Each edition of So I Tried… I will try a game that I have never tried before. Will I find something new to love? Will I find something new to despise? I'll take a full half hour, no matter how bad it gets or how badly I do, to see if this is the game for me. This time, I tried my joystick at Ace Combat Assault Horizon Enhanced Edition.
What I thought it was
Well I’d played Ace Combat before, so I knew what to expect. Arcade-style future jet plane dogfighting with unlimited missiles, miniguns and fast flying. True, the last edition I played was on the original PlayStation, so things have probably changed, but it’s not like the developer would have taken this edition back to World War II or something.
What it actually is
Pretty much exactly what I thought. It sure helps having played one game in a franchise to know what the most recent will be like.
You start off as the leader of a squad of fighter jets and given a very basic tutorial as you dogfight a jet - and get hit by debris. Then you spend the next ten minutes destroying the other enemy jets before being taken out and the credits rolling. It’s actually a cool little cutscene as it shows your pilot ejecting and his position in the air as jets zoom around him.
However, after that you control someone else as the door gunner of a helicopter gunship. It’s a really cool mission with tons of explosions and unlimited ammo on a gatling gun. Except you don’t have a clue where the enemy is - even when you zoom in… However, eventually your helicopter gets taken out and you begin to sense a frigging pattern.
The cutscene following that was much longer than the previous ones, setting up the jet pilot as the head of a NATO base in hostile territory. I had time to squeeze in one more mission before my half-hour was up, but didn’t have time to finish it. The missions are long, even at mach-whatever-it-was.
Will I keep playing
I don’t think so - it was fun to play for a little bit, but I had no desire to return after exiting the game. The graphics are fine, the sound effects and chatter is authentic and the gameplay is alright - but most of the enemies can’t just be shot with a couple of missiles. It’s too much work; first you must get close to them and engage a dogfight, then wait for the missile lock to charge, then fire - then repeat. All the while you’re being targeted by others and have a limited amount of flares to deflect missiles.
So by all means, have a go if you can. But the story didn’t engage me, despite the first-person view and controllable camera in the cutscenes. Enemy bad, use plane to kill enemy - gotcha. For a console alternative, go for Ace Combat Infinity, which is F2P.