on September 16, 2010
the game is ok. but there`s something off. it simply seems rushed and unpolished. the game never pulls you in completely, never picks up. graphics are not that good for todays standard, gameplay is a little frustrating, it never takes the next step on emotional level, and it never keeps you on the edge. on the bright side, there are some nice additions to the aerial combat which helps the game being not so repetitive. there`s a level where you have to cover for ground troops, and operate night vision aerial cannon. think modern warfare 2 AC130 level. pretty much the same. in another cool level you have to refuel mid air which requires good amount of skill. if you have a sweet tooth for the flight combat games, and got tired of same old shooter games etc,I`d say give it a try. it`s definitely not worth full price though considering the fact that there are so many other games coming out, this seems more like a bargain bin type. I`m curious to see how the next "ace combat" will play out.
I would say this game is an acquired taste. not for everyone. if you liked hawx 1. this is more of the same.
on June 20, 2012
I played the first HAWX game for weeks. I thought it was the best fixed-wing (aka, not helicopter) flight simulator combat game I'd come across in years. In fact, I still own the very first copy of HAWX I ever bought back when it came out years ago because I could never bear to trade it back in. So suffice to say I was very excited for HAWX 2 to come out.
And then I actually put the game disc in my PS3 and was repeatedly aghast at how much of just a crap game this is. The first HAWX was awesome for its time and had fun gameplay you just couldn't stop coming back to. In addition, it had what all hardcore combat flight sim fans want - an "advanced" mode that uses every single button and function on the controller to get as close to simulating all the control surfaces available on a real jet. Yet HAWX 2 mystifyingly took a serious dive bomb (pun intended) backwards. I still to this day have no idea how they managed to actually make a sequel that played like a crummy less-developed version of the first game. It felt like HAWX 2 was the game they started making, decided it was horrible, gave up on it, and made HAWX instead, and then years later decided to release the original horrible first attempt as a sequel.
Plus that, there are numerous forced gameplay problems - you can't control your own manually released missiles, for example, and are forced into going along with crappy autopiloting in some sequences. The first HAWX had the pseudo-augmented-reality virtual sky-tunnels you had to fly through sometimes, but it still let you try to do it yourself. Yet this sequel forces you to go along with each new loaf in the craptastic sequence of increasingly crummy and disappointing hand-holding things.
In conclusion, if you want to play a killer combat flight sim game, pick up Apache Assault or the original HAWX. Don't waste your money or time on this junk.
on March 26, 2011
What precisely is the idea behind this game? H.A.W.X. doesn't allow you fly planes in realistic situations. It doesn't place you in a heart-pounding story. It doesn't allow you to earn your rank or flying wings. It doesn't even permit you to feel any empathy for the characters in the game. It is, quite frankly, a mish-mash of nonsense that's been wrapped up in a shiny box of failure.
The game starts out with absolutely no connection to the previous game--which isn't altogether a bad thing. Nevertheless, you have no idea who you are, why you're there, and what your background is. You first mission is in the shoes of an Air Force Colonel who gets shot down during combat. And then you start jumping from one pilot to another, from mission to mission. How does this make any sense? In one mission you're in the middle east as an American pilot; in another, you're a British RAF pilot doing a training mission; in another you're a Russian fighter jock. Why? If anything, all this jumping about is childish. In fact, it is so laborious that an arcade game feels more enjoyable than this $50 piece of gold malarky.
Ok, forget the characters. What about the flying? Surely a game made for flying will give you a somewhat real experience as a fighter job, right? Absolutely not. Sure, each fighter has strengths and weaknesses, and you can feel the difference between an F-16 and an A-10. That being said, you are never permitted to take advantage of each individual plane's unique attributes. In one mission you're flying an A-10 on ground runs--so far so good. Then suddenly you're to turn around and dogfight with Russian MiGs. This is a ridiculous proposition for anyone who knows even a little bit about these planes. An A-10 is called a "Tank Buster" for a reason--it doesn't do dogfights.
The game also added a new feature where you're allowed to take off and land your plane. Purportedly, this is because many players of the last game complained of the lack of realism. To address the problem, the developers here just make you turn around and land at an airbase at the end of the mission. Why? Maybe some people might enjoy the prospect of landing a fighter jet--sure, I'll give you that. But the game provides absolutely ZERO training on landing a plane or taking off or anything of the sort. You're merely thrust into it as if you should already know how to work the controls, what the proper method is to land these fake planes. Hell, if the game merely kept score of how you landed, that would be something.
H.A.W.X. doesn't give you a feeling of accomplishment. You don't win for your skill in dogfights. You don't win because you picked the right plane for the mission. You don't win because you correctly guessed that a particular loadout would be important for your objectives. Nope--the game makes those choices for you. In fact, the only reason you tend to win the missions is because you're supposed to. Fire off enough missiles (you get about 150-200 per mission per loadout) and an infinite amount of canon ammo, and you're bound to hit something. Nonsense.
This game is a far cry from the Ghost Recon series. At least those games give you a considerable amount of realism. It's another world away from MWII, where you feel compelled to fight because of the story and characters and realism. This game is totally devoid of any likeability.
If you want to try it out, do so. Rent it. Or if you truly must buy it, buy a used copy where you'll at least save some money.
Ace Combat is much more enjoyable, though no more realistic.
on August 23, 2011
I wanted to play a flying game. In fact, I wanted to play THIS flying game, and I wanted it to be fun. I ignored all the negative reviews and bought it. I'm an easy gamer - I can be amused by nearly any game, although my twitch-reflexes aren't what they used to be as I approach the fifth decade of life.
Still, I saw this had an extended single player story mode, and I wanted to fly a lot of different aircraft and participate in missions, and no way did I want to get online and fight 12 year olds, so I bought a copy last week and have been playing it.
I have to say I'm annoyed. Ubisoft came really close with this game. There's a lot of great stuff in it. I love the music - especially the load screen/menu panel music. And the first 5 or 10 missions are actually really fun - well crafted, full of detail, realistic aircraft, UAVs and so on with different characteristics to explore. Marking buildings and ships for later destruction using a Predator-type UAV interface - lots of fun. Night landing on a carrier after a bomb run in an F-35 - spectacular. Handling a bulky A-10 Warthog as it gets peppered by flak and bombs entrenched ground positions - great.
But then there's a certain mission. The first screen for it has three spelling mistakes: "rein" for "reign" and two instances of the word "seperatist." And that is your alert that, basically, you are done with the fun part of the game and are going to get into some hastily done, shoddily crafted missions. Really, Tom Clancy? Russia invades Norway to capture an oil derrick to replace their own that got blown up by some terrorist nuke? I might have believed that in the 80's - shades of SSI's North Atlantic '86, actually. But come on.
I actually played the game most of the way through until a final dogfight on 'standard' difficulty mode, where I discovered that the strategy was this: Turn at full bank on afterburner always, or be hit by a missile. While turning on afterburner, try to get the 'boss' plane in your sights. Your missiles won't lock on him - he's the boss, after all. So, after several hours and countless restarts, rack up 100 hits on him with your machine gun without dying - one at a time, each separated by minutes - and then do the same for the other two planes that accompany the boss.
I gave up. It was boring and annoying - supremely so - and it was the climax of a series of missions that were just more boring and more annoying. It felt like good programmers wrote 5 or 6 good missions and then they brought in the B team to churn out another 20 crappy ones.
In addition, attention to little details is poor. There is one point where cutscenes play after a long mission for 15 minutes in a row. They're not pausable and not replayable, so if you need to use the restroom, you will miss some. After you complete a mission, you get a progress screen. Your progress is saved, right? No. Enter the next mission and start the next cutscene; only then is your progress saved. Manual save? No way.
Also, I hated this: if your plane is pointed the wrong way when a cutscene starts, sometimes your plane will crash into the ground while the cutscene is playing, killing you. Now you have to restart that mission. The cutscene audio fights with the 'you're dead' audio, then just cuts off and you are booted to the 'you're dead' menu. Any warning when the cutscene is going to start? No. Any way of interrupting the cutscene? No. Do the plane controls work during the cutscene? No. It's just an insta-death, well into a mission, with no save point anywhere nearby. Feels like a software bug, really. Good game designers know better.
The game locked up my PS3 3 times so far during play, by the way, requiring restart. (When you're made to install the required software update, be aware you'll be waiting with the progress bar stuck at 17% for about 10 minutes. That's apparently intended behavior, not one of the hard freezes I'm talking about.)
There's some neat stuff in the game. The early cutscenes are tight and exciting, the planes are photorealistic and have a variety of weaponry, modes, and handling traits, the voice actors are really good. Controls are so so and made my hands sore after about an hour, but they can be customized. Free flight mode is a lot of fun - almost worth the price of admission - but come on, give us something to shoot at. And for pete's sake, do not make me 'unlock' the planes. I will never do that. Just let me fly 'em.
Plenty of female characters too, including pilots, which is good; unfortunately, every piece of dialog directed at a female character in the entire game includes one of the following phrases: "Calm down," "settle down," "simmer down." Sexism at its worst - got a comment from my wife. I hate this because it makes the entire video game industry look bad and reduces my chance of retaining a video-game-compatible wife, so companies should take notice and quit doing it.
On balance, it got me off deck, flying, and shooting missiles, which gains it 3 stars. The best parts of this game are better than Dropship: United Peace Force, a 2-star game with some 4-star flying missions. There's gotta be a 5 star flying game out there - I like Afterburner Climax, even though it's a port of an 80's game - but I haven't found the real 5 star flying game yet.
Hawx 2 ain't it. I'll keep looking.