by Ryan Cope
previewed on PC
And yet another Tom Clancy
Yes, that’s right, he is back with yet another game. Who, you might ask? Well, if you read the title then you will know it is none other than Tom Clancy. Tom Clancy, the legendary writer of anything military or war who then plasters his name on just about anything, ranging from books (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six) to games (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six) and even to everyday items like Tom Clancy's Fridge or Sandwich.
“Oh no, not another Tom Clancy game” some of you might say, while others may jump around excitedly, holding a copy of Rainbow Six and wearing a pair of Sam Fisher night vision goggles while singing: “YES, another Tom Clancy game!” And I’m sure there’s a large portion of people who will utter one simple and wonderful word: “meh.” The word of indecision or lack of care. There may even be a small and unbelievable, but real all the same, fraction of you who will say: “Tom who?” If that’s the case, O must ask you where you have been hiding for the past billion years? In a cave marked: ‘Tom Clancy’s bomb shelter’?
Regardless of who you are or what your reaction is to the news, it won’t negate the fact that, yes, there is yet another Tom Clancy game in the works. It is not a new series but a sequel to one of the lesser-known/popular titles: Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. (High Altitude Warfare eXperimental squadron), the game that allowed you to take to the skies in a wide variety of jets in order to fight the good fight against ‘bad people’. After receiving mixed reviews (IGN – 6.7/10, Gamespot – 7.5/10, Official Xbox Magazine – 8.5/10), it will be interesting to see if the sequel, Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2, will blast its predecessor out of the skies, or nose dive in to a fiery end.
All pilots to their crafts!
If anyone asks you what you do for a living, you can say: “well, I’m part of a super-secret fighter squadron known as the H.A.W.X. and I’m the best of the best, I’m an elite (no not Halo) and I’ve been trained by the ultimate.” Obviously, this is assuming that you actually are a H.A.W.X. pilot or you’ve been hit very hard on the head and led to believe you are one. If not, then you can at least say you’ve played as a character that is one. And that’s precisely what you can say after playing Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. and H.A.W.X. 2
HA.W.X. pilots have access to top of the range fighters equipped with cutting-edge technology that gives them the advantage over any enemy they face. They also have the best aircraft training ever known; they can slip into hostile territory without being detected, strike heavily at an enemy stronghold or critical point and haul their asses out of there before the ‘man’ on the ground can muster his forces together and fire a single shot.
The H.A.W.X storyline is set in the same universe as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. In fact, the original takes place between the events of GRAW 2 and Tom Clancy’s End War. The sequel, H.A.W.X. 2 takes place after the first (as sequels usually do). Things have gotten worse since the original and as part of an elite sky dominating jet owning team, you’re sent off to deal with some pretty sticky situations.
The Russians have managed to lose three nuclear warheads and they seem to have fallen into the wrong hands (as usual). Terrorist groups are attacking Russia and Europe on a regular basis and something needs to be done about it. However, at the same time, there is a rise in insurgence leadership and general unrest in the Middle East where the H.A.W.X. are sent in to neutralise any threat. This time around the story will be split into three separate parts with different air forces to accompany each one. The player will have access to the American H.A.W.X., the British Navy and the Russian Special Forces unit. Each team will have their own unique pilots and supporting cast. Overall, there will be 32 licensed planes available for the player to swoosh around in.
Planes that come well equipped
Since the H.A.W.X. pilots are the best of the best and this is a Tom Clancy game after all (he loves his gadgets), the player will have access to the top range of fighters and equipment. Some of the features in H.A.W.X. 2 will allow players to get up close and personal in head-to-head close-range dogfights with other pilots, watching in great detail as their guns rip through another aircraft, flinging bits of metal and scrap into the sky whilst surrounded by a great gushing explosion. Unlike the first, all planes will now take off at the beginning of each mission and land in/on bases and carriers at the end (a nice little suggestion from the fans of the original). Taking off/landing during the day will be different to during the night, so expect some diversity in the gameplay. There will also be silent UAVs, night precision bombing and air-to-air refuelling during a mission. The AI has also been improved, which will make them act much more realistically especially in dogfights where they will try to dodge and manoeuvre their way out of danger.
Prep for flight
With the inclusion of four-player story co-op and up to eight-players versus, it looks like the multiplayer system has been given a good thrust as well. So are you ready to once again open the canopy, pop into the chair, strap yourself in and start flicking some take off buttons, before shooting off at sound-breaking speed in order to flip, dive, loop de loop and blow lots and lots of stuff up? If you are, then either get yourself a copy of the original or pick up your PC joystick and start pretending you’re a fighter pilot while you wait for Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 to zoom on to the shelves.