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Tom Clancy's Hawx 2

Flight to the death

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Patriotic Game

Reading like the draft script for a Team America: World Police sequel, the plot sees the Hawx team combating that ultra fashionable, faceless triumvirate of catch-all enemies: insurgents, terrorists and separatists. With an unexplained rediscovered sense of patriotism, the Hawx team are now back flying with their respective national air forces, combating an enemy that is hell-bent on destabilising Russia.

TOM CLANCY’S HAWX 2

Dunno how to fly, I'll just have to wing it

With more holes than a Chilean mineshaft, it's a plot that leaves you scratching your head for hours on end, wondering how a small band of separatists (that are all but annihilated in one of the opening levels) can bombard your plane with city-wide flak and afford to send up hundreds of well-trained pilots flying the world's most expensive military aircraft. In fact, I calculated I had shot down some $20bn worth of aircraft before the plot eventually stabilised into a more plausible – at least by Clancy's standards – dissident ultra-nationalist coup d'état against the pro-Western Russian presidency.

As preposterous as it may be, the plot serves to place you in the cockpit of - and in direct combat with - the world's most advanced jet fighters. But even here, Ubisoft fails in believability. Apart from accurate models and cockpits, and varied weapon loadouts, aircraft are practically indistinguishable.

TOM CLANCY’S HAWX 2

Got the whole place on lock-down

The American F-X planes, Migs, Eurofighters and even Sukhois are stripped of their individuality, and all perform similarly . The Harrier GR9 even seems to have forgotten its V/STOL button, choosing instead to land in regular fashion on the British aircraft carrier. Worse still, the newer, supermanoeuvrable SU-30MKI, SU-35BM, SU-47 and F22 Raptor planes have all inexplicably had their vector thrusting disabled, so you can forget extreme agility at higher velocities, let alone pulling of a Pugachev's Cobra.

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