Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. is a 3D dog fighting experience from Gameloft. The game is composed of missions that progress the story based on Tom Clancy’s novels. You play as David Crenshaw who is now out of the airforce, and is working for a private military company.
Every mission occurs in a different location across the globe. There are multiple objectives, to expand from just dogfighting, to protecting allies in the air and on the ground, striking specific locations, hitting enemy ground forces, and infiltrating enemy bases.
13 missions are included with a deluxe storyline. You fly over actual locations that are mapped to look like actual places including Washington D.C., Chicago, Amazonian Jungles, and the Middle East. 26 Planes are also included that are unlocked as you complete missions, and the most practical craft for a particular mission is always unlocked by the time you get to it.
Two control methods are included with either accelerometer controls, or a virtual joystick. Also you can view in the cockpit or externally. Local multiplayer is included over wifi or Bluetooth, but sadly nothing online. Gameloft live is also included for achievements.
It’s a great experience as you feel transported into the cockpit of great aircrafts. Then you really get into it as you tilt your device to fly, and fire upon ships all around. The only problem is that it isn’t ground breaking, we’ve seen this before, and there’s nothing new about it.
The 13 included missions will give you plenty to do with each mission requiring a couple of objectives. The locations you fly over give you a real connection to the real world which has yet to be seen in this genre.
The objectives vary a little so it’s not just dogfighting, but don’t expect too much difference. The objectives have different names, but they all come down to the same gameplay flying around firing on enemy aircrafts or ground units. Sometimes you’re protecting, others you're attacking, and others you're simply surviving.
The game has great production values from the 3D rendered environments and planes to the explosions. The ground below looks authentic from the actual locations which is a real nice added touch. Everything flows smoothly as you’re flying and firing against air or ground enemies.
The included sounds are authentic from the airplane engine sounds to the firing upon enemies and explosions. That’s about all that is included in the sound department though. The controls work well, either one you choose, but it’s so much better with accelerometer controls. The aircraft hud is easy to control as well, whether it’s your altitude, tilt, or firing various weapons.
The story is a nice addition to add some variability to the genre. The problem is the story is rather boring and doesn’t have any unique qualities from Tom Clancy, and isn’t an engaging read you want to get to the end of.
H.A.W.X. doesn’t really stand out in anyway. It definitely looks good, but the entire engine looks the same as F.A.S.T. or Skies of Glory. The storyline with actual missions and a few varying objectives are the only difference in the two games. The game isn’t evolutionary for the genre, or even revolutionary, it’s just gameloft’s version of SGN’s game.
F.A.S.T. is only $0.99 (at least it used to be before the new convoluted and expensive in-app purchase update. H.A.W.X. on the other hand is $6 more expensive with the only major difference the Tom Clancy name and story. If a game is great and a stand alone, it’s worth a higher price tag, but if a game is just like it sells for way less, it can’t be worth it.
The story is the major difference, and it’s a hassle to get through. There are no unique qualities in the story, and just feels like a rushed generalization of Tom Clancy’s work. No online play is included which is one of F.A.S.T.’s strong points with an extensive ranking system, and quick connections against anyone anywhere.
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. is a well made dogfighting simulator rendered in 3D. The problem it is $6.99 when F.A.S.T. costs $0.99. H.A.W.X. is just like F.A.S.T., but with the Tom Clancy name and story as well as the Gameloft name. Online multiplayer is also lacking, and you just get wifi and Bluetooth.
There’s no doubt H.A.W.X. is a well made game in every aspect with plenty to do, it just isn’t worth the $6.99 price of admission only because there’s a very comparable title at $0.99. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. is worth considering depending on how much you want a story, and if you like paying more money for something you can get for a lot less.
***Note our final rating below takes into account value which price plus comparison to competitors.