"As the Era of the Nation-State Draws Toward its End, the World of Warfare is Evolving Rapidly. New Challenges Demand New Solutions, Sometimes with Unpredictable Outcomes."
"H.A.W.X. is the best flight game so far this generation, and a worthy addition to the best in the Clancy stable. Game Informer
"H.A.W.X. feels more like a Top Gun movie than Ace Combat ever did. GamePlayer.com
"A rich and colourful game which will get the players to immerse in their cockpits. VandalOnline.com
GamerVision.com 9 of 10
It's hard to review H.A.W.X. without comparing it to Ace Combat 6, the only other flight action game with a modern setting available for current gen systems. There are many similarities between the two releases; from the missions, to the jets, and even the controls. One cannot overlook how much these two titles, published by completely different studios, have in common. That being said, it would be untrue to say that H.A.W.X. is simply an Ace Combat rip-off, or sequel, or anything of that nature. It introduces enough new gameplay mechanics, mission variety and visual distinctiveness to set it apart as a wholly well-made and enjoyable game...H.A.W.X. offers a fairly robust multi-player system, with a nice selection of game modes. One can play through all of the single player missions in on-line co-op mode, with up to four players in each mission. The game allows for drop-in/drop-out, and even offers the option of allowing players to play whatever mission the host chooses. This means that if you, as a player, have only progressed to the third mission, you are still able to join a co-op match in level nine, provided the host has already unlocked that mission. Each player in a co-op is also allowed to set his or her own level of difficulty, so one doesn't have to worry about entering a room that is above their skill level. The game keeps track of how many enemies each player has killed, and has a running leaderboard on the screen during the missions. There is also the option to play team deathmatch, either ranked or unranked, all the while earning experience...Although on the surface H.A.W.X. seems like an Ace Combat 6 clone, a deeper examination reveals that it has taken the Ace formula, and improved upon it. The incorporation of satellite imagery, a leveling system, and new control mechanics are enough to make this most recent Tom Clancy title soar over the competition. As a huge fan of the flight action genre, I can say that H.A.W.X. is this generation's true ace.
1Up.com 8 of 10
Game titles spelled with an out-of-place "X" immediately set off the bad-extreme-sports-theme warning sirens. This time it turns out to be a false alarm. HAWX takes a pass on pilot doodz, excessive brand placement, and the indie soundtrack. But don't expect a serious flight simulator either. HAWX wantonly bends aerodynamic laws in the name of having a good time. Its X-factor comes from making you feel like a top gun fighter-jock in every mission; Goose, Merlin, and Iceman optional..For the work put into developing these strong online modes, their inconsistent incorporation into the game comes as a surprise. HAWX does co-op right, with the entire campaign available as you unlock it. Friends can even join games in progress, but only if you remember to create your game as online at the start; there's no way to allow them in midway if you didn't. The biggest source of frustration comes from the poor integration with the system for advancing your pilot in the game. Throughout HAWX you earn experience to level up and unlock planes and special weapon packages, but in multiplayer only the host receives the extras awarded for completing the level. If everyone is on their first play through, this creates an annoying situation where the second, third, and fourth chairs each need to host and play through that level again to get the rewards the game presumes you have after that stage...Despite these annoyances, the online play -- particularly co-op -- gives HAWX significant replayability. Everything from the picture-perfect planes to the stunning real world environments looks great, even after multiple passes. And the flyability afforded by the well-executed controls makes you feel like a pro -- it immerses you in the world of being a fighter pilot without ever taking off. Return trips stay fresh too, because you'll find yourself playing out unique mini-stories as each enemy-dogfighting encounter unfolds anew. HAWX is a remarkably exhilarating entry in a genre that seemed to have been stuck in a rut.
- Garnett Lee