Review: Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X

Platforms: xbox 360, ps3 (Reviewed)

H.A.W.X is a decent game, let’s start there. The plot’s simple, you’re an ex-pilot who served in a few wars then retired only to be offered a gig with some private organization. The organization is paid for air support and protection by various counties for various reasons. Not rocket science, but believable.

I played this on the ps3 and it was gorgeous. I think this is the first actual flight sim game I didn’t chuck after the first mission. Solely in part to the fact that the demo allowed the ‘assistance OFF’ mode which is far better to play this game with if you ask me…so I knew that ability was coming in later missions (in the full version of the game you cannot play this way until the 4th or 5th mission). I’ve read on some sites how people complained that you don’t see the jets actually take off, etc. Really, does that matter? The game otherwise makes sense. I like how it cuts to the chase and starts you out flying toward your next mission after a debriefing (debriefings are skipable). The ability to play online co-op is there also, something I haven’t seen before in a flight game..and it’s actually done really well. Impressive.

Controls can be tricky, but let’s keep in mind we’re flying multi-million dollar aeriel war machines here. With assistance OFF mode I DON’T recommend choosing the ‘Expert’ control type which gives you absolute control over the crafts’ movement. Trust me, you will throw your controller across yonder. It borders on impossible to fly in any which direction much less lock on a target.

Sound wise, no complaints other than at times it gets difficult to hear what your wingmen/mission-control’s saying to you during a mission due to rockets firings, target locking sounds and your jet’s thrusts thrusting. Yup, even on the loudest voice setting. Minor though.

Pros:

– Realistic flight patterns and maneuverability.
– Massive amount of fighters at the palm of your hands and use in online co-op modes.
– Locking on to 4 targets at once and hitting the missile launch button. Satisfying.
– Believable plot.
– Re-playability factor is up there. Free flight mode available.

Cons:

– Can get repetitive after a while on solo campaign mode.
– Expert control type instantly turns the game into a must trade-in ASAP.
– Difficult to hear NPC characters talking due to outer sound effects.
– To ps3 owners, it takes 15-20 mins for some game-data loading to take place the first time you play this disc…I’m still baffled at why. Be warned.

Feed Your Console gives H.A.W.X: 7 out of 10

Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Romania
Release Date: March 3, 2009

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