Tom Clancy's Hawx 2
Flight to the death
Review Just like its predecessor, Hawx 2 falls fouls of one of gaming's most frequently exasperating ironies: dogfighting.
Of all the approximations of real-world thrills, aerial combat must rank as one of the most exciting imaginable. Time and time again, however, those thrills fail to translate through the medium of videogames.
Plane and simple
Hawx 2 has all the right elements in place: bleeding-edge aircraft and weaponry, multiple bogeys and truly omnidirectional combat. It even enjoys real-world topography, courtesy of up-to-date satellite mapping. But the mainstay of aerial combat suffers from the tiresome, prescriptive central mechanics, which down so many other instantly forgettable flying games.
As with those games, mastery over Hawx 2's skies requires incessant repetition of accelerate, brake, bank, spin and fire in air-to-air combat, and overshoot, bank, line up and drop ordinance in air-to-ground combat.
Ready, aim, flyer
The best flying games camouflage this limitation by supplementing the experience elsewhere. In Il-2 Sturmovik it was historical accuracy and truly scalable plane handling. And in Crimson Skies it was narrative and sandbox-style variety and choice. But while Hawx 2 attempts to do the same through plot and variety of mission structure, it fails miserably.
Next page: Patriotic Game
I noticed a little mention of IL2 there- to anyone who remembers it, or enjoys real sims, take a look at IL2: 1946 and install the community-built Ultrapack 2.1. What the community is doing with this old sim is truly breathtaking. Thrilling low-level ground attack missions against heavy flak, intercepting bomber streams, carrier battles, massive online wars and campaigns, and about every important WW2 aircraft- and some from the korean war too to boot. Dig out your copy and get playing, there is no better combat flying experience.
i tried Hawx 1 and didn't really like it. i got Ace Combat 6 soon after and was happy to see that they did get most of it right. the two games compare quite well, but obviouly UbiSoft has some work to do if they're going to get anywhere near the quality of Ace Combat.
Where's The Fun?
Me and my friends play Battlefield 1942 Battle of Britain multi-player online. So much fun it hurts. Quite an old game now but there are always a few servers active (check out TAW).
Dogfighting in WW2 era planes, being shot down and parachuting into enemy territory then sneaking into their airbases and nicking their planes all good stuff!
...on the Acorn - no-one has come close to that for dogfighting fun since.
Have you tried Wings of Prey?
Demo available, about 1.1 gig though.