Va va voom?
Talking of insane manoeuvres, Hawx 2 has a penchant for stalling, which sees you stall at low speeds irrespective of attitude. It's bad enough when the plane is horizontal, at a zero-degree critical angle of attack, but its unforgivable when the nose is down and the critical angle of attack is negative. This basic misunderstanding of stall dynamics means the ground is often the game's deadliest foe, especially during air-to-ground combat, where low-level flying is required.
Rocket off, shooting sideways
It's not Hawx 2's only unintended loss of thrust. The game regularly stalls in its side missions, in which you man UAV drones and AC-130 gunships. A direct rip-off from Modern Warfare and other military FPSs, the missions are enjoyable enough in isolation, but they are overused throughout the 12-hour single player campaign, and the point-and-click mechanic of high altitude precision striking soon becomes tedious.
In a last ditch effort to retain interest, the game throws a few other novelties at you, such as clearing sea minefields to allow safe passage for naval cruisers, flying past large radio antennas to look for signs of tampering and, best of all, taking down multiple nuclear ICBMs before they reach escape velocity. But arriving towards the end of the game, these additional elements, although welcome, will arrive too late for most players.
This game may, ironically, fail to take off
The real disappointment of Hawx 2 is not the near homogeneousness of its aircraft, or the overuse of point-and-click side missions. It's not even that it fails to improve upon the original. The real disappointment is that Ubisoft has, like so many developers before it, crashed and burned in disproving one of gaming's enduring ironies: that flying a $150m F22-Raptor in combat against multiple enemies is neither exhilarating nor fun.
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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.