Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. box art
System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Ubisoft Romania 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-16 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

If the interesting story isn't enough to keep you playing, then the leveling mechanic and unlockable planes and weapons load-outs might do the trick. I found post-mission ranking up of my pilot to be compelling, and getting in-mission XP bonuses for accomplishing certain feats to be very satisfying, indeed. What's more, rising in rank will not only help you in the single-player campaign, but it will improve your selection of fighter jets and armament whilst duking it out in the 8-person multiplayer competitive mode. Going head to head against other humans while piloting a jet is a neat spin on the standard competitive gameplay found in first-person shooters.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. screenshot

While sound effects in H.A.W.X. are what you would expect from an air combat title, the voice over work is painfully repetitive, especially when going over an objective multiple times because of previously failed attempts. This is to be expected, after all, if I passed the objective the first time, I wouldn't be hearing the same mission details over again. However, where it becomes painful is in the monotony of your wingmen's chatter and XO's comments. Yes - we get paid a lot better than we did in the USAF… I know - the fast-movers are my priority target. It goes on and on throughout the game and will force you to shut off the chatter. Thankfully, the devs foresaw this being a problem and went so far as to allow you to mute the noise at your leisure in-game without having to hop out to a main menu. Needless to say, sounds can't compare to the shiny, polished visuals.

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Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. is a very fun game - one I would suggest to any air combat buff. However, enemy A.I. feels a little stupid even on the highest settings of difficulty, which really only limits the amount of armament your jet can carry and makes damage-taken more realistic. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. isn't the perfect jet fighter game we were hoping for, but it is a great start. Look for the H.A.W.X. series to mature and improve over the years, ultimately challenging the dominance of Ace Combat.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
The visuals are really helped by the inclusion of satellite imagery, which in turn fuels the plausibility of the story.
4.3
Control
The controls are logical, tight, and very user-friendly until you switch into OFF mode. Novice gaming pilots will suffer greatly with these advanced controls.
2.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
There is no music to speak of and the sound effects are standard fare, but the repetitive, rather canned voice over work is borderline abysmal.
4.1
Play Value
Missions are incredibly narrow, leaving almost no room for improvisation. But, the flying and fighting in the jets is good fun, especially when done with or against other players.
4.1
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • E.R.S. is in-game technology that helps turn novice aviators into elite pilots of the future. The Enhanced Reality System is the backbone of your flight experience: radars and incoming missile detection, anti-crash system, damage control system, tactical map and information relay, and weapons trajectory control. E.R.S. also allows you to issue orders to your squadron, making this system as iconic to H.A.W.X. as the Cross-Com system is to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
  • Want to ease into your flight missions and gain a level of comfort? Turn on the assistance mode and take full advantage of your E.R.S. Need to evade your enemy and execute advanced dog-fighting moves? Switch off the assistance mode and feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins as you play in stunning third-person views.
  • For the first time ever in the air combat genre, experience the entire solo campaign in four-player jump in co-op mode. In PVP mode, challenge up to seven friends in intense dog-fighting sessions and find out who's the top gun.
  • Take the throttle of over 50 of the world's most famous aircrafts. Dogfight over realistic modern landscapes that have endured years of post-war trauma. With support from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. goes supersonic with its authenticity and breathtaking graphics.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HDTV).


  • Screenshots / Images
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