Tom Clancy's HAWX – Hands On Preview

6 min read
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That’s right ladies and gents, we have spent all weekend fighting dogs, launching foxes and picking off bogeys and now comes the time where we get to tell you all about it. So why have Ubisoft opted to release a jet fighter title, when Ace Combat is already out there and there is so much other potential to be unleashed with the Tom Clancy brand?

Well I have figured it out, so bare with me for a short while:

Imagine for a moment that instead of being a huge publishing company, Ubisoft was actually just a guy sitting drinking a case of beer with a friend whilst sitting next to a fire.

You pictured it yet? Good.

So, one of their associates walks out in front of them ( We will call him Mr. Namco) and does a fairly impressive little dance, to show off his awesome skills ( we will call this dance, the Ace Combat). So, Ubisoft looks at them both and says, “Hey Mr. Namco, I’ve seen your Ace Combat before, and even though you change it up every now and then, it’s nothing new and quite frankly, I have grown a little tired of it”.

Ubisoft then leans back in his chair, looks at his drinking buddy and says, “I reckon, I could do a much better dance than that”. So Ubi’s buddy says, “You think you can better that? Prove it!”, followed by a stare and a growl from Mr.Namco. Ubisoft stands up, shakes off the stiffness in his legs, turns around in a slow cool manner, then holds out his arm to his buddy and says:

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“Hold my beer and check this out.”

Ok, for those of you that are still confused, Ubisoft has decided to try and steal away Ace Combat’s crown with it’s up and coming title Tom Clancy’s HAWX.

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Tom Clancy’s HAWX is set in the not too distant future of 2012 and thrusts you into the scenario which has a private security company called Artemis invading the United States. You are apart of an elite squad of fighter pilots named HAWX with skills so impressive that they would blow the eighties hairdo right off of Tom Cruises head.

Let’s get straight into the real meat of the game though. At first it feels very similar to Ace Combat but the differences between them become pretty apparent after only a short while. Missions are interesting and varied and the variety of fighter jets and your choice of weapons load out makes for some interesting combat scenarios indeed.

To shake things up a little bit, Ubisoft have added in some interesting and never before seen functions to the gameplay. If you haven’t already seen the videos, the game has an ERS mode, which, when activated basically plots out a course in front of you that you can follow to best approach a situation, such as intercepting a target or dive bombing a ground unit, trading out speed for consistency.

Also added is a new “assistance” camera mode which puts you outside of your plane, but not behind it. Instead, your plane is off to the side with the main focus on your target, allowing you to see what is around you and also maneuver accordingly. Not only this, but it is in this mode that you can pull off some of the crazy moves that could help you get the upper hand on an enemy, or evade an incoming missile.

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This new camera mode really adds to the excitement and comes in as a refreshing reminder that this is indeed a game and games are supposed to be fun. While HAWX does push a few limits here and there, it is by no means an “arcade” game, nor is it a simulator.

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Missions will have you doing everything from engaging enemy fighters, sniffing out radar jammers and even escorting the president and his family aboard Air Force One.

In case you are wondering, the game is shipping with the ability to play through the campaign cooperatively with up to 3 other people. Better yet, the multiplayer has been optimised to support drop-in / drop-out functionality, so a quick game or a dash for dinner will never be a problem.

There will of course, also be deathmatch modes, allowing you to take on friends or strangers over the internet to see who the real Maverick is.

Keep your eyes peeled for our full review of Tom Clancy’s HAWX in the near future, from what we have seen, we may just have a new king of the skies coming this March.

Last Updated: February 9, 2009

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • loved the intro nick 😉

  • ShadowOfDawn

    Ace Combat 6 is a great game but a little on the repetitive side. I’m looking to this one!

  • CapeVenom

    Looking good, now where to get a decent flight controller.

  • RogueOne

    Thanks for the preview, I have this one set on my radars and its good to see the first positive preview on it.

    Kudos on an entertaining read 🙂

  • Draco

    I think this is going to be excellent.

    Reminds me of F22-Raptor

    :silly:

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