Tactical Fanboy
Tactical Tailor
Home Categories TacticalFanboy Archives Email

Review for H.A.W.X. 2

H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade flight game. Unlike a simulator, which tries to replicate the realities of flight, the arcade flight genre simplifies the process to make it more enjoyable for a wider audience. Luckily, this is the way I prefer it. Who needs reality slapping them in the face while shooting down enemy craft or doing multiple barrel rolls at 1400+ miles per hour? Not me, and it makes for quite the action packed experience.

There are several modes available in H.A.W.X 2: Story, Free Flight, Survival, Arcade, and Multiplayer.

Story mode takes place in the near future and is told from the perspective of pilots from three countries: USA, UK, and Russia, and their involvement in quelling insurgent and Russian Ultranationalist activities across the globe. This is somewhat familiar territory for recent military-based games, but it still works. The inclusion of Ghost Recon and references to other Clancy games is also a nice touch. Most missions involve dogfighting in fighter planes, but the occasional UAV, recon, bombing, or AC-130 mission adds a bit of variety. After completing the entire story, you can play custom versions of the missions using any unlocked planes and loadouts you have. It’s pretty fun to tear through earlier missions in an F-22 Raptor or A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Free Flight is simply a threat-free way to try out your new planes in any of the game’s environments.

Survival is, what else, a survival mode. You pick your plane and fight off waves of increasingly difficult enemies until you finally lose. It’s a good way to gauge a plane’s abilities in combat situations.

Arcade is one of the more interesting modes. Every story mission is represented, but also has a certain restriction placed on it. This can be anything from being allowed only your cannon to being forced to play an entire mission in assistance OFF mode. These missions then become either fairly simple or frustratingly difficult.

Finally, multiplayer allows for other players to face off in matches. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a match online, so I can’t properly review this portion of the game.

In-game environments look incredible. Thanks to GeoEye, every location is highly detailed and are a real treat to view, especially in HD. Planes are also equally detailed, but the human models and non aerial vehicles leave a bit to be desired. Of course, the main focus in the game is the planes, so detailed people and ground forces may be asking a bit too much.

The controls are simple enough. There are buttons for acceleration and breaking, yaw, flare release, target acquisition, and your weapons. There is also assistance OFF mode, which removes the game’s limitations on plane movement, allowing you to perform impressive maneuvers at a greater risk of stall. In this mode the camera also zooms way out. When paired with the increased maneuverability, this can make combat a bit more difficult. Difficulty, of which there are three levels, also affects plane movement.

The game features a rewards system. Defeating enemies and completing missions nets you experience points which raise your in-game level. Certain actions also complete challenges, which often reward you with additional experience. You can use points earned while leveling up to purchase new weapons packs, planes, and overall upgrades. Continuously using a plane will also raise the mastery of that plane, which allows for greater levels of customization.

So, to buy or not to buy? I say go for it. I found it to be enjoyable, and the multiple modes and unlocks can keep you busy for a while. Plus, F-22 Raptors! ‘Nuff said.

[Review was done using the Xbox 360 version]

Comments are closed.