Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
E3 2010: HAWX 2 First Impressions - Returning To The Skies
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To steal a sentiment from Lee’s HAWX review last year, in my mind the only thing that HAWX needed was Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” and the title would have been pretty perfect as far as air-combat shooters go. After hearing the song wasn’t in the sequel – seriously Ubisoft Romania, what the hell!? – you have to ask yourself how can they better it then? By putting in Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” you respond? Well, no, not exactly, and according to Ubisoft Romania who were on hand to show off the HAWX sequel at this year’s E3, it’s all about three things: creating real experiences; improving the dogfight; and bolstering the co-op experience. They could have just called me Maverick and I would have taken that as a respectable response to my question...

By creating real experiences, we don’t mean that Ubisoft are going to ship an F14 with the limited edition of the game – yes, I’m still in Top Gun mode, leave me alone – it’s about making you feel like more of the experience, rather than just starting you in the sky and pretending that’s where planes start from, and that pilots use 150 foot ladders to get into their cockpit. That essentially means HAWX 2 will bring take-offs and landings into the franchise for the first time, whether it be from military bases or aircraft carriers out on the seven seas. Taking off in all honesty looked relatively easy, but I somehow doubt that landing will be as easy – especially at night. The runways will be littered with military personnel giving you signals as well, to give that illusion that you are in fact a combat pilot. Even better is the news that if you’re playing in co-op, you’ll all take-off and land together, although that might get a little messy. Let’s hope there’s a checkpoint before you come into land otherwise I can see it detracting from the game rather than bolstering it.

The real experiences aspect doesn’t stop with take-offs and landings, it also means that you’ll partake in some mid-air refuelling as well which doesn’t involve pulling into a mid-air petrol station and getting food poisoning from the day old hotdogs they sell at the counter – unfortunately though, we didn’t get chance to see this in action... the mid-air fuelling that is. Throw is some precision bombings, and it’s clear that Ubisoft Romania are looking to give you a much richer and deeper experience.

It seems as if the attention to detail has been a focal point for the design team this year too, with the Producer pointing out that no longer will ships miraculously disappear this time around – they actually sink in a realistic fashion. The same goes for the planes as well, and you’ll actually see the falling debris of the planes as you pick them out the sky.

Set across nine regions, HAWX 2’s campaign is set to offer a ton of variety from one mission to the next, and with three factions to pick from – Russian, UK and American – you won’t be short of things to do. You’ll not only find action missions in the sequel that include persuading a group of plane hijackers to return the stolen planes that they’re attempting to escape with, but you’ll also get involved in espionage missions where you must perform surgical strikes. Throw in some dogfight missions, recon missions, gunship missions with the AC130, etc and you’re looking at a much more diverse game than the first one was in terms of mission structure – something that the Producer revealed was one of the biggest complaints. Thinking back though, HAWX 1 had a decent array of missions if I recall correctly anyway, but more diversity is always a good thing.

We’re told that Ubisoft Romania are looking to improve the dogfight in a few key ways as well, but in truth, it was more PR speak than actual concrete information. The Producer on hand noted that they are aiming to make the dogfights more involved, more up close and more personal... whether that means that you’ll be taking out your opposing number on man date the night before you look to obliterate one another, who knows? Somehow though, manicures and red wine doesn’t seem like the HAWX way. I will say this though, the AI seemed to have been tweaked somewhat, meaning that that if you’re looking for more of a challenge, then HAWX 2 may just give it you.

It’s not clear how Ubisoft Romania are going to bolster the co-op experience yet either, considering that the original had 4 player co-op with drop in, drop-out capabilities, but they did say that everything you can do in the single player, you can do in co-op... but again, if I recall correctly, that was the same for HAWX 1.

It’s interesting to see the direction that Ubisoft Romania are taking with the franchise which we came to love as an arcade style air-combat game. Making you take-off, land and refuel might be taking the franchise in a direction that steers it away from its pick up and play roots, but we’re all for change. I’m not saying it will be difficult to do any of those tasks, but it may take the limelight away from the intense combat that made the title a hit in our books. Other than that though, HAWX 2 seems to be looking at just giving us more of the same, which on some levels is fine by us. We are promised more variety in terms of missions though and listening to one of the Producers reel off the list of tasks in the first 5 or 6 missions, the fact that he didn’t repeat himself is a testament to how the title is shaping up. Plus, who can argue with the return of 4 player co-op dogfights, because once again we can take to the skies with two Gooses... or is that geese?

HAWX 2 is scheduled for a fall 2010 release.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 1460
Comment #1 by SideDish120
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:03:53 AM
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Kinda excited for this. The first one was pretty good.

Forum Posts: 3281
Comment #2 by Jappe XBA
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:04:02 AM
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Sooooo cool!!

Forum Posts: 61
Comment #4 by Floodgates
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:15:43 AM
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The first one was fun but the story line could use more depth. Hopefully this was the case with the second installment. Graphics look amazing though.

Forum Posts: 363
Comment #5 by seven43861
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:28:08 AM
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I was able to watch the mid-air refuel at E3. It looked like the real thing, basically you have to guide your fuel nozzle to the port, you don't have to be exact, there is a rail system implemented so you only have to get close and the program will lock it in place for you.

Forum Posts: 1593
Comment #6 by H0p3sfalL
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:39:27 AM
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hope there isnt any MP achievements..... gets really bad when everyone picks the F-22

Forum Posts: 42
Comment #7 by Lysander
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:40:35 AM
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Awesome. First game was a craker but a bit more diversity and perhaps a few more attainable achievements and unlocks for planes is no bad thing!

Forum Posts: 52
Comment #8 by arete
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 12:51:56 PM
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Can't wait. Although I love flight sims, I still love Ace Combat and HAWX franchises. The addition of a bit more realism with take-offs/landings/refueling is a welcome addition!

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #9 by GhostLyrics
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 01:14:00 PM
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I won't complain, but Ace Combat already _had_ the refuelings, take-offs & landings. -.-

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #10 by XI MANX IX
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 01:56:58 PM
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First one was really fun and had a great online community,definally a day 1 buy for me.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #11 by green117
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 03:11:39 PM
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Please work on the MP. TDM 4v4 just does not cut it. I want Attack & Defend, objective based MP. Attacking Airports, Military Bases, Carriers. Hawx was great but really, the xp system based on a lackluster TDM is simply bad. Sort it out since pretty much everything else you did before and what you are offering here could really cement this series.

Forum Posts: 1437
Comment #12 by Jardinho
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 03:43:56 PM
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@11 You should probably be telling this to Ubisoft

Forum Posts: 2097
Comment #13 by litepink
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 04:09:46 PM
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Anyone remember refueling in TOP GUN for NES?? ARRRRGGGGHH!

Forum Posts: 97
Comment #14 by Hellhog
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 07:04:11 PM
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I always wanted a Tom Clancy flight game for years. Then they finally came out with HAWX and it was terrible. Tom Clancy games (at least a few years back) had more realism than arcade play compared to other games but HAWX was flat out rediculous with how they made their own reality (ex: F-16s going stalling at Mach 2.5 and going up to Mach 3.5, you have to be kidding me!). I'll still see what HAWX 2 is about but doubt it will massively change to correct everything. It is a shame and I don't think it deserves the Tom Clancy title.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #15 by green117
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 07:33:25 PM
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@12 Ofc, i know. But likely its a little late for that. I can only hope they are regular readers to this site :p

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #16 by 2ChopStick
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 07:49:58 PM
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omg i cant wait

Forum Posts: 149
Comment #17 by l Rebirth l
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 07:52:22 PM
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Ace Combat 6 did a lot of those things. Take offs, landings, on aircraft carriers too, umm mid air refueling... Umm planes fall from the sky, I've run into plenty of those by accident, and ships sinking too. In fact, I think even back with Ace Combat 3 it did all of those.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #18 by toxicjesse502
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 11:59:06 PM
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i agree with Mr. Rebirth it looks the same as ace combat.

Forum Posts: 893
Comment #19 by DaChiefOfOwnage
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 01:56:15 AM
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Wow talk about NEW features!


First one was great and this all sounds good but really these should've been there from day one in the first game.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #20 by S q u e e t l e
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:13:31 AM
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@13 yes unfortunately I do...=)

I liked the first one because of the gfx but I'm hoping
the sequel will have more depth on gameplay and storyline...
Oh and no MP chievos plz!

Forum Posts: 453
Comment #21 by stevedb79
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:16:48 AM
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Loved the 1st...hope to love the 2nd,I just hope with all these new features they haven't over done it and made it like ace combat etc because thats nor what HAWX was about!!....the original was the only game that I recall actually wanting new maps and co-op missions via DLC so I hope this one has more M.P maps etc
really looking forward to this so com-on Ubisoft don't do your usual blockbuster "will release in 2010 but really we mean 2012!"

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #22 by nismo400R 84
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 12:48:15 PM
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@6 when everyone gets in the f22s i use the flanker su39 i think and it eats f22s for breakfast

Forum Posts: 545
Comment #23 by lizard9979
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 02:00:26 PM
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Gotta go buy the first one now. Did not know it was such a good pilot game.

Forum Posts: 149
Comment #24 by l Rebirth l
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 04:01:23 PM
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I prefer AC6 to HAWX. I loved the AC series, and it is a great game to play. I just couldn't get into HAWX as much as I did to AC. The online is dead in AC6 though, so if you're an achievement whore don't do it, I'm not sure about HAWX.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #25 by tbirt666
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 05:57:50 AM
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def on my wish list!

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #26 by mayday_101
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 09:52:04 AM
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like how there are campaigns now ... it made no sense for the you(USAF) guy to bve flying around in a mig. Hopefully theres a bit more physics involved for example when u do an aileron roll u actually hav to accomidate for the nose dropping

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Game Info
Ubisoft Romania


US September 07, 2010
Europe September 03, 2010

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