Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X PlayStation 3
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Released on 06/03/2009
Tom Clancy’s HAWX on PS3 delivers an intense and authentic aerial combat experience by fully leveraging the benefits of the next-generation platform. The story begins in the year 2012. As the era of the nation-state draws quickly to a close, the rules of warfare evolve even more rapidly. More and more nations become increasingly dependent on private military companies (PMCs), elite mercenaries with a lax view of the law. The Reykjavik Accords further legitimise their existence by authorising their right to serve in every aspect of military operations. While the benefits of such PMCs are apparent, growing concerns surrounding giving them too much power begin to mount.
Tom Clancy’s HAWX on PS3 is the first air combat game set in the world-renowned Tom Clancy’s video game universe. Cutting-edge technology, devastating firepower, and intense dogfights bestow this new title a deserving place in the prestigious Tom Clancy franchise. Soon, flying at Mach 3 becomes a right, not a privilege.
Tom Clancy's HAWX on PS3 Features:
- ENHANCED REALITY SYSTEM (E.R.S.): E.R.S. is in-game technology that helps turn novice aviators into elite pilots of the future. The Enhanced Reality System is the backbone of the HAWX flight experience: radars and incoming missile detection, anti-crash system, damage control system, tactical map and information relay, and weapons trajectory control. E.R.S. also allows players to issue orders to their squadron, making this system as iconic to Tom Clancy’s HAWX on PS3 as the Cross-Com system is to Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter!
- ASSISTANCE MODE: In Tom Clancy’s HAWX on PS3 players can ease into their flight missions and gain a level of comfort with the use of the assistance mode. Once employed, players can take full advantage of their technological support through the E.R.S and gain maximum piloting security. If the situation calls for the player to unleash the full potential of the aircraft, the assistance mode can be switched off and all safety features will be deactivated. This comes with increased risks, but allows the player advanced dogfighting maneuvers and stunning third-person views.
- REVOLUTIONARY MULTIPLAYER: For the first time ever in the air-combat genre, players will be able to experience the entire solo campaign in four-player JUMP IN co-op mode. In PVP mode, players can challenge up to 15 friends in intense dogfighting sessions and find out who's the top gun. Winning players are rewarded with experience points and money to unlock more weapons.
- REALISM AND AUTHENTICITY: In Tom Clancy’s HAWX on PS3 players have the opportunity to take the throttle of over 50 of the world’s famous aircrafts, as well as being able to dogfight over realistic modern landscapes that have endured years of post-war trauma.
It's time to kick the tyres and light the fires
When it comes to flight games of this type, there aren’t many on the current selection of consoles. You can tick them off on one Hand; Blazing Angels, Blazing Angels 2, Ace Combat, Over G Fighters and the not yet released, Heroes over Europe. Blazing Angels and Ace Combat were very good, Ace Combat especially. But it has been well over a year now, and I’ve not been able to hum the Top Gun theme to a new flight game since then. This is why the roar of Tom Clancys H.A.W.X. is a most welcome one.
Tom Clancys H.A.W.X. moves away from the very strategic realms of Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six to deliver an arcade flight game that will start to test your nerve and responses.
H.A.W.X. is set in the year 2012 and private military companies are the new tool of warfare, fighting for the highest bidder. You are part of one of these military groups, in a division specialising in air combat.
H.A.W.X. is stunning; the smoke trail left by your missile, the sun on the water, the bullet trails as they rip through the skies and flying through the exploding carcass of an enemy aircraft.
Fly like an eagle, into the blue sky above
For the most part the attention to detail in H.A.W.X. is stunning; the smoke trail left by your missile, the sun on the water, the bullet trails as they rip through the skies and flying through the exploding carcass of an enemy aircraft. And the aircrafts themselves have been beautifully rendered, right down to the last rivet.
H.A.W.X. feels a bit like Ace Combat, but a lot faster. The left stick is for direction and the right stick is purely for the camera. This niggles me somewhat as I would prefer it if the stick was set up more in keeping with Ubisoft’s previous adventure in the skies, Blazing Angels. The control scheme on that stick was perfect for controlling the aircraft; left stick for turning and pitch, with the right stick for barrel rolls, acceleration and ‘braking’. Will there be an option to change the controls? Only time will tell.
Tom Clancys H.A.W.X. has 4 viewpoints to control the plane from. Two of the said view points are cockpit views, one with the dials and the other to show how level you are. The first external viewpoint is on the tail of plane, which is standard in driving and flight games. The second viewpoint is altogether different and once you have gotten used to it, it makes dog fighting not only easier (in my opinion) but also more cinematic. This viewpoint sees the camera drawn right back so you can not only see your plane but a lot of the dog fighting that surrounds you.
If you have a ground unit in the area, they will maintain constant radio contact with you to let you know if or when they need help. The challenge of H.A.W.X. is that you must judge what to do first, take out the enemy aircraft that are locking on to you, or take out the ground units that are pinning your allies. So it is all about switching between targets and whipping between one side of the combat zone to the other. On harder difficulty settings you really do feel the pressure of juggling air-to-air combat and ground strikes, trying to judge which would be the most effective action to take.
Bogey on your Six
You are not alone though as you do have wingmen who you can order to fight or defend by pressing a direction on your Dpad or by speaking down your microphone, EndWar style. But if AI buddies aren’t how you like to fly, get your friends in for a bit of drop-in drop-out co-op action. Having three of your friends taking to the skies to help you out is just part of the brilliance of H.A.W.X., although the co-op did cause a few arguments when I tried it with some of my own buddies, mainly over who got to be called Maverick.
the biggest euphoric moment caused by two of us climbing to dodge a missile, cutting our engines then plummeting and locking on to our respective enemies. An amazing sense of achievement.
The campaign is fully coop compatible so if you choose. I tried it out with three of my mates, without even a hint of lag. And it won’t be long before the tacticians and the fly boys among your buddies emerge from their shells. Having friends in a game really does beat the AI on so many levels, the biggest euphoric moment caused by two of us climbing to dodge a missile, cutting our engines then plummeting and locking on to our respective enemies. An amazing sense of achievement.
An area overlooked and underated?
At the moment it seems that we (gamers) can’t move for FPS’ and Driving games - the flight genre being sorely overlooked. But thanks to H.A.W.X. that looks like it could be about to change and change for the better. H.A.W.X. may be a complete change of direction from the normal Tom Clancy fare (for a start you are in the air) but it still maintains its Tom Clancy identity with occasional cross reference to other Tom Clancy brands, such as Ghost Recon with the Ghost squad featuring in the opening movie (which is viewable above). But also its HUD draws a similar resemblance to that of Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, but changed to fit its new aerial home.
One thing I would like to make crystal clear is that H.A.W.X. is not a flight simulation! H.A.W.X. is an action flight game, which sees you dog fighting dive bombing and barrel rolling all over the skies. It is a true adrenaline rush from the moment you get behind the stick and take to the blue skies above.
Preview by: Tom 'Maverick' Daly
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