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February 9 2009
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
12/3/2009UbisoftUbisoftUbisoft Romania
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-8$109.95
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H.A.W.X. looks absolutely stunning.
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This is an gameplay screen with HUD.

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Flying near a Space Shuttle launch!
One of my biggest disappointments with the Playstation 3 is that there have been no modern flight sims to enjoy. Namco's Ace Combat series has bypassed the system to date with Ace Combat 6 being a XBox 360 only title, with no word on that changing.

Fortunately there is some relief coming from Ubisoft with Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.. Developed by Ubisoft's Romanian studio this game looks set to set new benchmarks for flight sims on consoles (and perhaps even the PC as well). So let's see what this strangely titled game is all about...

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Planes look wonderful in Ubisoft's H.A.W.X.
The setting is 2012. As the era of the nation-state draws quickly to a close, the rules of warfare evolve even more rapidly. More and more nations become increasingly dependent on Private Military Companies (PMCs) – elite mercenaries with a lax view of the law. The Reykjavik Accords further legitimize their existence by authorizing their right to serve in every aspect of military operations. There goes the neighborhood…

So what is H.A.W.X. exactly? Well it actually stands for High Altitude Warfare Experimental Squadron (OK, so we don't know what happened to the "S" from Squadron either). Events in the game actually take place between those in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 and Tom Clancy's EndWar, although we're a little unsure if the stories will link up at all.

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Another action packed screen!
In terms of what is included in the game Ubisoft have confirmed the inclusiosn of over 60 fighter jets from around the globe including the including F-22, F-35 and the Eurofighter althoguh other jets spotted in screens and trailers include the A-10, AV-8B Harrier, F-16C, Dassault Rafale and Mig-35 among others.

One of the biggest differences for this game over other flight sims is the inclusion of E.R.S. which is an in-game technology that helps turn novice aviators into elite pilots of the future. The Enhanced Reality System is the backbone of your flight experience: radars and incoming missile detection, damage control system, tactical map and information relay, and weapons trajectory control. E.R.S. also allows you to issue orders to your squadron. You can look at the E.R.S. system in Tom Clancy's HAWX in the same fashion as the Cross-Com system assisted gamers in GRAW2.

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Check out how busy the skies are in H.A.W.X.!
Multi-player will play a large part in the game. First of all H.A.W.X. will include 4-player co-op througout the campaign mode (Which we assume will be online rather then split-screen) while 8-player Deathmatch will also be available (this is certainly online).

As you can see from the surrounding screenshots H.A.W.X. looks quite stunning. Ground textures are detailed, and the number of planes, rockets, explosions and smoke trailers in the skies also impresses.

While this game was initially targeting a September 2008 release documents from E3 confirm that the game will now see a release in Q'1 2009 and in early 2009 the game was pegged with a date of March 12, 2009. Given our love of flight sims, the quality of many Ubisoft action titles, and from what we have seen this should certainly meet expectations. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. is one to keep an eye on.