Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

 
Aerial combat sequel with bloodless violence, bad language.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the message is positive -- that is, taking on the world's most dangerous threats using secret, high-tech weaponry and aircraft -- at the end of the day it's still a combat game.

Positive role models

We don't really get to know the main characters we're playing as -- an American, a Brit, and a Russian, respectively --  but their intentions are admirable: to protect humankind from dangerous threats. However,  you're fighting and killing to achieve your goals.

Ease of play

The mandatory tutorial teaches how to control the aircraft, read the HUD (heads-up display) and use weapons, which shouldn't be too tough for seasoned gamers, but the aircraft, weapons, and scenarios change from mission to mission.

Violence

Like all of Tom Clancy-based video games, there is some violence in this game, but it's from an aerial perspective as you blow up enemy aircraft, tanks, buildings and other targets. Players can use many high-tech weapons including machine guns, bombs, missiles and such. Human soldiers are rarely seen in the game and there is no blood or gore.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The game contains some cussing during radio chatter between pilots, with words such as "s--t," "ass," "hell," and "bitch."

Consumerism

It could be argued the game was designed to sell more Tom Clancy fiction, but there is no obvious branding in the game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is a modern-day combat game that lets gamers play as a pilot of experimental aircraft. Players are tasked with taking out enemy targets on the ground (such as buildings and tanks), on the water (boats and other vessels) and primarily in the skies, in heated dogfights against other aircraft. There is violence seen and heard (via radio chatter, including screams) but there is no blood or gore. This is a less violent military game than first-person shooters, such as the Call of Duty franchise. Parents need to know that this game supports open unmoderated chat during online play so that they may want to turn off this option in the parental controls of the game console.

What's it about?

TOM CLANCY'S H.A.W.K.2 is a sequel to the 18 month-old Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. ( which has sold more than a million units worldwide) and once again challenges you to take to the unfriendly skies as an elite H.A.W.X. member ("High Altitude Warfare Experimental"), part of an aerial combat squadron tasked with defending freedom. You'll do so in top-secret aircraft denied by the very same governments funding these sophisticated prototypes. As with its predecessor, you're slipping into enemy territory to take down Middle Eastern militants and Russian ultranationalists – both from afar using high-tech weaponry and up close and personal in dizzying dogfights. Along with the more than 32 playable aircraft in the game, new features not found in the first arcade combat title include night-vision attacks, jamming pods to distract enemies, mid-air refuelling, allied support, and more.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

H.A.W.K. 2 is, for the most part, a good aerial combat game. Played from a first- and third-person perspective, H.A.W.X. 2 delivers much of the same heated aerial combat action as its predecessor, but with improved graphics, better multiplayer options, and additional aircraft to climb into. The ability to take off and land is a blast, too, especially on aircraft carriers, plus tracking and tagging enemy units from above (and then silently striking them) should prove to be a thrill for fans of the franchise.

But while the sequel gets a lot right, much of the enemy artificial intelligence is hardly intelligent, therefore seasoned gamers will want to play on harder difficulty to account for the somewhat easy and/or predictable enemy aircraft maneuvers. Plus, while the satellite imagery looks great from above, the graphics disappoint when closer to the ground. Overall, though, H.A.W.X. 2 is a solid B-grade title worth considering for those who love the aerial combat genre.

Note: All three versions of the game are the same. A Nintendo Wii version is slated to come out in November.

Online interaction: All three versions of the game support online play, including a 2-to 4-player jump-in-and-out cooperative ("co-op") campaign and head-to-head play (including team options) for up to 8 players. Players can chat while fighting with an optional headset microphone, therefore it's possible to interact with strangers and hear inappropriate language.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why most of Ubisoft's games based on Tom Clancy's fiction fare much better critically than other games based on an author's works. Is it because the developers handle these franchises with kid gloves? Is it because the author's fiction lends itself well to video games? Is it because they're not tied to a movie and therefore without the pressure to release the same day as the film? All of the above? What could other game makers learn from the successful Tom Clancy games?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99 ($49.99)
Available online?Available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:September 7, 2010
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:T for Language, Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 was written by

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Quality

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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old December 23, 2011
age 7+
 

Not too violent

I didn't find much violence here. When you shoot a plane down, all you see is smoke trailing off the plane, and a small fireball, no pain or blood evident. The worst language I heard was minor shouting, with no swearing involved.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom September 21, 2010
age 10+
 

Blowing planes up is not my idea of inappropiate.

H.A.W.X 2 is not a mature game. Its an arcade type flying game, with lots of shooting down planes. In the violence sense, You shoot down planes and crash but there is no blood or sign of pain. They just simply drop out of the sky in a huge explosion. There is some cussing but its nothing really major. Overall its good for younger audiences as well as adults.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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