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Written by Dan Ferguson   
Monday, 27 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 PC Video Game
HAWX 2 Storyline
HAWX 2 Gameplay
H.A.W.X. 2 Extras
DirectX Comparison Tessellation
DirectX Comparison TakeOff
DirectX Comparison In-Flight
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Game Play Final Thoughts

There seemed to be a lot of little things that kept a good game from being a great game. That's a hard hit during a time when gamers are getting an excess of great games. It's like releasing an average movie during the holiday season. It just doesn't seem as good because the holiday movies are usually awesome. The little things covered the entire map. The airplane in the benchmark didn't have moving surfaces, the user interface was not intuitive, there was a larger learning curve to use the experience points then there was to learn how to fly.

There was one major thing that kept the game from being great; repetitiveness. Most of the battles felt the same. All the enemies flew the same. Most of the features and extras were rehashes of the same missions. The planes all felt the same. It was just too much of the same thing over and over.

There was some good stuff too. The terrain was beautiful and based on satellite imaging. Gaining experience allowed you to choose your unlocks and you could unlock things that actually help you win more battles. You can play any of the game modes with a friend.

The debate between realism and fun doesn't have a solid answer. The game was very playable and accessible for a larger audience. This was definitely more important than staunch realism. But some of the game modes suffered badly by being reduced to brainless button pushing.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 Video Game

HAWX 2 Video Game Conclusion

HAWX 2 is definitely the best looking flight game I've played in a while. It gets high marks for beautiful terrain based on satellite imaging. There was nothing striking about the plane models, but they looked good. The color schemes, music and presentation of the campaign missions were well selected and set the mood well, but they all seemed to blur together, especially since they were just like the campaign from Modern Warfare 2. The explosions were well-done, maybe a little over-the-top, but I think it makes for good fun.

The plot was as generic as any cold war novel and quickly forgotten. Espionage, traitors, stolen nuclear warhead, insurgent groups, it was moderately entertaining, but not a movie I'd watch again. You at least get to participate from multiple perspectives and your not always confined to dogfighting. The UAV and AC-130 missions were a nice touch of flavor. Unfortunately all the UAV missions were exactly the same. You spent more time trying to keep the cursor steady than actually paying attention to the plot. It was dumbed down way too much.

When it came to straight-up dogfighting there was much lacking. In advanced levels it too often boiled down to ten enemy planes endlessly circling you while you dodge non-stop missiles. I often caught the enemy flying backwards while firing off a missile. About the only way to get a lock was to slip your curves until you stall. Of course the second this happens you've got 5 missiles coming at you. Between the dogfights you got short snippets where you could use other weapons which were a blast. But those snippets were typically timed rounds before the next dog-fight sequence.

There are plenty of extra things to do included with HAWX 2. But nearly all of them are variants on the single player missions. The multiplayer games had a few additional game types, but it was hard to find others online since the HAWX community is small. In order to fly all the planes, players have to spend time earning experience and unlocking abilities, weapons and planes. This provides a good amount of replay value since you can play the same boring missions while focusing on a challenge or task.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 Video Game

Overall the game had enough enjoyable parts to recommend to people that enjoy flying games. The HAWX series is good enough that it could still be saved. I know this game is good enough that when it hits the bargain bins there just might be a community to play with. Ubisoft should really consider dropping the price on the game and take less revenue in order to build that community and focus on a better sequel or a really awesome patch. Presently HAWX 2 is availble as a PC download for $33.49 or $54.99 for the Deluxe edition.

Pros:

+ Good Terrain
+ Playable on most video cards
+ Controls easy to learn, anybody can fly
+ Variety of game types
+ Co-op Campaign
+ Experience unlocks weapons and planes

Cons:

- Dogfights very repetitive
- Small multiplayer community
- Bland campaign
- Missions repetitive

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Comments 

 
# DRM?Bob 2010-12-28 22:24
I didn't see a single mention of the DRM in the article. (but, I did go through it quickly)

Always on internet connection required. Period.

I was really looking forward to this game, but after finding out how Ubisoft treats all customers as if they were theaves, I won't buy any more games from them.

Period.
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# RE: DRM?Doug 2010-12-28 22:35
What's funny about DRM is that I haven't purchased a single game since DRM started requiring "always on internet." So, like I want to play an RTS game while I fly from California to Europe, and but uh ho, no internet at 40,000 feet. Sorry, can't play your game.

Sorry--can't buy games anymore.

This has forced me to download pirated copies. I'd really like to support the authors of software games too, but making it impossible for me to play w/o an internet connection makes it impossible for me to play.

Thanks for posting too. It saved me the time reading something I will never use. I think restrictive DRM lke this will be the demise of computer games in favor of console games. Of course if you play MMO's, like I do, you have to be online anyway, so that's a non starter, but then there is no DRM for those games because you pay a monthly fee.
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# I'm curious about this game.Olle P 2010-12-30 05:03
Unfortunately the review adds more questions than it answers...

First we have the dogfights mentioned. Isn't modern day air combat all about avoiding dogfights?
Have your AWACS feed target data to your missiles and guide you towards the enemy. Once you're within 20 miles or so (still beyond visible range) you fire the missiles and head back home. One to two minutes later the missiles are supposed to hit their intended targets.

Next I'd like to know what type of aircraft there are in the game.

And finally I think page two should carry a spoiler warning. In my opinion it reveals quite a bit more of the story than required.
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# RE: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 PC Video Gameantoine leivaditakis 2010-12-30 07:30
I suggest that you would try to test a gtx 460 and above dx11 card of Nvidia , then you will see a much better quality of image and much better tessalation than you see on ATI cards, unfortunately.
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# RE: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 PC Video GamePearce 2011-02-28 09:52
After H.A.W.X. 2, I have no intention of ever buying a game from Ubisoft again, and I've been buying their games for many, many years.
Too much bull # these days.
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# ColJohn D 2011-07-08 18:41
What is a DRM? Guessing I am bit behind the curve. And On-line DL is a snare for the Unwary. be advised that IF you DL software there may NOT be any refund if it snags or is found to be P-Poor, like Dungeon Siege 3. As for dogfights being passe', that is what some of the idiots in pentagon thought, resulting in billions of wasted USD. Dogfights will happen and if you bring a knife to a gunfight, you will lose.IMHO, a combo unit w/ missle and guns would resolve the isse, but hey, I am retired and too old toknow what the kids like. Perhaps, that is why I am still alive while most of my conteporary(s) are dead. On a better note, the TC books and games are very challanging and good training. Even MS FSim is better than this offering, and you dont need ISP to run it.
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# RE: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 PC Video GameJohn D 2011-07-08 18:46
ADDED; I agree w/ the suggestion of lower prices to build community. Albiet, the repeditive senarios will get old. The computers can think much faster than most of us, so as Sun Tsu says, "when faced with overwhelming force, you will lose".
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# RE: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 PC Video GameDavid Ramsey 2011-07-08 18:55
DRM = Digital Rights Management, i.e. copy protection.
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# No replayAbe 2012-09-03 11:24
I usually would like to watch a replay of the mission I just accomplished and Hawx 2 on ps3 does not have that, plus the head swivel control is very limited, if you're a fighter pilot you should be able to turn your head till you can see the tail of the plane, in Hawx 2 the head barely swivels, I play ace combat 6 fires of liberation on Xbox and it does many things better then Hawx 2 , but it doesn't feel as real as Hawx 2
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