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E3 08: Tom Clancy’s HAWX Hands On

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Tom Clancy’s HAWX is the game at E3 I wasn’t expecting to find. I’ve never really been a dog fighting game fan. But my hands on time with the game impressed me so much. The game is out of this world. HAWX takes place in the near Tom Clancy future. The coolest part of the game is that HAWX’s missions integrate into other Tom Clancy games. For example, the demo MP game at Cape Canaveral where you must defend a space shuttle launch is ripped from a prior Ghost Recon title where you were on the ground in the same conflict waiting for air support. In HAWX, that’s you. The game is aiming at flight sim fans but also tossing in stuff for the fans of the Clancy game fans as well.

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HAWX will feature 18 missions and over 50 planes. There will be 4 player cooperative play over live and also 8 players for PvP games. Behind closed doors there was a multiplayer dog fighting demo of the game which I played for a bit. The visuals in the game are very well done and were redrawn from satellite mapping of the locations that are being replicated in game for authenticity.

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Flying your plane is split between two modes. In the first mode the plane flies comfortably and acrobatics are disables. This allows for novice and hardcore players to be on equal footing and is referred to in game as E.R.S and assistance modes. In the MP demo however you’ll be locking on to enemies and getting locked on to. When you are locked on to, it’s time to switch views to third person view of your plane to perform aerobatic moves to avoid missiles. It adds a lot of tension to the game to try and get away from missiles heading at you in every direction by having to quickly switch to the 3rd person view. HAWX is still in development and will be out in Q1 of 09.

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