Tom Clancyâ€™s â€œH.A.W.X 2â€ or HAWX 2 by Ubisoft, is one of the finest flight simulator games Iâ€™ve ever played, but it is not for everyone. Everything about â€œHAWX 2â€ is oddly engrossing.
Visually, â€œHAWX 2â€ looks good â€¦ That is, until you fly a plane too close to the ground or building. It makes sense that the game looks terrible so up close. Jets shouldnâ€™t be flying 25 meters from the ground anyways.
All of the planes I flew looked detailed. The visuals from the UAV and AC-130 Gunship missions looked as I assume they would in real life. The cutscenes for â€œHAWX 2â€ remind me of typical Tom Clancy games, but they feel graphically inferior to Splinter Cell and other Ubisoft-produced Tom Clancy games.
There wasnâ€™t anything noteworthy â€“â€“ in a good or bad way â€“â€“ in the audio department for â€œHAWX 2.â€ The jets, missiles and explosions all sound good, but wonâ€™t transform your living room into a battleground. The voice actors in the game are good enough to get the job done as well.
Despite a steep learning curve for the gameâ€™s controls, flying a plane has never felt more fluid to control. For the first couple hours I was struggling to keep my plane on target. After you learn how to handle the plane, it plays smoother than butter.
â€œHAWX 2â€ knows its strengths â€“â€“ dog fighting and flying multi-million dollar air combat machines â€“â€“ but feels the need to force you to play boring-as-hell Unmanned Aerial Vehicle missions. These UAV missions are basically interactive cutscenes.
The AC-130 Gunship missions are better than â€œCall of Duty: Modern Warfare,â€ but it is just a mini-game distraction from flying the â€œrealâ€ planes. With online play and a decent selection of flying missions, â€œHAWX 2â€ will have no problem keeping aspiring pilots coming back for more.
As long as â€œHAWX 2â€ keeps you in the cockpit where you belong, this game shines.
Video game reviewer Ian Hopkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.