HAWX Multiplayer Hands-On

Can Team Deathmatch still be Team Deathmatch when played thousands of feet above the ground?

120 Comments

From Rainbow Six to Ghost Recon and even Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy games have a long lineage of strong online multiplayer. But one key difference between these games and the upcoming Tom Clancy's HAWX is that in this game, your feet won't be planted safely on the ground. Instead, battles are waged thousands of feet above the earth with the latest in fighter jet technology. However, while the altitude may be different, you'll still find that most familiar of online multiplayer features: Team Deathmatch. We recently had the good fortune of being shot out of the sky by members of Ubisoft during a round of multiplayer matches this past week, and we're happy to say we had a pretty fun time with it.

Blue Team and Green Team: Bitter rivals.
Blue Team and Green Team: Bitter rivals.

Right from the outset, we should probably mention that HAWX's multiplayer capabilities aren't limited to the competitive variety. We've already covered how the entire game can be played cooperatively, but this is the first time we've been able to go at it in a less civil environment. Essentially, multiplayer is a spiced-up version of Team Deathmatch. You split up into a blue team and a green team, and the basic objective is a simple one: be the first team to reach a predetermined number of kills.

But of course the path to that goal isn't always an easy one. It's not simply a matter of routine dogfighting--following enemy jets, locking on, and firing a missile at them. What happens over the course of the game is that as you rack up kill streaks, you unlock support items for your team that alter the game with a sudden shift in your team's favor. You can suppress the other team's radar in order to remove any trace of your team's presence from the screens of enemies, send in a repair drone to bring the integrity of your jets back to factory condition, impose an altitude limit on the other team, restrict what sort of missiles the other team can fire, and so on. In our experience, the game does a good job of letting you know which support items are in effect so that it doesn't feel like a storm of random upgrades.

The EMP Blast support item will mess you up.
The EMP Blast support item will mess you up.

Whether triggering support items or collecting individual kills, everything you do in multiplayer earns you XP points (which can also be done in single-player, and the points go toward the same overall total). However, the fastest way to earn more XP is by completing challenges. These are feats performed throughout the game that earn you XP in bunches, and they include easy objectives, such as winning five total Team DM games, and not-so-easy objectives, such as deflecting 10 missiles from your team's ace. The benefit of XP is that you'll unlock new ranks, weapons, and jets for use in these matches, so while you'll start in an ancient, practically steampunk Russian MiG-21, you'll eventually get to ride in the much nicer F-22 Raptor or B-2 Spirit. The whole rank-and-reward process feels compelling, almost like Call of Duty 4 set in the sky.

Another fun feature that looks like it should add some personality to different matches is the way your performance will be displayed in the form of various post-match awards. These isolate the top performers in various categories and, conversely, those who didn't quite pull their weight. Some of the obvious awards include Assassin, the player who does the most damage during a match, and Life Guard, the player who deflects the most missiles. Other awards include Iceman, the player who recovers from a stall the closest to the ground, and Stuntman, the player who crashes the most. These awards don't have any effect on gameplay, but they do provide a nice chance to razz teammates after a match.

Multiplayer maps will take you across the globe, including Tokyo as shown here.
Multiplayer maps will take you across the globe, including Tokyo as shown here.

We already knew that HAWX looked like it was going to provide a fun, if not terribly realistic, take on the flight combat genre. But now we're happy to see that it also sports a fairly compelling competitive multiplayer component. You can expect to see our review in the next couple of weeks.

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GameScoutKL

maybe in the near future where the game takes place, they changed the capital. ;)

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ngalland

WTF??? The capital of Brazil is not Rio, it´s Brasilia. This game may be fun but is seriously out of touh with reality.

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Retroman47

I've played the Ace Combat games which I enjoyed even though They were difficult. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to purchase this game.

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koori-7854

cool

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Teslaroq

If you ever get your hands on the game disc. be aware that the game with freeze from time to time. there have been reports of sound faults, game freezing at start menu, and loading time outs. PS3 version have had no online gameplays. Patches are not available. ... They better make one. **** it. :D

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sub-raid

I played the demo and it rocks.

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sephirothbane87

still waiting for the demo to download on my ps3, not a big fan on flight sims but it looks fun so il give it a chance

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Teslaroq

have it, fun. confusing sometimes. but all in all. its the best.

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renigade16

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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xboxbilly05

Also the anti physics mode where you can make the plane do a back flip is awesome :|. The controls are well laid out, takes time to learn them, but its good. Also the tracking system is also an excellent addition, and breaking the sound barrier is fun ;D. Cant wait to fly the eurofighter.

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renigade16

WTF fake compared to Ace Combat 6?!?! Are you joking Ace sucks. Just plain and simple. the storyline is crap. and don't even get started on the multi. This game is realistic and futuristic at the same time. mot to mention a blast when blowing your friends out of the sky. charonill -You my friend are alone in your opinion.

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xboxbilly05

Im still gonna get this game, its awesome, hope the story is as good as ace combat's are. THE ONLY THING IS, I hate that when you tilt the plane sideways, it doesnt turn. Like you have to pull back on the stick. Which sucks because im used to tilting a plane to make it turn, in this you can go sideways, and fly in a straight line. Apart from that I will be getting this, the fact that a lot of other people are too, means I wont be alone online =D. I also thought before playing the demo that i wouldnt get this because it lacked realism and you cant land or takeoff, but after playing, the action is so intense. who cares if you carry over 150 missiles:L Its still action packed and enjoyable. If a game is too realistic, it defeats the fun factor. Thanks Ubisoft europe :P Also I like the real places, instead of fake ones. It may be a google earth attempt at ground, but it beats other fake countries :D. I think this game will get a 8.5 score on gamespot.

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Kougeru

akram112, you can use the controllers on the PC version...and a ton of different joysticks. i think the PC version will have the most players...jet fans usually are on PC afterall, and steam will really help that, so im getting PC version (looks and runs a lot better anyway, least on my comp)

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akram112

Been playin the demo on PC. While the console versions could be really better due to the controllers, the PC version is still a lot of fun. Fingers crossed for this one......

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snipermx06

don't know about you guys but WarHawk is a good game. i put more than 40 ++++ hours into the game. if you're a good pilot in the game is very enjoyable, especially when there is a dog fight among good- great players. but if noob, expect to get murder in the sky and ground.

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just4bs

I agree with Tomfuzz7....Warhawk was fun but after about a week it sucked

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vannet89

I've played the demo for hours! I'm putting it on pre-order tomoz. For anyone who is interested, JB HIFI's pre-order price is very cheap, a full $40 cheaper than EB Games lol!

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SV-Lionheart

Been playing the demo for the PS3, can't wait till it comes out. Not long now. :)

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Cranio3000

I played the demo and I am so buying this, i can't wait when i go to a mall (where i live video game stores are in malls only XD) I love flying games.i can't wait I'M IN NERVES SHAKING FOR EXCITEMENT XD

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beatleshair

I'm not usually a fan of these types of games, but i am looking forward to this one.

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ShadowOfKratos

.

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bombfanatic

the demo was great. as an ace combat fan this is a must have game. I call it the European Ace Combat.

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crazy_r

yeah wait till the xbox 720 comes out it will be HDHD hehehe

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IRoxxorUrSoxxor

LOL @ PILOT_RIAZ! Anyways, this might be the first time I seriously contemplate buying a jet fighter game. . .

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pilot_riaz

People joke about the Wii graphics, wait till Wii 2 comes out. It will be HD

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pukmok

But the Wii release date has yet to be announced. HA!

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Saurosy

Tnfaith ... This game is on Wii too !

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tsengel88

I like it

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Big_Bang_Boy

I've always loved such games!

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tnfaith

I wish the Wii would get titles like this :(

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stan105

4 words this game is awesome!!! hope it'll be better than ace combat 6

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snoop_rogg

The Demo was Awesome when I played it. but it was just the computer with me in the coop lol..no live people joined but it was still Really fun, much better then the classic behind the jet / cockpit game.

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tomfuzz7

Hopefully this doesn't turn into another Warhawk.

Avatar image for deelar
deelar

I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.I WANT IT.

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paystation

ive got the demo and its mint. carnt wait for it to come out but i carnt buy it strainght away because i got no money but i will get it

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rystaman22

CANNOT WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have the demo for PS3 !! It is soo AWESOME !! :D I hav pre-ordered it from Amazon for £34.97

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bookeater

IMO it's disgrace to Tom's Clancy franchise to have an arcade game. They always specialised in as faithful to the realism games as possible. What would be left of Ghost Recon or Splinter cell if realism was taken away. The old black horse called Over G still rules in the skies! (though ppl hate it for extreme impeccable faithfulness to real details)

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bookeater

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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nicklech16

I downloaded the demo last week and had a suprisingly fun time with it so I'm looking forward for GS review

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merro69

@ Zellhuang but fps dont allow an extra dimension to travel in so it balances out ;)

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Mr_Ploppy_z

Im not a fan of flight games (Although i am screaming with laughter every time i crash into... well just about anything and then burst into flames and wreckage) but this does tickle my fancy I wonder how easy it is to crash into other people in the sky?

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Dawg9000

Does the coop actually work in the demo?

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kingofmphs

link- XB360 HAWX Aviator Stick << LINK REMOVED >>

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kingofmphs

mad catz is coming out with a flight stick for this game and Ace Combat 6 has a flight stick out also.

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killswitch88

Multiplayer actually sounds fun :D Going to d/l the demo tomorrow and see how the game plays. Hopefully it'll be fun :)

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Palantas

Xbox needs a flightstick, damnit!

Avatar image for salad10203
salad10203

I don't understand anyone who enjoys these flying games. They are simply boring. I mean the more realistic it comes to flying the more boring it is, seriously, and the only flying games I have enjoyed were Crimson Skies and Star Fox 64, primarily because they were crazy and actually allowed you to move flexibly and energetically in the sky

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zellhuang

when we play FPS game such as Rainbow Six, there are a lot of barrier on the ground.we can take cover behind those barrier.But when we go to sky,how can we find the barrier? I think less barrier less fun X(

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diddz1

I played the demo. For people who like to fly...GET THIS GAME. I like it a lot. But,Can it be the next Great Thing???I think no but alright, yes,definetly, good maybe.