Games Review: Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2

IT’S only been 18 months since we took the original H.A.W.X. game for a test flight, so when a sequel was announced, we were intrigued to see what improvements would be made to the air combat sim.

IT’S only been 18 months since we took the original H.A.W.X. game for a test flight, so when a sequel was announced, we were intrigued to see what improvements would be made to the air combat sim.

Thankfully, the developers have resisted the temptation to tinker with the game’s solid controls, adding a modest selection of new features and a more dramatic storyline.

It’s only when you’re strapped into the cockpit of one of the game’s many aircraft that you’ll begin to notice any changes. The most obvious difference is the addition of takeoffs and landings. It’s a nice touch, especially when taking off from an aircraft carrier or performing an emergency landing under enemy fire.

In some missions, you also have to refuel in mid-air. It’s a bit fiddly, requiring you to fly to a tanker, matching speeds and altitude before you can take on fuel. It’s against the clock, too, so if you don’t make it in time you’ll find you have all the airborne qualities of a brick.


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As for the missions themselves, they’re a varied bunch, split into US, Russian and British campaigns. One moment you’ll be engaging enemy fighters over snow-capped mountains and the next you’ll be taking part in night time bombing raids or flying escort missions in an AC-130 gunship. Missions take place all over the globe, so the game’s satellite imagery has been given a boost and the detailed environments look superb.

Enemy AI is a lot smarter this time around, dropping plenty of flares to stop you locking on to their heat signatures, and there’s a greater emphasis on dogfights so you’ll have to resort to cannon fire instead of fire-and-forget missiles.

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The single-player campaign can be played by up to four online buddies in co-op mode, with the game adjusting the difficulty level to compensate for your extra wingmen. Even better, eight players can compete against each other in local and online multiplayer, and can select from several mission types.

With a hangar full of technologically advanced fighter planes at your disposal, H.A.W.X. 2 offers an adrenaline-soaked interpretation of futuristic air combat and one you should whole-heartedly embrace.

Publisher: Ubisoft

Price: �49.99

Format: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC)

Age rating: 12+

Score: 4/5 Stars

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