|Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 PC Video Game|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Monday, 27 December 2010|
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HAWX 2 Storyline
In HAWX 2 the player fulfills air support missions of multiple varieties from the perspective of pilots from different nations. You begin flying as Colonel David crenshaw, part of the elite HAWX squadron suppressing insurgent uprisings in the Middle East. You begin your first mission with a scouting round but are shot down and captured by insurgents. The cut-scenes and music are excellent and immediately bring you into the game with a sense of purpose, anticipation and then foreboding.
This attack was part of a larger scheme where nefarious insurgent leaders start showing up, three nuclear warheads go missing, the base at which the HAWX are stationed gets attacked. With this increase in activity a joint-global taskforce is setup with members from various nations including Great Britain, the United States, and Russia. You fly in mission from each branch, each with their own brush with insurgents and Russian separatists. The nice thing about having so many different perspectives is the broader variety of aircraft you get to fly through the missions. You even get to man the guns on an AC-130 and participate in recon missions to collect intel.
Throughout the mission you work closely with a Russian intelligence agent named Drachev (image below) who has been undercover in the Middle East. You collect information bit by bit and gradually come to a larger picture of the uprising. You notice that the insurgents are particularly well armed, well manned and well led by people like Hafiz (image above). So you work hard to find the head of the snake.
In the midst of your investigations and insurgent "hits", larger scale military campaigns are engaged by Russia and the U.S. to eliminate the insurgents and separatists. The focal point of the action shift to the recovery of the stolen nukes. You manage to track down and capture two nukes but are overwhelmed by the separatist forces. I really want to know how they got so many planes and boats and land and SAMs and whatever else. To keep the nukes from being recovered by the separatists you have to cover them in water by blowing up a dam.
Despite everyone's heroic efforts a warhead gets deployed in a major Russian oil field. Throughout this interplay your Russian boss General Morgunov feels restrained by political leaders. Lucky for him an ultra-nationalist group led by Treshkayev (image below) forces the current Russian president Karzkazev to step down. Now Morgunov is given a free ticket to military exploits and Russia seems to conveniently end communication with the other joint forces.
But they don't stay hidden for long. Soon the Russian Navy shows up in full force in Norway to confiscate their much needed oil. During an aerial espionage mission you intercept a phone call from a separatist to Morgunov (image below) and discover he has been feeding the rebellion with support from Treshkayev. So Morgunov wanted war, but apparently not against the insurgents.
From the perspective of your Russian protagonist you fly this vital intel with Drachev to the U.S. and Colonel Crenshaw. Now comes the big Russia versus the world climax, the air filled with modern jets. The rest of the battle must be won through the world's most glorious dogfights.
So in summary, you play from many different perspectives, then war mongers and traitors start a global war which results in a nuclear warhead detonation. A select few on the inside are the only ones with the knowledge to indicate the true bad guys and must fight their own military to bring the truth to light. In a plane. Wait...did I just get done playing Modern Warfare 2? In a plane?
The cinemas and story-telling were done well-enough, but throughout the entire game I couldn't help but think the storyline was stale (done this before) and that the graphics, mood, and general presentation of the storyline was a rehash of Modern Warfare 2. In the end it was interesting enough to keep playing but bland.
I also found the story to be a little unrealistic. How do insurgents get so much military support without anyone being able to track down where half of their manufacturing line was going?! Although the game started well, I had a hard time "buying in" in later missions. There was something missing that made it too hard for me to make the leap and feel like I was actually some flying ace in a state-of-the-art aircraft. Maybe it was because I had a difficult time keeping track of who I was and what I was flying, but I think a larger part was the lack of mission briefings. Luckily there was enough variety to keep things from dying.