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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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.



# 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.

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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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