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4.1 out of 5 stars
Tom Clancy's HAWX - Playstation 3
Platform: PlayStation 3Change
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2009
HAWX is a game with an interesting moral dilemma. Realism or arcade. Which one to be?
Flight sims are more at home on a PC, where you can assign a million different functions to the keyboard. On a console, you've got a lot less buttons. The developers decided to balance the entire spectrum of realism vs arcade flight sim aspects and wedge it all onto a console.
With that in mind, we have HAWX. The controls are not perfect, but I feel they are a good balance for a flight sim that is decidedly more arcade that "real." The control layout is as intuitive as you can get. Throttle and weapon selections are spot on for a flight sim. It is the gameplay package that surrounds the controls that many will love or hate. I mean you only have so many buttons, how much control can you really have?
HAWX main hook is its assistance modes. You can turn them on and off by double tapping L2 or R2. Most of your time will be spent with assistance on. In this mode you are in a third person view of your plane. You can maneuver and engage in general combat fairly well.
It is the assistance off mode that will separate the fighter jocks from the boys (i.e. the rest of us). Trigger this mode and the camera pulls way back. With this mode, your point of view is oriented relative to the target you are locked on to, but your controls are not. This will disorient some gamers. But, this is where the magic happens. You can make your aircraft perform some truly amazing acrobatic feats, like somersaulting over a missile or instantly reversing course to get the drop on your enemies.
Combat is very enjoyable. It is exciting and fast paced. Your wingmen earn their keep. If you order them to attack a target, then they will almost certainly take it out.
The only thing that is truly "broken" is the sense of speed. I never felt like I was truly zipping along at Mach 2 in an F-14. It is made even more frustrating by the fact that your wingmen seem to be able to fly much faster than you can. This is a shame considering all the times I was racing from one furball to the next.
The missions are good, but the lack of secondary objectives will bore some gamers. The story unfolds during combat. It just does not feel "fleshed out." If anyone remembers all the storytelling done during gameplay in the old TIE Fighter game for the PC, then you know what I mean.
The graphics are incredible. There are times I almost forgot I was playing a game and not watching a movie.
At the end of the day, HAWX is a very worthwhile game. Flight sims are a very much underrated genre on consoles. Most gamers overlook them for FPS and racing games. Fortunately, HAWX does not disappoint.

UPDATE:
I have tooled around in multiplayer mode. For the most part, it works well. There is some occasional lag during an online death match. This is frustrating when you have an opponent in your sights only to have him jump to a different position. The game assumes you will play multiplayer when it comes to experience points. Your ability to earn XP in the campaign is basically over when you finish it. Players will need to turn to multiplayer to obtain higher ranks to unlock new aircraft and weapon configurations.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2009
As many other reviewers of this game, I'm a long-time fan of the AC titles and was also disappointed when they decided to drop Sony. Very few flight games have found their way onto the PS3 and I think that this game missed a golden opportunity to really shine. As I mentioned in the title, this game is good, but not great. It may have gotten a few extra bonus points for being the first modern jet game for the PS3, but you'll have to judge for yourself.

The Good - This game has an amazing selection of aircraft, including some pleasant surprises. The cockpits are all well done from what I've seen (I've used about 20 different aircraft thus far) and the aircraft themselves are also look pretty good. The missions are slightly more reality based than many in the AC series (real jets, ships, tanks, etc), and is, overall, a lot of fun. The game is easy to get into with a fairly low learning curve and is quite addicting. Also, GeoEye did an outstanding job of integrating real imagery, even though it isn't the highest resolution and really starts to pixelate at less than about a thousand feet.

The Bad - For starters, this game is S-H-O-R-T! With a grand total of 19 missions, none of them lasting more than about 15 minutes, you can easily beat this game 2 or 3 times on a Saturday afternoon. The experience points process is an interesting approach, which does help with replayability, but I would rather have seen the accumulation of money instead since you are, essentially, a mercenary. I enjoy unlocking planes and being able to purchase what you want. As good as the graphics are, they are lacking in a few areas as well. The aircraft are pretty good, but I don't think they took advantage of what the PS3 is capable of. The jets in Ace Combat 6 on the Xbox definitely look better, which is sad considering the game is almost a year and a half old. One thing that especially bugged me was the afterburner flames - they are essentially orange ellipses. I think a few old PS2 games, including Aero Elite, did a better job of rendering them. Not just that, but some jets, most notably the A-10 (I haven't used any of the other sub-sonic aircraft) don't even have afterburners, so I found it a little ridiculous. Also, they got at least one name wrong - the "Mig-25", is actually a Mig-31. I know this is nit-picky, but come on! There is also no real sense of speed, which is particularly evident with low-level flying. The ability to land aircraft would also have been a nice option, but oh well.

In conclusion, when I first started playing this game, I might have even given it five stars. After 4-5 hours of gameplay it would've dropped to 4. Now that I've beaten the game and started reflying missions just to accumulate XP, it's dropped to a 3. I still own Aero Elite and Ace Combat Zero for PS2 and in 6 months will almost certainly prefer playing them to this game. Ubisoft gets a B for effort and a C for delivery. Maybe next time...
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
I hate to be a debbie downer, but I was really unsatisfied with this game. Its the same ole thing, mission after mission - the only thing that changes is the landscape.

If I were smart enough to be a game developer, I would have a flight game that includes take off and landings, take off and landing from an air craft carrier; take off and landing with a harrier jumpjet; airstrikes that get called in from ground personnel; joint strikes with helicopter gunships. I mean,the list goes on and on, and this game fell short on just about every level.

The only thing this game gets good marks for are the graphics and dogfights. But really, how many dogfights can you do before you're wicked bored.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2009
I've always loved flying games. Ever since NES i'd played flying games. These games usually offer a lot and end up dissapointing. The best flying game ever is definately Flight Simulator, but this is a great approach to combat flying.
This is definately not a sim game, but thats made on purpose. It's waaay more fun. I'll evaluate different aspects of the game:

The GRAPHICS are great. Good enough to get you inmerse in the battle. It seems they made a bigger effort detailing the planes than the cities though. These look amazing from the skies, but so so when you fly low. Particularly the black smoke looks very real when you fly through it.

The GAMEPLAY is excellent. Just start the mission and you're already in the battle!!! Push the throttle and start shooting misiles.

The SOUND of the game is very good. Youll love the whistling of the misiles passing through you, and the sound of the turbines flying at top speed. The only thing id "improve" is the volume of the explosions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2009
I have been waiting for a long time for someone to put together a great flight sim utilizing the latest technology. I have a 46" HD flat panel and a ps3 and I could not find a good flight sim. It drove me crazy. I tried renting a few that were out, but I didn't find anything that couldn't have been run on a ps2. HAWX is exactly what I wanted.

The graphics are just amazing. I don't know how many other people get flight sims almost solely for the purpose of flying around amazing looking terrain as low as possible. That's me though. This game is just right for that purpose.

I love the dogfight/mission aspect as well. I see no problem with the XP system or difficulty of the levels. To me it's all trimmin's. The guy who mentioned that there are only 19 missions forgot to mention that there are multiple difficulty levels which multiplies the fun and allows you to really get good at the game.

I've already got 2 friends to purchase it and I look forward to playing co-op online. I will be playing this for a long time. It reminds me of getting "Chuck Yeager's Air Combat" all those years ago for Christmas. Thanks Ubi Soft.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
After playing ace combat for years then when it became x-box 360 only, i was starving for some air combat,I had purchaced an PS3 and when i found out it wasnt rewind compatable i was really dissapointed, I missed my ace combat. So i bought a copy of hawx and when you compare it to ace combat it doesnt even hold a candle to it, all i can say is that i hope hawx 2 is better!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Me and a friend have been playing this game a lot recently, and we both can't get enough. Even though this game is one player and we both swap controllers between levels, its fun enough that you enjoy watching the other guy play the game.

On my top 5 list of games to play and own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I've been a fan of flight-sims and flight-action games ever since playing Flight Simulator '95 on my parents old PC. I also grew up playing Ace Combat on the Playstation and have followed that series avidly for a number of years. So when Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy's HAWX I was immediately interested in the title. I've now managed to complete the game and have logged quite a few hours online as well.

So I'll begin with what's to like about the game. First, the selection of aircraft in the game is second-to-none! HAWX features everything from standard F-15, F-16, F-14, F-22, Su-25, Su-27, MiG-29, etc, aircraft that are readily found in most flight games to more exotic planes like the YF-12/SR-71, F-35 Lightning II, X-29, F-15 ACTIVE, F-18 HARV and a number of other fantastic aircraft. If you're a fan of fighters/multi-role jet aircraft this game will amaze you!

Unlike Ace Combat, HAWX also features real-world locations like Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Tokyo and Los Angeles and a number of other locations. HAWX incorporates real satellite imagery from GeoEye into the game and famous landmarks will be instantly recognizable.

The game features 3 difficulty levels which directly impact the players load-out in each plane as well as damage characteristics. On 'normal' you'll find your plane capable of sustaining major damage and multiple missile strikes while carrying literally hundreds of missiles and bombs. It's not realistic though it's not meant to be. On 'elite' difficulty the game ramps the difficulty by cutting the amount of weapons you can carry (although still unrealistically high) and making damage realistic - one missile will down your plane.

HAWX also features an in-depth leveling system. Successfully destroying air and ground targets will net the player 'XP' which is tallied at the end of each level. The levels mirror real-life Air Force ranks (though some extra levels are thrown in) from a basic Airman all the way to General of the Air Force. All told there are 40 levels which equate to about 1.4 million 'XP'. Figuring that most missions will net a few thousand 'XP' the replay value is relatively high due to the requirements for reaching the highest ranks/levels. Also, upon leveling up the game rewards the players with new planes, paint schemes and weapons loads.

There are a few areas where I feel HAWX could be better. For one thing the game features 2 modes for flying your plane - "Assistance ON" & "Assistance OFF". Assistance OFF essentially makes your aircraft incredibly maneuverable - so much so that you'll be able to perform impossible turns and Mach 2+ easily weaving and dodging missiles. The unfortunate part of "OFF" mode is that the game locks your camera into a distant and awkward viewpoint. Your aircraft will be the size of a dime and targeting accurately is nightmarish due to the awkward controls. Due to the camera you'll be forced to blind fire missiles at enemies that you can't readily see - only trusting that you have a lock-on because of the audio chimes. Ultimately I found "OFF" mode more of a hassle than it was worth and stuck to a more traditional cockpit camera that is both functional (display information) and intuitive in relation to the control scheme. Using "ON" mode limits your aircraft to more familiar laws of physics though you'll at least be able to choose which camera suits your flying style best.

Also, though the graphics are good I feel that they're somewhat lacking in key areas. We all know that the PS3 is capable of some truly amazing visuals and because HAWX is a multi-platform game it just doesn't shine. The aircraft are rendered well but small touches like air-brakes are missing. When using aircraft like the F-15 active with canards you'd expect to be able to see the canards move from the cockpit camera but they're mysteriously absent. The replay mode is decent but limited in it's camera options and is strangely mute of engine sounds.

All in all I think that fans of flight-action games and Ace Combat will probably find HAWX enjoyable. Hopefully Ubisoft sees fit to continue the series and improve upon this good first undertaking!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010
I loved playing this game, only problem is that you need a flight joystick because the ps3 controller is the worst thing you could use to play this. I brought the PS3/PC T.fighter stickX and oh my goodness. you will have lots of fun if you like shooting down stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2010
Ok, for the record, I am an avid fan of the movie, and I have played just about every flight sim out there. Tom Clancy's first outing is not with out it's short comings, but I have to say,this game will make you feel like you are Maverick and Goose. The combat is frantic. You may start out with a flight of enemy planes, but soon deal with tanks, and naval ships all at the same time. The mission types are a bit predictable, (protect, search and destroy, save the city, rinse and repeat.) but the way that they are approached makes them unique and fun. My favorite part is being able to go into off mode and pull off insane moves to get behind my target to put a missle up his exhust. Be aware though that this takes practice.

The plane variety is nice, and they look beautiful. So do the enviroments you fly in provided you aren't scraping the ground. Then again you may not have time to notice while jinking and banking to avoid missiles.

The blending of past Clancy Titles is nice like the Ghost Air support mission from Graw2 or the Shuttle Mission in End War. My biggest gripe with the game is it is entirely to short in the single player campaign. A solid afternoon and it will be over. you can play through any mission to unlock loadouts but I highly recommend multiplayer to finish this task for two reasons. One you get more xp once the sp campaign ends and Two This will really test your dogfighting skills.

Overall this is a worth will purchase, but if you are looking for realism get microsofts flight sim for pc
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