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Review: Tom Clancy's HAWX - Xbox 360, PS3

by Steven Williamson on 11 March 2009, 12:03

Tags: Tom Clancys HAWX, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Action/Adventure

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qare4

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54 planes to fly!

HAWX doesn’t boast the amazing visuals, the outstanding audio quality, or the tactical gamplay depth of other Tom Clancy titles, such as Ghost Recon and Rainbow 6. Nor does it have the excellent online component that you’d associate with the long-running franchise. What it does have, however, is the "I'll just have one more go" quality that manages to draw you into its addictive arcade-style combat. Before you know it you've completed the game's 19 missions and had a pretty good time in doing so. Despite the core gameplay mechanics of HAWX relying on you doing little more than being able to weave your way around the skies chasing enemy craft and pressing the fire button at the appropriate time, without crashing into the ground or sea, of course, it does have instant pick up and play appeal. In the case of HAWX, simplicity isn't always a bad thing.

HAWX pits you in the role of former U.S. Air Force pilot, David Crenshaw, who has come out of retirement to work for Artemis Global Security, a private security firm that gains lucrative deals from rich clients looking to protect their interests. Mission variety is obviously restricted due to the confines of what you can actually do in an aircraft, but all bases have been impressively covered. Expect then, a variety of escort, infiltration, defence and recon objectives, alongside plenty of fast-paced dog-fights. In HAWX, you're tasked with such missions as protecting a fleet of U.S. ships from enemy naval forces, or ensuring that your client’s oil-fields in the Middle East aren’t infiltrated by enemy fighters. Among the mission highlights, and there are quite a few, is the invasion of Rio De Janeiro, where you have to defend the exquisitely detailed city from air, ground and naval threat.

There are also plenty of side objectives along the way that boost your EXP, allowing you to rank up and unlock planes and special weapon packages in the process.There is an impressive array of planes, designed on their real-life counterparts and sporting various strengths, weaknesses and weapon sets to choose from; and experimentation is encouraged by the different types of enemy on offer. In the earlier levels you’re given a slow introduction to each of the different enemy types, which all requite a different approach and weapon to destroy. These consist of ground, air and sea targets, and later on in the game missions fuse these forces together, which then challenges you to switch weapons and change tactics and flight paths at a moment's notice depending on the current threat.

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