Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Game Poster Image
Big on violent blow-up effects but light on gameplay.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

On one hand the message is to fight evil -- which seems like a positive message -- but in the process you're causing death and inflicting massive amounts of damage. Therefore, whether the game offers a positive message is subject to opinion; but we don't think it's very good for the amount of glorified violence in the game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You are a top gun pilot in an international task force. Your mission is to fly the unfriendly skies in a number of real-world locations to take down enemy aircraft and destroy various targets on the ground -- including rebel soldiers.

Ease of Play

Depending on the mode and mission, this game can be somewhat easy to play -- such as some missions in a helicopter or "on rails" elements that don't require you to control a vehicle. But at other times, controlling the aircraft can be difficult. Plus, the game offers easy and hard control settings, too.


This game has plenty of shooting and explosions, including enemy aircraft that explode into bits, along with buildings, ground targets, and human soldiers killed on the spot. Players can use machine guns, bombs, and missiles to do damage to others. Blood can be seen on fallen enemies.


There is some suggestive dialogue in the radio chatter, such as a reference to "getting in my pants" and "chasing tail."


The radio chatter has some profanity, including words like "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "hell" and "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There is some radio chatter dialogue that refers to drinking beer and how much vodka there is in Russia.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is an aerial combat game where you destroy aircraft and buildings more than people. However, the game displays violence graphically, often with big, dramatic explosions. You can kill people on the ground, too, such as firing at rebel soldiers, and you'll see them fall and bleed. There is also some profanity and sexual references in the radio chatter between pilots.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDennis G. Carrier c. April 17, 2017

Fell far short of expectations

The game's only bright spots are the scenery. The DFM (dog fighting mode) ruined this game's potential. The 300 missiles you have won't work ag... Continue reading
Adult Written byBrioCyrain May 6, 2012

A good flight action game

Not the best Ace Combat game, but definitely not the worst. I suggest getting either AC4 or AC5 if you enjoyed this one.
Teen, 16 years old Written byScantsundew December 4, 2014

Good for kids of an older pallet.

This game takes what you know about ace combat and twists it around. A plus for this game is the "Dogfight" mode which lets you think more about the e... Continue reading

What's it about?

Fans of aerial combat games are well aware there aren't a lot of options out there -- especially for consoles -- but one of the most successful franchises around the globe has been Namco Bandai's nearly 20 year-old Ace Combat series. Now, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers can get their hands on ACE COMBAT: ASSAULT HORIZON, the latest in the best-selling series. With a story written by New York Times’ bestselling military author, Jim DeFelice (Leopards Kill, Threat Level Black), you play as a top gun pilot tapped to squash dangerous groups in real-world locations, such as Russia, Miami, and Dubai.

You must rely on your flying and shooting skills to complete the various missions, which includes dogfighting, air to ground combat, and for the first time, manning an attack helicopter as well as supersonic jets. Gameplay still balances arcade action with a realistic aircraft simulation, as you dodge incoming fire, looming skyscrapers, and cliff edges. Quick acrobatics and a trigger finger is required to take on waves of enemies in both the solo campaign and online multiplayer modes.

Is it any good?

Yes and no. Despite Ace Combat: Assault Horizon's breadth (many modes and aircraft) and high production values, it's short on depth and replayability. Think of it like a Michael Bay popcorn flick. Those who climb into the cockpit will experience some thrilling action, tight controls, and near-photorealistic graphics (including aircraft that are shown being torn apart, scattering debris and spewing fuel). But, the gameplay doesn't quite match the visuals. For example, the "on rails" shooter portions when you  serve as door gunner on a Blackhawk helicopter isn't as much fun. Also some missions are quite lengthy, without many checkpoints, so you might find yourself repeating a good chunk of a mission if you die. In short, if you don't expect serious depth from this game, you'll likely enjoy yourself for its good-looking and fast-paced action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether violence in an aerial combat game has less impact than the violence in combat games that take place on the ground, with a gun in hand? How does the violence in this game compare to the violence found in a military shooter like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare?

  • When playing online with strangers, what precautions should you take? Here are our tips about online gaming.

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: October 11, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: T for Alcohol Reference, Blood, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fast action and realism in their games

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