’s a shitty game.
    The only remotely fun bits are the helicopter missions and they are just too easy (you ROLL your helicopter on a level plane to dodge missiles that will otherwise autohit you).

    • nasenbluten says:

      Yeah, the same happened to me on the 360… boring and automated beyond comprehension. A lot of cinematic spectacle but as a game it doesn’t do much.

      Ace Combat 6 was much better, you could actually control the plane, the missions were wide open and challenging.

  6. Isometric says:

    I do like the Ace Combat games, at least the ones I’ve played on the PS2. Not heard very good things about them since the jump to 360 / PS3. The trailer makes it look very on rails. QT actions does NOT sound appealing (when do they ever). Interesting choice of game to bring to bring to the pc suddenly and it’s a shame about GFWL. When will they learn.

  7. MeestaNob says:

    They were doing so well until that last little fun fact.

    No thanks Namco, but thanks for coming!

  8. Risingson says:

    Having tried two the PSP Ace Combat game, and looked through youtube videos of the rest of the saga, it seems to me that those are games that are simply overhyped for being in console. In PC they are just another game like HAWX: arcade simulators that play stale, boring and that never give you the sense of vertigo and speed that a plane game should have.

    Something wrong happened to simulator games when a balanced game, between simulation and arcade, like Chuck Yeager or Microprose F19, are inexistent nowadays. Arcade are too on-rails and give you no feeling of being there, simulators are too demanding and asks of you a lot of “bureaucracy” of tutorials, buttons and strange design choices to become playable. No middle ground, at all, even when the game is sold as having two kind of “difficulty” sliders.

    Risingson, pesimistic.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Your comment makes no sense.

      The arcade games are the ones ‘giving the sense of speed and vertigo’ by putting the players POV on a shaky cam hanging off the back of their plane by an invisible rope, because BAYSPLOSIONS!

      • Risingson says:

        Why do I write my point of view if you read whatever you want instead of what I’ve been writing? I say that those games have no sense of speed or vertigo, that they are badly designed arcade games. Arcade games that are no fun, no engagement, nothing.

    • KDR_11k says:

      HAWX was fun due to the OFF mode, that gave you enough awareness of what’s going on around you to really feel in control.

      The PSP ACs may just be especially shitty. I’ve only played the one that’s available on the Vita but it’s far inferior to the 3DS one even though the latter has BS mechanics like QTE missile dodging and the win button. At least it has fewer cheap deaths and such. Also having no real indicator where that missile you’re warned around is coming from is even worse than getting a QTE prompt to dodge it.

      • Risingson says:

        And actually I don’t think that QTE mechanics are that bad for these kind of games, but supressing any sense of speed or gravity is.

  9. Crosmando says:

    Isn’t Namco the publisher of the Dark Souls PC port?

    Optimized….

    ha
    ha
    ha

    • Jason Moyer says:

      So publishers write code now? Fascinating.

      • yurusei says:

        Of course not! They tell brilliant lies though.

      • Gargenville says:

        This is the Ridge Racer Unbounded of Ace Combats, and Blamco is the Sunsoft of the 2010s for pissing all goodwill down the drain with these shitty farmed-out western games.

  10. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    GFWL is the enhancement……like everyone else I thought it died this year but obviously taking an arrow to the knee GFWL soldiers on into 2013 looks like Star Trek might also use GFWL as that’s Namco & very co-op heavy so GFWL is a perfect fit for that Co-Op aspect.

    Back on topic this is a fun arcade based action flight game probably sell ok regardless if you like arcade flight games with lots of QTE’s (which pass as gameplay nowadays it would seem!).

  11. unangbangkay says:

    But will it have this AMAZING DLC included (or available)? If so, I’ll buy it. That’s all I want to know.

    • kubi says:

      I would love to see the Macross Valkyre skin DLC, even if they don’t transform.

    • Gargenville says:

      IdolM@sta skins are pretty much the closest this comes to being an actual Namco game ;__;

  12. Hatsworth says:

    There are several Namco Bandai games I’d love to see on PC. This, sadly, is not one of them. From what little I’ve followed it, it’s Ace Combat with added CoDitis. Also, I thought GFWL would be dead by now.

    • Ialda says:

      Armored Core series on PC would be godlike. Especially as soon as Durante mod in 60fps and 1080p support.

      • Gargenville says:

        As far as I know the Dark Souls port was actually all From Software which explains why it took eight months. They’ve got less than nothing to do with Ace Combat, let alone this Ace Combat.

  13. Feferuco says:

    Skipped the game on consoles, maybe I’ll get it super cheap on Steam. It is a shame what they did, what I liked about Ace Combat was the freedom on the battlefield and then they change the game to have waves of enemies and forced QTE dogfights.

    Go back to Ace Combat 3, Namco.

    • Panda Powered says:

      And the 80s/90s japanese feeling universe with giant aircraft carrying fortresses.

  14. BAshment says:

    It’s a shame it’s the worst game of the series. Forgoing the games alternate worlds with standard modern warfare tripe. would love to have ace combat 3,4 and 5 on the pc.

    • CedaVelja says:

      It blew my mind that they decided to change the story, it was the best part of all the ps2 era sequels.
      Play the old ones people if you have any way to do so, they are better in every conceivable way.

    • Cugel says:

      Yeah, couldn’t agree more. I loved how the story in Ace Combat 5 basically ended as an anti-war/military industrial complex statement. Pretty much to polar opposite of CoD.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      I am happy I’m not the only one. Osea, Yuktobania and Ustio were far more interesting than the same old USA, Russia and whatever Arab nation they pick to fight over.

      I want another Ace Combat 4, 5 or Zero, not whatever this is.

    • psuedonymous says:

      As well as losing Strangereal, it lost pretty much EVERYTHING else from the Ace games other than “it’s got some planes in it at some point”. The forced (yes, missiles will just keep missing some enemies without it) fancy-dogfight-mode is unpleasant and will activate seemingly at random in total ignorance of the supposed HUD indicators, the fancy kill-camera will repeatedly result in you flying into the scenery during the several SECONDS of you-can’t-control-your-plane-right-now-because-we-need-you-to-watch-this-explosion, the helicopter-gunner and AC-130 gunner missions are just tedious and unenjoyable, the characters are entirely forgettable (I cannot recall a single one of their names or callsigns), the plot is moronic (oh no, terrorists! and they have moderately large bombs which is surprising somehow! And then suddenly evil Russians!), and the whole thing stinks of looking at Hawx, then copying all the bits that Hawk didn’t copy from Ace Combat.

      And it was directed by Kazutoki Kono, the guy at them helm of Ace Combat 5: The Best One. How in the FUCK did it go so wrong? Though I did notice the absence of the Project Aces logo, so George Lucas/Ridley Scott Syndrome may have set in.

      Yes, I AM mad. The £5 I paid for it was £5 too much.

  15. tomeoftom says:

    It’s totally sky-cod.

  16. mrmalodor says:

    By the way, does anyone know what the status of Hawx 2′s DRM is? Has Ubi removed it yet?

    • Panda Powered says:

      It was still there last time I played it around summer but I didn’t have any issues with it. The game on the other hand is not good in any way if you are thinking about getting it.

  17. yurusei says:

    I think my joy meter just broke Mach-3

  18. SuicideKing says:

    Reminds me of HAWX 2, which was horrible. Just with what appear to be destructive environments.

  19. MDefender says:

    None of the charm and fun of the PS2 era games on a platform where sim nuts will find even more reason to look down their noses at the thing. And these guys usually need a petition to port *good* games, anyway? How does that work?

    • CedaVelja says:

      Its profitable in short, they spend change on porting it, distribute it digitally and people are just gullible enough that they think its actually “enhanced”.

  20. Citrus says:

    If this is arcade then I will buy it. If it’s one of those shitty realistic simulators then it can go frack itself with a frackin toaster.

    Frack.

  21. Panda Powered says:

    I love Belkan War on PS2 and Ace Combat 6 isn’t bad either but I skipped this one because of the real life setting instead of their fictional universe (HAWX2 left a really bad taste I guess).

    • CedaVelja says:

      Unsung war was good too, too bad that story arc or any like it has zero chance of every coming up again.

  22. phenom_x8 says:

    oh, they just need to port their DBZ tenkaichi budokai series and tekken just to make me love them.

    NB : Their early PS2 Gundam series (that came with a light strategy inside, like Zeonic Front or Federaton vs Zeon) were also great , and I want that too

  23. three60mafia says:

    Of course, first PC outing for the series and it is…

    A. A GFWL title.
    B. The worst Ace Combat ever. I didn’t think it was possible after AC6, but they done it!

    • Shortwave says:

      You know I have to say it.. I’ve been of course gaming for many years and own many GFWL titles.
      Has it really even messed with you before? Only once can I remember screwing with me, it was recently with the steam GTA IV sale and it took like five minutes to figure out the solution. I’ve also been in the habit of having my saves folder backed up however..

      • Gargenville says:

        It’s ridiculously hard to find a match in Street Fighter IV AE Hyper Ultra DX Plus Megamix (gold ver.) even though I know for a fact people are playing it. What’s worse, even invites to your GFWL friends rarely go through.

        I can’t imagine an Ace Combat game even working in multiplayer I mean you carry eighty missiles or something and you’re in an open space by necessity? You’re going to be constantly respawning like you were playing an Unreal Tournament arena map.

  24. Shortwave says:

    Can anyone tell me if this game would have a true in-cockpit view mode? Sort of curious.
    I really don’t like playing flight games in third person or first person without cockpit.

    AND, there it is.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2JuPVWCzsA

    Yea, kay. Sold.


    ^ Chopper missions you say!?

    • three60mafia says:

      If you know anyone with 360/PS3, you can download a demo. And be dissapointed and save yourself some moneys.

  25. Paul says:

    Apparently Namco was satisfied with sale performance of Dark Souls PC, but not enough to put some more work into remaking MP into supporting steamworks instead of GFWL.

  26. yourgrandma says:

    Of course we get the worst ace combat game ever. This game has scripted chase sequences… one of the worst things i have experienced in modern gaming.

  27. Wedge says:

    Please just give me an Ace Combat HD collection of all the good PS2 games =/

  28. DK says:

    This would be good news if the Ace Combat they were porting over wasn’t a piece of shit that broke with every series tradition in order to deliver a product that wanted, by the devs own *proud* statement, “be like Call of Duty”.

    It has no awesome Strangereal setting. It has no awesome cold-war-era ramp up plane progression. It has no awesome radio chatter. It has no personality. It has a ludicrously terrible soundtrack – and that last one is a tragedy considering Ace Combat soundtracks before this have been universally perfect.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and they also fucked up the gameplay beyond recognition. They did away with dogfighting. And replaced it with a rollercoaster through a scripted sequence while you play a on-rails shooting sequence. For every single enemy.

  29. Linfosoma says:

    If they do have one thing going for them, is the best use of a QTE ever:

  30. dsi1 says:

    The Ace Combat games have always been amazing. AH’s close in thing makes it even more arcadey than they used to be, but it was interesting to use in MP.

    The only thing I don’t like is that it’s set in our universe, AC’s universe is pretty well set up. But from what I understand this is a spin-off and not the new direction for the series.

  31. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    “We never asked for this” (c)
    But whatever, a bad Ace Combat game is better than no Ace Combat game, I’ll take what I can get. I wonder if those console publishers’ affair with PC only started out of necessity and will only last until the next-nextgen comes with full force…