Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Common Sense Media says

Big on violent blow-up effects but light on gameplay.

Age(i)

2
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8
9
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11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language

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

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

Privacy & safety

Creates privacy and safety concerns. The game can be played online against others, including full voice support for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. That means players can be exposed to foul language by others and personal questions from strangers. Parents might be concerned by the highly-publicized PlayStation Network data breach earlier this year which left many millions of accounts exposed.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
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 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byBrioCyrain May 6, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

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.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byAce combat AS H January 28, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

ace combat assault horizon

It is a great game for kids and shows kids how to succeed in life
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byScantsundew December 4, 2014
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

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 enemy then piloting. Another good is the story it is one of the best written i have ever played in the ACE series. I also thoroughly enjoy the broad game play between diff air-crafts. Now the next two things to say is: one, the story takes place in real world areas unlike past ACE games. Now a pet peeve that I have is the dumbing down of the controls. Instead of old realistic controls. It is now a simple want to move right it moves right instead of old ACE games where you have to turn then pull. In closing this game is good with a lil more language then normal nothing more then what you hear in basic sitcoms. It is a game you should deff add to your collection.
What other families should know
Great role models

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