Reviews : Tom Clancy's HAWX

This arcade-style aerial-combat game has plenty to offer those flying solo, but it doesn't offer much in the way of competitive multiplayer content.
After arrest squad-based third-person activity in Ghost Recon, stealth activity in Splinter Cell, and activity in EndWar, Ubisoft's Tom Clancy cast takes to the skies in HAWX (High Altitude Warfare--Experimental). The bold appearance acute dogfights, attractive backdrop and planes, and an instantly accessible, arcade-style air activity experience. Multiplayer options are limited, and altered planes don't activity as abundant array as they should, but HAWX lives up to the affection of the cast and is a acceptable aerial-combat bold in its own right.

HAWX follows the news of the titular fleet and its leader, Aloft David Crenshaw. After you're transferred to HAWX as fleet leader, the accumulation is disbanded by the US Air Force in 2014, afterward contest in the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter games. (You get the air-conditioned assignment of rescuing Captain Mitchell and the Ghosts in the aboriginal mission of the game.) After this, Crenshaw joins Artemis, a clandestine aggressive architect that works both for corporations and the Brazilian government. Artemis attacks US forces, causing Crenshaw to accept a change of affection and goes aback to what he does best: arresting the US adjoin adverse forces, namely Artemis. HAWX's story, like those in added Tom Clancy games, is presented via cutscenes, radio chatter, and video updates. The news is abundantly inconsequential, but it sets the arena able-bodied abundant for your abundant engagements and keeps the bold affective forth at a active pace.

HAWX is instantly attainable and is a lot of fun to aces up and comedy in abbreviate bursts. The controls are apprehensible and assignment able-bodied abundant that akin arising orders to wingmen during a activity is calmly accomplished. One of the aloft gameplay innovations in HAWX is the Enhanced Reality System. ERS is about a alternation of gates projected assimilate your heads-up affectation that, back you fly through them successfully, let you agitate missile locks or bolt up to arduous enemies. For example, in one mission ERS helps you fly a agreed advance to abstain alarm detection, which in about-face lets you beating out a base's air-defence grid. There are a cardinal of scenarios in which ERS proves useful, but thankfully it's not a arrangement that you can use as a accessory to get you through every distinct mission.

The ERS absolutely makes portions of HAWX decidedly easier than they would be after it, so for the accomplished pilots amid you, there's an advantage to fly with all of the abetment angry off. Unlike agnate options in antagonism games, the abetment advantage can be toggled on the fly by double-tapping one of the triggers. Back aerial after assistance, you can accomplish bluff turns to abstain missile locks, but you're added affected to blockage if you anchor too hard. In this mode, the camera bend switches to a added appearance of the landscape, which affords you a added acceptable appearance of your accepted ambition and admission missiles. However, because the camera is consistently moving, it can be a bit disorienting and makes authoritative your akin alike added difficult. HAWX's gameplay is fast-paced, frantic, and ultimately satisfying. It's attainable to get swept up in the abutting adventure while dogfighting over acclaimed cities and arresting landscapes, and there's abundant array in the missions that the activity never gets stale. Dogfights are annihilation like bombing runs, and convoying a affable VIP is a absolutely altered claiming compared to arresting a base. There are 19 missions in the single-player campaign, spanning assorted continents that you'll appointment both in aurora and at night. Locales accommodate acclaimed burghal skylines such as Washington, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, as able-bodied as alien areas in Nevada and the Magellan Strait.

HAWX is an arcade-style bold rather than a simulation at its heart, which is why your burden can accommodate advancement of 100 missiles for anniversary mission. As you advance through the story, the allowance adjoin you become added steep, as adversary aircraft are abutting by arena and argosy armament and antiair defences become added common. Thankfully, you accept a ample and assorted armory at your auctioning that includes long- and short-range missiles, antiground "dumb" bombs, cannons, rocket pods, and countermeasures. Admitting it would be unrealistic for a small, single-seater jet to backpack that abundant firepower in absolute life, it's a celebration of gameplay over accuracy that in HAWX you can break in the calefaction of battles after anytime defective to acreage and resupply.

HAWX rewards you with dozens of unlockables throughout its campaign. Licensed planes accommodate the iconic F-22 Raptor, the catlike F-117 Nighthawk, the adverse A-10A Thunderbolt II, and added models from the brand of MiG, Eurofighter, and Saab. There appears to be no curtailment of array in the hangar, but the administration of the planes doesn't change abundant back you move amid cockpits, which is disappointing. Despite the actuality that HAWX is set in the future, you acquire your stripes aerial earlier fighter jets afore actuality accustomed into the cockpits of added avant-garde aircraft in after missions. Despite the High Altitude Warfare--Experimental acronym in the title, there are no beginning fighters in the game, and best of the warfare takes abode aloof a few thousand anxiety aloft ground. That doesn't accomplish the bold any beneath enjoyable, though, and aerial over acclaimed landmarks in an F-22 after accepting to anguish about burke gauges and bound armament is a absolute treat.

Many of HAWX's missions accumulation you with a brace of wingmen. You can adjustment your assembly to advance targets or to apply on arresting you, but they're not consistently reliable and you absolutely shouldn't apprehend them to get abundant done after your help. At best, they'll abort the casual adversary unit, but you still accept to do the majority of the assignment in anniversary mission. You can additionally fly with your accompany in the four-player accommodating mode, which absolutely makes the advance added rewarding. You can bead in or out of an absolute address bold at any time, and admitting the gameplay charcoal the same, it's abundant added advantageous to devise strategies and akin with absolute bodies than it is with AI wingmen.

HAWX's aggressive multiplayer alms is additionally fun, but it's bound to aloof one eight-player Team Deathmatch mode. Multiplayer battles booty abode in a acceptable alternative of 19 maps based on those from the advance missions, and it's far added acceptable to booty bottomward a animal adversary than it is an AI pilot. Furthermore, if you cord calm a cardinal of kills in assumption again you accretion admission to appropriate abilities such as an enemy-stalling EMP blast, which is a nice touch.

From a distance, the environments--which are created with absolute accessory data--look beautiful. Natural landscapes and expanses of baptize are abundantly lifelike, and burghal skylines are accurately detailed. But if you fly too low, the apparition is shattered. Trees attending asperous and pixelated, and Chicago's skyline ability as able-bodied be a accumulating of agenda boxes on abutting inspection. The planes are the game's stars, and anniversary one is modelled realistically with abundant absorption to detail. Light bounces off of wings, afterburners afterglow with baking heat, missiles barrage in clouds of smoke, and explosions serve as a attractive admonition of aloof how abundant ability you accept at your command. The anatomy amount occasionally takes a hit back there's a lot of activity onscreen, but for the best allotment the agent holds up acutely well. Realistic complete furnishings add a abundant accord to the presentation; apathetic jet burns accord way to acute growls as your acceleration increases, and the assorted beeps and buzzes associated with missile locks absolutely add to the activity of actuality an ace pilot.

Tom Clancy's HAWX is a advantageous arcade aerial-combat acquaintance that looks and sounds every bit as acceptable as it plays. The controls, and in accurate the ERS innovation, accomplish dogfighting in iconic planes over acclaimed cities as attainable as it is enjoyable. It's adverse that the multiplayer options are so bound and that the assorted aircraft all feel actual agnate to fly, but there's lots of fun to be had actuality for novices and top accoutrements alike.

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