HAWX Updated Cooperative Hands-On

We hit the unfriendly skies in a pair of brand-new missions set above American soil.

Just last week, we brought you our first hands-on look at the co-op feature found in Ubisoft's upcoming air-combat game HAWX. Based on a gameplay session at a London press event, we told you about the basics of piloting a jet fighter in a team of four and how the game ties into the greater Tom Clancy universe. Recently, though, Ubisoft held an event in San Francisco to give American press a chance to experience a few brand-new co-op missions: Washington DC and Chicago.

Before jumping into co-op, we acclimated ourselves to the game's controls by taking a sneak peek at the public demo, due to be released in February. This mission takes place in the skies above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and offers a tutorial on the game's accessible control scheme. You're guided through the basics of moving through the sky and firing your weapons, plus a few advanced techniques such as drifting (which is essentially a way of performing a midair U-turn). It's all pretty simple stuff, at least on the default difficulty. However, you have the option to move to advanced difficulty, which makes piloting your jet substantially more challenging because it removes the various assists that keep your plane on the right track.

The Pentagon could use some help right about now.

Having conquered the air drones terrorizing the skies of Brazil, we moved on to the first America-based mission in the game, which was Washington DC. Prior to the mission, we had the option to choose our aircraft, a process in which you need to consider the requirements of the upcoming mission against the attributes of various jets. Things such as air-to-air versus air-to-ground capabilities are key, but each plane also has attributes for speed, handling, and armor. We settled on the F-22 Raptor, a great balance of each.

This first mission gave us the goal of defending the heart of Washington from PMC cargo planes dropping ground forces. It required us to divide our attention between enemies in the sky and those below. With such a huge altitude difference, this is where co-op strategy really comes into play, given that you'll probably want to divide your team into antiair and antiground forces. Taking out enemies in the air is definitely trickier because they can dodge and juke your missiles even when locked-on. Ground forces are usually easier, in that you're required to make a quick pass over the earth below, and your only real challenge is making sure that you don't get so low that you smash into a building.

The next stage in this mission took us from defending a bunch of politicians on the ground to one very important politician in the air, given that we had to escort Air Force One and keep it safe from a flurry of Russian MiG-23 jets. In this scenario, a good co-op strategy would be to let a pair of pilots play defense and the other two offense. That is to say, some players remain close to the president's plane and the others go take on the enemies before they get within firing range. Although our group was a little more scattered and freewheeling, we still managed to keep the president safe and sound.

Beautiful downtown Chicago.

The next mission brought us to the Midwest, above the skies of downtown Chicago. In this scenario, PMCs have installed a massive radar jammer in the city. Your role is to defend an AWAC used to detect enemy units as it flies over the city. The trick here is that you have to stay within a relatively small radius surrounding the AWAC because getting too far away will wreak havoc on your in-flight instruments, turning your heads-up display into a static-filled mess. If you're successful here, you can move on to the next stage of the mission, which involves defending ground troops on the streets below. As you'd imagine, this gets awfully difficult when it involves buzzing in close to the towering skyscrapers that make up Chicago's skyline.

Thus concluded our time with this pair of America-focused missions from HAWX. Other chapters in the campaign will bring you to places such as the Middle East, South America, and the Caribbean, so there should be a lot for globetrotters to enjoy. No release date has been announced, but you can expect to see more on HAWX in the coming weeks and months.

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Discussion

132 comments
shoam_96
shoam_96

Some one have A CD-KEY For thise game ????????

mspranav
mspranav

its good .. the gameplay is awesome

swapneelvaidya
swapneelvaidya

played the demo and the game is simply marvelous

elPetrucci
elPetrucci

assistance off is when the camera is far away... its a little confusing

honglong17
honglong17

with what they do in end war, i hope ubi with make this game better than that

nimus7777
nimus7777

o and i also loved the gameplay especialy when you turn on assistance and it becomes a 3rd person view from far away

nimus7777
nimus7777

i hope i can play local since none of my xbox live friends will get this game and the only ones who love the game like me are gonna play local with me

Vasot
Vasot

I have to say the latest screenshots look awesome... I hope the game has a good gameplay too

F0rz4k3n
F0rz4k3n

This game looks sweet. Would you use a gamepad or a joystick? It's cross plat form so i guess gamepad...

pluti_nice
pluti_nice

I personally prefer flight simulators, this is arcade, but I have to admit, this game's graphics look amazing, especially the terrain.

Shinkada
Shinkada

This doesn't seem to mention whether the co-op is local or online only. I imagine online only, with graphics like those.

JB2B
JB2B

I'm really considering getting this one. I got that other flight action game Ace Combat 6 and it's so cool to just fly. And this one seems to be just like that one, but then with better graphics and environments. Gonna depend largely on the reviews if I get it.

hassy94
hassy94

also there's something wrong with the perspective, in first person mode you feel as if the plane is half as big as a 30 story building while flying past it.

hassy94
hassy94

The demo was crap, the textures were awful and the gameplay was boring. As john smith said: "Avoid this like the plague".

simonsworld
simonsworld

oh yea mac daddy, eat ya heart out tom cruise! "woooooo.." as a wise man once declared.

johnsm1th123
johnsm1th123

Kiddies arcade game avoid like the plague. Get Wings Over Israel from Thirdwire games or IL-2 1946 from UBISOFT

remark666
remark666

can't wait and oh, farcry2 is crap

nhall00195
nhall00195

They have failed the majority of the flying fan base in two major ways...NO TAKEOFFS AND LANDINGS!!! RUBBISH...WILL NOT BUY

kiloai
kiloai

Finally a good flying game.

ronraf916
ronraf916

a pretty good game... high flying games.....

tsyunami
tsyunami

hey don't down the Farcry series man.....saying ubisoft is crap is saying farcry is crap and that's actually a pretty good game

Z3R0B4NG
Z3R0B4NG

i hope the PC version will be MODable... so 12 year old kids can do better textures for the planes as what we can BUY for real $$$ on Xbox Live for Ace Combat 6

alishaikh199
alishaikh199

For flight simulator just get Flight simulator LOL, let this game stay Arcady

Waffen_SS84
Waffen_SS84

As usual Ubicrap is too scared to release a demo, which probably mean the game will suck. I bet we'll get a bug before takeoff.

mindgamers
mindgamers

i hope this flight sim will be great, i need refreshing since so many FPS/Action game i played today.

tindo10
tindo10

finally an arcade pc flight sim

paskalion
paskalion

omg cant wait 4 this 2 came out :P

A1B2C3CAL
A1B2C3CAL

This is looking good. I hope it is.

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

Just hope they have simulation mode since flight sims are relatively rare now on the pc.

leechh
leechh

Looks good, hope it don't end in a big disapointment

Koal_Jadian
Koal_Jadian

Cool, I hope this leads to more flight sims and hopefully another X-Wing game

taker254isback
taker254isback

This might be interesting,acecombat with a realistic storyline....let see

Syredeathrooper
Syredeathrooper

graphics look great...True, ace combat was fantastic, but it'll never hurt to play a non-flight simulator-like (in other words, something that is less boring and more enjoyable) game. But seeing the other weirdly serious and politically dense storied tom clacny games, i doubt this will have an enthralling story-line like AC5 and AC6 had. But im still anticipating...

scorpio85_rome
scorpio85_rome

what the hell u guys are just passing on the legend ace just like that ... i like hawx but .. ace will still be the remembered for the best jet sim game ever.. hell ya cant believe this next gen rookies .. new new new forget the legend ha

shawn7324
shawn7324

With no signs of a future Ace Combat anytime soon, I've already selected HAWX as one of only a few games I'll be able to buy New this year.

Hawk-On
Hawk-On

It better be a cockpit view, coz if it dosent, it is a good enough reason for me not to buy it. it seem that you have to watch the plane in third person when you turn off the assistance thingy in the the plane. Major turn off if u ask me. Ill stick to AC6 until im sure about this game.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

hmm... am not sure about this one... i will probably wait and see it anyone says anything good about it... the only thing here i really feel anything for is that it has co-op :p

Big_Bang_Boy
Big_Bang_Boy

It's great to play a game Like ACE COMBAT on PC

NPKrews
NPKrews

Actually yes there is a cockpit perspective. And the Ace Combat 6 flight sticks are compatable with HAWX if what I read was correct

3xca11bur
3xca11bur

i hope this game comes out with one of those joystick and throttle controllers like ace combat 6

Glenlo
Glenlo

Does anyone know whether there's gonna be a playable cockpit perspective? And what about downloadable content. If there's anywhere near the amount of ridiculously overpriced and game changing content that Ace Combat 6 had then people shouldn't buy this game no matter how good it is if they care about the future of a fair/consumer controlled videogame market.

lilmurfer
lilmurfer

this game seems so realistic in terms of battle and mechanics. Definitely a must-buy

tig1979
tig1979

quietly optimistic about this