It’s been a long while since I had a blast having air-combat, H.A.W.X just brought back the good times!
The story of the game takes place during the time of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. H.A.W.X. is set in the near future where private military companies have basically replaced government run military in many countries, they’re mercenaries essentially.
The player is placed in the shoes of David Crenshaw — an ex-military elite pilot who was recruited by one of these corporations to work for them as one of their pilots, fighting whoever, whenever you’re told to. Crenshaw later returns to the US Air Force together with his team, trying to prevent a full scale terrorist attack on the United States which was initiated by this military company.
HAWX is NOT a FLIGHT SIMULATION (Just to make it clear). It’s an arcade game but based on actual planes. There’s no takeoff or landing, there’s no need to manage your thrust (although you can boost and reduce it), your flaps, your limited fuel and missiles. It’s just action all the way!
Of course there are no action going on when the task in the mission is to travel to a rendezvous point but once you’re there, it’s really all missiles, guns and flares!
I don’t know how else to describe the game, it’s pretty much like that – you’re in the cockpit of the selected jet, flying high up in the air at the start of the mission and you’re still flying when the mission ends. Remember, no take-off, no landing. 🙂
The story unfolds between each mission, showing your involvement in what’s going around in the global scene.
The cut-scenes also cover your mission briefing, elaborating the scenario and the objectives.
Once done, it’s right to the cockpit! Flight-sim Fans, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The game is purely arcade style, jump right in and be part of the action. (I feel like I’m repeating myself).
As the player, you gain EXPERIENCE points as you finish each mission (Remember Rainbow 6?). These points unlock more jets and more weapons load-out as it accumulates.
Before putting you into the heat of action, you’re allowed to choose from the available planes for use. There’s always the RECOMMENDED plane but hey, choose what you like. 🙂 Su-27 certainly looks way nicer than a Foxbat, right?
Sorry, you can’t customize the color of your plane. 🙂 This is not a Need For Speed game, ok? No ride pimpin’ here.
In the game, you have a few wingmen with you where you could assign them to ATTACK and DEFEND. It’s a damn primitive and simplistic command system that makes those pilots seem so stupid. I mean really, Wing Commander was released nearly 2 decades ago (yeah, 1990 it was!) and had far better wingman orders and they were competent even back then!
Graphics and Sound
Ouh it’s certainly awesome, it’s not GPU hogging like that nonsense Crysis. If you guys took a look at the HD4770 review, the card handled the game really well.
The planes are generally well detailed, although critics have noted that some model of the planes were a bit inaccurate – what do we care, right?
As long as the shape is there, it’s good enough for me. I love how the lights from the horizon, the sun, the missiles and all other possible source are reflected on the plane’s exterior. Even the cockpit HUD looks good.
Of course there’s the satellite mapped terrain, from afar it looks realistic.
Going near of course, you’ll see polygonal buildings on flat land. It shouldn’t be a problem because you’re not sight-seeing, right? 🙂 I personally wouldn’t be expecting it to have perfect details but generally it looks great!
As for the sound, I’m no expert when it comes to differentiating the engine of an F15 compared to an F14 but I sure do know when my missiles are fired and when I’m getting hit.
Network / Online Gaming
I tried playing this game ONLINE via Ubisoft’s server and I’m surprised it worked really well!
The lag was minimal and I didn’t have those jerky opponent movements like that in Need for Speed : Undercover. You know, where the target is right in front of you and a second later the target is some place else kinda thing.
At least in this game, I really managed to track my opponents and lock on really well. Could you imagine how difficult it is to lock on a target if there’s lag on the online play? It’s not like a racing game where I just had to do my part to finish the laps, we’re talking targeting here!
Overall the ONLINE gaming experience was satisfactory and I look forward to play more of it!
I bought a joystick just to play this game! Yup! None of my joysticks were USB, so this was THE REASON for the joystick purchase that I’ve been contemplating for ages. 😀
*hint, it’s a SAITEK. Not telling you what model yet.*
I enjoyed the game for the simplistic arcade style wham bam boom action, and I love it that I could play it online on a team vs team session just as what I did in the mission.
The thing I hated most was the utterly hopeless wingmen orders. What’s the point of having them when all you can do is ATTACK TARGET or DEFEND ME? WTH!?!? As what I mentioned earlier, Wing Commander was released nearly 2 decades ago (yeah, 1990 it was!) and had far better wingman orders and they were competent even back then!
While the multiplayer mode is fun, I think it’ll be great if it could incorporate something like ATTACK / DEFENSE would be good, e.g. Team A is to strike the naval base while Team B must take out Team A before they could drop the load or have an ESCORT scenario. Another game type would be FREE FOR ALL.