Building on the success of the first game, HAWX 2 brings the series back into the spotlight with huge environments, improved gameplay and enemies as deadly as any that gamers have come up against in the original title.
The game is set in the near future where resistance factions from Russia and the Middle East have propelled the world into a state of emergency due to the mysterious disappearance of three nuclear weapons.
Players can unravel the story from three different perspectives – a US squadron, a Russian faction and a British Navy force, each with their own pilots, planes and plot developments.
In an interesting move, the game ties into narratives seen in other Tom Clancy games with recognisable characters from the series making appearances in HAWX 2.
Among other new additions, the sequel boasts a huge environment of 130 square kilometres. The game’s use of high-resolution GeoEye satellite technology gives locations including Mexico, the Arctic Circle, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in-game worlds that are both visually impressive as well as realistic.
With the action taking place closer than ever before, gamers can witness and experience the shattering explosions of enemy aircrafts more intensely in some of the highest-octane dogfights seen in a flight game.
Players are able to wield new weapons in HAWX 2 including a missile that can be controlled mid-flight.
The game features an upgraded pilot assistance system that gives users the option of braking and flying as slow as they like without any on-board computer interference.
A new tracker also allows pilots to follow targets using UAVs and then strike from above. One of the biggest changes in the game is the improved AI system that ensures enemies perform as unpredictably as the players themselves. Enemies now have flares and know the appropriate times to use them. They can also pull off tight cornering techniques and use advanced dogfighting manoeuvres.
Other changes include the ability to take off and land on bases and carriers, attack enemies in the dead of night with precision bombing missions and a variety of new aircraft.
Playable flying machines include the A-10A Thunderbolt, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, Eurofighter Typhoon, AV-8B Harrier II Plus, SU-37 Terminator and the Rafale, as well as bigger models like the AC-130U Spooky and new UAVs.
Gamers can again play out the entire campaign with friends in the four-player co-op mode via System Link or online.
Consumers who pre-order the game from HMV will receive more extras. Early buyers can grab an exclusive Tiger bonus pack which includes an additional multiplayer map and early access to the F-18 plane.
The bonus also includes the Tiger aircraft skin and weapon pack that contains weaponry for the F-18.
HAWX 2 also benefits from the famous Tom Clancy name – a gaming franchise inspired by novels that began in 1998 with Tom Clancy’s Rainbox Six on PC and a range of consoles.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell arrived in April this year and received praise from the gaming press. It also enjoyed two weeks at No.1 in the All Formats games chart. And with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier due next year the Tom Clancy series continues to strengthen.
With improved enemy AI, gameplay tweaks, new weapons and aircraft, HAWX 2 is establishing itself as one of this year’s must-have action flight sims.
HAWX 2 arrives on September 3rd on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii.