A decent attempt
Alright getting this out of the way I haven't played a Ace Combat game since I owned a PS2. Even though it has been a while since I played the franchise I do remember the essentials Dog-Fighting, made up countries, and simple load area then shoot down dudes missions. Now when I first approached Ace Combat Assualt Horizon I was shocked to say the list when the game loaded up. First off the whole generic fake countries like Desertstan are out off here. The start of the game puts you smack dab above miami taking out some TGSs on the opening tutorial. Soon after the light your wings fly free so to speak you are then introduced to the D.F.M. as shown here.
The best way to sum this up is when your flying normally in the game if you get close enough to another plane you hit the shoulder buttons and go into this really tight shaky cam view where you're flying on rails so you can focus on gunning down fools. Now as cool as this seems and I'm not gonna lie the first few times I did the D,F.M. it was sweet. But later on it kinda got stale and repetitive. So after this I was shocked and wowed with something I never thought I would see. A story driven cut scene. I soon found myself in the shoes of WarWolf 1 William Bishop.
After that the game plays out in three ways. The meat of the game is of course you doing your jet flying thing, and the others are you either doing some light chopper gunner shenanigans or some assault helicopter type deal. Both of the two latter instances come in the form of specific points where the game splits up in an attempt to try and break up the same old same old of the constant dog fights. Graphically the game stands up pretty good the cut-scenes do there job with half way descent voice acting to move along the plot. All and all though the game stands up well as the reboot as the developers are trying to push this as. And yes the views they take on some of the new mechanics are pretty interesting I just wish it was more drawn out and less repeatable.