When producer Kazutoki Kono at Namco Bandai’s Ignite event he insisted Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is not Ace Combat 7, it’s a rebirth of the Ace Combat series. Kono wanted to change how players saw sky high firefights. In past titles, planes were far away so you couldn’t see the destruction. Kono also though players relied on missiles more than machineguns.
The Close-Range Assault system was designed to address both of these issues. Once you lock on to a target you can hit the two bumpers (presumably the top shoulder buttons on PS3). This changes the camera to an over the shoulder or, perhaps, an over the wing perspective so you can watch your machine guns tear apart an enemy plane.
If an enemy plane shakes you off, it will get behind you and retaliate with bullets. You can retaliate with a counter-maneuver, a move that Kono was nervous he wouldn’t be able to pull of while demoing Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. It’s an all-or-nothing quick time event where you have to press a button at the right time. Hit it and your plane will somersault behind the enemies in position to blast them with missiles. Miss and you’ll get shot down. Kono successfully pulled off the trick and blasted a squadron of jets with sidewinder missiles.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is slated for release this year on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.