Ace Combat fans may not have seen this one coming. Since the beginning, the series has retained a 'shooting-at-dots' style of gameplay, with an enduring combination of simplicity and detail. Assault Horizon is however, is vastly different from it's predecessors. It's new dogfight system give the increasingly stale missile combat concept a sense of violence and brutality, but retains the classic sense of flight the originals provided. The introduction of a somewhat more mature (and real world) storyline is a refreshment upon new and old fans, and the new varieties of aircraft prevent gameplay from slipping into a reoccuring pattern.
All in all, this game is not a simulator, nor is it a hard-line reception of complex military aircraft. It is simply a step into a different direction that Project Aces seem to have carefully considered, and exceucted excellently in this case.