Players fly into the future of a brave new world, as the richly detailed (but wholly unfriendly) skies of Namco's Ace Combat make their PlayStation 3 debut. Following the series' proven formula, Assault Horizon combines fast, forgiving, arcade-style flight combat with authentically modeled aircraft and realistic background landscapes. Refinements include a "close range" combat system, which tests the virtual pilot's agility at supersonic speeds in 3D space. Helicopters are prominently featured in the game, with players taking the roles of both pilot and gunner.
Improvements to damage modeling viscerally intensify the widespread destruction of ground targets, and cutting-edge aircraft explode into countless constituent parts with a well-placed missile hit. Multiplayer sorties are supported with competitive and cooperative online modes. The game's story is not within the established narrative of the series' number-titled sequels. As in Joint Assault for PlayStation Portable, Assault Horizon takes place in a near-future imagining of the real world, instead of in fictional nations of the alternate-reality Earth where earlier games in the series are set.
Flying for the United States Air Force, players engage in high-altitude battle and tactical support assignments, in airborne assaults against the nation's most dangerous enemies around the world. Along with a hanger of helicopters and bombers, missions make ample use of workhorse fighters such as the F-16, F-22, and F-35. The geopolitically tumultuous plot line was written by Jim DeFelice, author of The Golden Flask, Leopards Kill, and other military thrillers. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide