As much as we loved 2007's Ace Combat 6, its storytelling and general presentation felt very much trapped in the past. With the newly announced Assault Horizon, Namco appears to be striving for a decidedly Modern Warfare feel - notice the real-world locations, the first-person "oh shit" moments and the general grit that have so far eluded the console versions of Ace Combat. Gotta say, this looks fuggin' cool, especially for PS3 fans who had to sit out Ace 6.
Above: That sound you faintly hear is HAWX 2 gulping deeply
I also grabbed some stills from the trailer, so we can run through those real quick before you dip into the video.
Above: A soldier's cell phone, complete with Twitter app, suggests "this one's a game changer." Well, the acknowledgment of the real world is already a start
Above: Need more proof? Here's the US, with Florida highlighted. Looks like the trailer takes place in Miami
Above: Destructible buildings! Finally, missiles won't lifelessly impact against unmoving rectangles. How far will they take this idea? Can you topple buildings or just deface certain areas?
Above: While your F-22 is being tailed, this prompt appears. What does it do? Not sure, but that's new
Above: Helicopter missions! Here you see a stationary turret assault, probably one that zips you around various points on the map. Also suggests more variety in mission structure
Above: Don't worry though - there'll still be missions with you in direct control of your choppa
Above: The most Modern Warfare moment of them all comes at the end, where a parachuting dude is apparently struck by a passing jet. Our aviation boners have achieved Mach 9
And wouldn't you know it, that's all there is. Namco's sitting tight on all further details other than the release date - 2011, naturally. Personally, I'm totally behind this. Ace 6 looked and played amazing, but the unblemished cities and heavy-handed plot could really ruin the mood. Now, with the real-world battles and gruffer presentation, we could see a truly badass (if possibly over-testosteron'd) entry. This could, however, mean we lose some Ace hallmarks, like the flying fortresses, the laser towers and the arena-sized rail guns. After six-plus entries, I'm willing to give this a shot.
How about you, are you ready for a new take on Ace Combat? Liked it the old way? Never cared but now kinda wanna see how this one turns out? Let us know!