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Review: Tom Clancy’s HAWX (PC)

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After playing the demo of Tom Clancy’s HAWX, I found it hard to imagine that Ubisoft could manage an entire game of flight missions without it becoming boring or repetitive in any way. The demo was fantastic and incredibly fun, but could the retail game be as good through the entire campaign? I knew it would be possible, but I was afraid that it would lose the fun or excitement in combat after several missions.

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At the beginning of HAWX, you start as Major David Crenshaw of the USAF’s special HAWX (High Altitude Warfare eXperimental squadron) division on your final mission before the HAWX division is to be deactivated by the Air Force. After you successfully complete the mission, you are offered a job by the CEO of Artemis Global, a private military company (PMC). You accept the job and begin missions for Artemis. However, this arrangement soon takes a turn for the worse, causing you to question your loyalty to the USAF.

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Immediately when I started playing HAWX, it felt just as good as the demo originally did. The game is a perfect mix of intensity, challenge and fun. Not to mention it is very playable with just a simple gaming controller. No need for a multi-hundred dollar joystick or yoke set. Although, as one would expect, playing the game with just the mouse and keyboard leaves some to be desired. The only other thing I would suggest is using is a headset. HAWX will take voice-commands, giving you the ability to fire your weapons, or change your weapon without the need to press a button. Although the list of commands is limited, HAWX‘s voice recognition software is good enough to understand what you say reliably enough. Although every time I coughed or cleared my throat while playing, the game seems to think I said “Double” and then fires two missiles for me.

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With the intensity that HAWX manages to produce in combat, accompanied by a large choice of weapons, planes and an awesomely beautiful world, this is a game that is fantastically fun and challenging. HAWX is a new breed of game and is definitely worth a look at. If you’re still unsure if you would like it, then I recommend that you try the demo first.

Scores

- Graphics: 9
A massive detailed world with beautiful particle and light effects is one of the main attractions of HAWX.

- Storyline: 7
Even though this is not the type of game that needs to rely on a storyline, HAWX has a decent one.

- Gameplay: 9
This is the bread and butter of the game. The flight is very smooth and easy; almost effortless. The combat is a perfect balance of intensity and fun.

- Presentation: 7
Everything is put together well with decent menus and selection screens.

- Lasting Appeal: 8
With such a large world, the game also features co-op and online play which promises to keep the battle alive long after you’ve completed the campaign.

Overall: 8 Olives

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