Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
's Air Supremacy mission follows a pilot operating under callsign Warwolf 1. There's only a touch of storytelling present in this mission; the pilot has apparently been dreaming about his own death for quite a while, and that's about all we have to work with so far. We have a transition to a wide scale sortie over Miami Beach, where the pilot in question fortunately snaps out of his daydream and gets back to the fight.
From the moment you're in control, Assault Horizon's new direction becomes very apparent. You're immediately pulled into Dogfighting Mode, a mechanic that takes most of the control away from you to allow for a much more cinematic experience. The camera angle pulls in extremely close, and provided you keep your enemy in your sights, you will remain almost directly at his six o'clock. Your first Dogfighting Mode target seems to be invincible to your attacks, but luckily he ends up flying too low and crashing into a giant scoreboard. Aside that one particular instance, Dogfighting Mode is more about getting extremely close to your target -- close enough to the point where deploying chaff countermeasures won't save him.
After the initial dogfight, your plane takes a bit of shrapnel, which sets up a plausible scenario for a control tutorial. The default scheme is "Optimum," which is much more like that from The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces than previous Ace Combat games. Your plane is incapable of rolling, and only banks left and right on command. This control scheme works with a new camera system that makes the action look more raw and chaotic. Also (kind of) borrowed from The Sky Crawlers is a mechanic that allows you to pull off an impossible aerial stunt that puts you at the six of a pursuing bandit. Of course, if you want complete control over your aircraft, you can switch the control type to Original. The action looks great and plays even better. At the end of the mission, an enemy pilot called the Sharkmouth shows up and hits your plane dead on with a missile. Via a simple quick time event, you eject from your plane into the insanity above. And it seems like the pilot's premonition might just come true; the screen cuts to black as the Sharkmouth's plane hurtles toward his unprotected body.