A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
- 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?
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.
Our editors recommend
For kids who love fast action and realism in their games
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.