First Look: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

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Tom Clancy has moved up from the ground combat to the skies. Check out the other side for pics, my thoughts on the demo, and the trailer.

[UPDATE] Now that the game is out, you can catch our full review here.

Enter the skies with this new fighter pilot simulation.

There are a few odd things about this game, but what I will hit on is the assistant mode. I thought that turning off assistant mode would just make it harder to fly.  Well I was right and I was wrong; assistant mode takes you out of the normal view, in this case the cockpit view, and tosses you into a very confusing view.  I suddenly felt like I was a camera man in a helicopter following the jet around and for some reason had control of the plane from a far away side view.  So now I can no longer see clearly where I am headed, and many of my planes went into the mountain side.

After smashing my plane into the mountain enough times, I decided to skip the tutorial level on the demo and jump into a fight. First thing I noticed is that this is not only an air to air simulator, but has air to ground and air to sea combat as well. That little fact made me happy because I don’t like sitting around in constant dog fights.

One great feature in this game is called ERS, I couldn’t find out what it stands for in the demo but I know what it does. Basically it is a tracking system for us new people at flight simulators. When you have your target locked in the system, you can hit the X button (XBox 360) and the game makes a trail for you to follow to get to your target. For aircraft it is a great way to find the best path to intercept your target and it updates as your target moves. For ground targets like tanks, it will take you up high enough so you can come down on the target without buildings getting in the way.

If you skip the whole assistant-off view, which you can’t because they make you play in that mode in the tutorial, then the rest of the game is very good for a fighter pilot simulator. Controls work very well and the graphics are great; this is Ubisoft after all. The demo for the XBox 360 is available now to Gold members until the 15th, and will be available to PS3 owners on the 26th. The game itself comes out on the 3rd of march, so click below if you want to make sure you get yours on time.

Pre-Order Tom Clancy’s HAWX

Pre-Order Tom Clancy’s Hawx: Prima Official Game Guide

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