Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. Game Poster Image

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

Solid air combat game doesn't push the envelope.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You work cooperatively to save the world, bit by bit.


While there is occasional blood, you'll mainly see explosions of vehicles and planes that you shoot or are being shot by others. Military planes use machine guns, missles, and bombs to inflict damage on enemy planes, tanks, and land structures.


There are some suggestive themes, but much less than you would see in a prime time TV show.


Mild expletives of the 'damn' variety, generally. Rarely, "sh-t" word is used.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are occasional references to having a beer after a mission and to smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents needs to know that while the language is generally mild, you may hear the 's' word and 'bastard' now and then. Targets like tanks and planes are shot constantly. But there is little blood, primarily firing of bombs and missiles and watching fire-filled explosions, usually from a distance. When you crash, team members call you 'down', not dead.

What's it about?

The Tom Clancy moniker is one of the most recognizable in video games today, so much so that UbiSoft has already created dozens of games based on Clancy's various works. Now comes TOM CLANCY'S H.A.W.X., a dramatic air combat offering set in the not-too-distant future in which you retire from the armed forces to join an elite squadron of mercenary pilots. Your goal is to save your clients' oil rigs and the like – until you find your employer might be the bad guy.

H.A.W.X. can be controlled with either the 360 controller, or (much better) a flight stick attachment. Your left stick controls altitude, your left and right button the yaw, the right trigger -- the speed, and the X button, your homing missiles. You can brake to about 1,000 mph with your left trigger and lock on targets using the Y button. Missions, which escalate in complexity, take between a half hour and an hour to play through. You can play online as well.

Is it any good?


Once you're in the air, flying over any city is wonderfully impressive because the developers used satellite imagery to create these worlds. As you choose carefully from 50 sleek aircraft (including the stealthy F-117 Nighthawk), you move through a generally compelling story, 19 levels worth. While the online play is somewhat exciting, it's not really a step forward as far as uniqueness is concerned. Still, you can cooperatively play all the single player missions over Xbox Live.


The primary challenge with H.A.W.X. is trying to pilot the plane with the 360's controller -- without crashing. You may find targeting challegning because your crosshairs are colored gray and can get lost in the colors of the sky above and terrain below. For newbies, there should have been a step-by-step tutorial that's more intensive than the tutorial given in the first level. While what's present is O.K. for core gamers (who'll wish the planes had more nuance), anyone who is trying to pilot for the first time may be daunted.


Families can talk about...

  • Parents can talk about whether or not you want to be a fighter pilot. In the future if you had the choice, would you leave the armed forces to fly rogue missions around the world? Or would you simply be happy to work for your country? Also, there are 50 planes in H.A.W.X. Which is your favorite? Why?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Available online?Available online
Release date:March 5, 2009
ESRB rating:T for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

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

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Teen, 13 years old Written bystan101 April 28, 2012

Hard but fun

Great Game.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byTreal96 February 28, 2011
This game in relly calming during a free flight and a very easey game to play
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byI anoNyMouS I June 11, 2010
It is educational because of the flying planes. it shows you what some people tdo for a living. I have this game and havent noticed the S*** word.... Ive had no problems online or off.. i would recomend it but one down side is the controls. For a young gamer it would probably be hard too fly the planes, and might find tutorials tricky.
What other families should know
Educational value