OverviewEditWhen the distance between a player and a targeted enemy aircraft is low enough (less than 2,500 feet), a blinking circle will surround the target. Simultaneously pressing the trigger buttons will automatically engage DFM. In Dogfight Mode, the aircraft pursues the enemy in a short-range chase sequence. The camera re-positions itself behind the plane's machine gun, and most control is overridden by the game.
During DFM gameplay, a green circle (named the Assault Circle) appears in the screen, and expands as the player gets closer to the enemy. If the distance is low enough, the circle will be fully expanded and glowing red, indicating that all normal missiles fired will have increased accuracy. If an enemy aircraft is destroyed in Dogfight Mode, a short scene will be displayed, showing the target's torn apart wreckage. As a result of the new game engine employed in Assault Horizon, the target's airframe will suffer diverse types of damage, such as the tailfins being torn apart, parts such as the engines and cockpit detaching from the target, or even the pilot himself getting thrown of the aircraft.
If the player is behind an enemy target when an aircraft is shot down in DFM, they will instantly chase said target, thus starting an "assault chain". The chain can go on indefinitely, and will end in an aircraft is taken out with no other targets in front of them. Furthermore, Dogfight Mode allows one to perform a "direct shot": if a missile is fired when the enemy is in the dead center of the assault circle, it will instantly destroy the enemy. A direct shot can be confirmed by paying attention to a high-pitched beep when a missile is launched. Machine guns, despite their low power, have the added bonus of slowing down targets, leaving them wide open for missile fire. In certain moments, the target will perform a counter-maneuver to escape from Dogfight Mode, or position themselves behind oneself to attack. Presing the trigger buttons while a red arrow flickers on-screen will initiate a brief, slow-motion moment wherein one use open fire at the enemy with their machine gun. A successful counter-counter-maneuver will either deal heavy damage to the enemy or outright destroy them.
Enemy fighters are also able to engage the player in DFM, in which that the player must stay out from the assault circle by accelerating and turning hard until the enemy breaks off. Or, the player can risk slowing down so that the red and green arrows will overlap. Allowing him to counter the enemy
Helicopters are the only aircraft class to be unable to either engage or be engaged in DFM. As well, bombers and attackers are unable to perform any counter-maneuvers.
In multiplayer, Dogfight Mode can be affected either positively or negatively by skillsets. Increased DFM+ will upgrade DFM capabilities, at the expense of lower Air Strike Mode power.