201134_2Yet another one of the Gameloft games we previewed in Paris was released this afternoon, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X [App Store] is an air combat game that takes place in the somewhat expansive Ghost Recon game universe. Featuring complete voice-overs, 13 missions, 26 planes, and local multiplayer, H.A.W.X. can easily fly with the existing competition on the platform.

Much like Driver, so far the version of H.A.W.X. available on the App Store seems identical to what Gameloft showed us a few weeks ago.

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From our preview:

The environments you fly over look amazingly realistic, as Gameloft utilized high resolution satellite imagery to build and texture the environments.

Levels range from Washington DC, to Rio de Janeiro, and even Chicago– And as a native of the Chicago area, it was amazingly cool to fly over Soldier Field, then follow the various highways while dropping bombs. The satellite imagery is detailed enough that if you're familiar with the locales you're flying over, you can easily pick out landmarks, streets, and other locations.

Each of the planes comes with their own unique cockpit view along with different strengths and weaknesses. At the start of each level, the game suggests the best plane to use, but you can use any plane on any level– Which can substantially increase the difficulty if you're dog fighting with a bomber, for instance.

I suppose comparisons between H.A.W.X. and Namco's recently released Ace Combat Xi (which we already reviewed) are somewhat inevitable, especially with how close to each other the games were released. Here is my take on the games so far:

Both are highly competent aerial combat arcade-style games, and each of them come from popular game series-- Although Ace Combat likely has more fans than the Tom Clancy game universe. Actually flying your jet in each game feels great, but H.A.W.X. does fall behind in the HUD department. In Ace Combat, your screen is loaded with various widgets and instruments that at least in opinion really add to the atmosphere of the whole experience. Your screen in H.A.W.X. is fairly barren, and there isn't even an artificial horizon.

Where H.A.W.X. flips on the afterburners and pulls ahead of Ace Combat is in the included content department. The initial load-out in H.A.W.X. includes twice as many missions and planes, which are all unlocked by playing the game instead of via 99¢ microtransactions (as in Ace Combat). Also, H.A.W.X. has four player local deathmatch and team deathmatch multiplayer.

H.A.W.X. seems to be winning the immediate battle, but there's something in both games for fans of the genre to enjoy. With so few competent dog fighting games on the App Store, both H.A.W.X. and Ace Combat Xi are worth considering.

App Store Link: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., $6.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Chuck U Farley

    13 levels? Is that knuckle-head from Namco paying attention?

  • Chuck U Farley

    13 levels? Is that knuckle-head from Namco paying attention?

  • kita

    So is this game longer than ace of combat? I heard that one only lasts about an hour or 2.

  • kita

    So is this game longer than ace of combat? I heard that one only lasts about an hour or 2.

  • http://yogamen.net YOMEN inc

    Only local multiplayer? NO THX! enought this handmade air shooooters..............

  • http://yogamen.net YOMEN inc

    Only local multiplayer? NO THX! enought this handmade air shooooters..............

  • dumas1000

    Gameloft will never make a global online game that utilizes the 3g network. Every one of their games are wi-fi only. So whether or not they include true online doesn't matter all that much anyway. Outside of New York and perhaps a few other places, wi-fi/hotspots are simply not free. People in most citiesd only have minimal acess to wi-fi beyond their own wireless network, and would much rather use their own wireless network to play console games online when they are at home, rather than iphone games.

    Gameloft needs to get on board with the very thing that distinguishes the phone as a handheld gaming device from its competition. Of course, Gameloft would probably have to incorporate dedicated servers before that could happen. Since server costs would cut into their bottom line, and they are a much more bottom line company then most, that's not going to happen.

    • Frumius

      Bottome line-conscious? My bottom line is that a shooter has to have internet multiplayer. I don't give a rat's hind end about an aerial combat game if it doesn't have ONLINE MULTIPLAYER.

      What, do I constantly have people around me to play locally over wi-fi? Riiiiight. So how often will people even have a chance at multiplayer with this scheme? The few families that all have iPod touches/iPhones? The few friends who you can convince to buy the game, and then get together in one location to play? How often will that happen? This is limited multiplayer in the extreme.

      Make it Online Multiplayer. So far only F.A.S.T. delivers in that department, and that more than makes up for ANY "content" that the game ships with or does not ship with.

      I just do not care about shooting flying robots. I want real intelligences to compete with.

      Back to Downstroying intelligent opponents in F.A.S.T.!

      • Hmar9333

        F.A.S.T Multiplayer is a load of bull, all you do is fly in circles until one of you manages to turn hard enough to be able to shoot your opponent.

        This game is a blast.

        H.A.W.X > F.A.S.T > Ace Combat Xi

      • Frumius

        You try that, hmar, and I'll downstroy you.

        You have much to learn, young pilot.

        You see? Human intelligence will always find a way. You're too used to fighting mindless bots. Their programming is LIMITED.

      • dumas1000

        Opponents you come across while playing iphone/ipod touch MP games often aren't particularly intelligent. I can dominate matches on both Eliminate and Modern Combat, even though i may not play more than a match or two a day. If all you play is a match a day on Modern Warfare 2 and you've never played any other COD game before, you're going to get obliterated. Intelligent opponents are busy playing their 360s online. Iphone online play is full of noobs/extremely casual gamers who, more times than not, are just not very good. There are exceptions, of course. You'll find your share of good players out there, but if you're searching random matches, you're going to have to weed through a lot of bad players to find them.

    • Sticktron

      What don't people understand? The latency of a 3G connection is nowhere near low enough to properly play multiplayer games.

  • dumas1000

    Gameloft will never make a global online game that utilizes the 3g network. Every one of their games are wi-fi only. So whether or not they include true online doesn't matter all that much anyway. Outside of New York and perhaps a few other places, wi-fi/hotspots are simply not free. People in most citiesd only have minimal acess to wi-fi beyond their own wireless network, and would much rather use their own wireless network to play console games online when they are at home, rather than iphone games.

    Gameloft needs to get on board with the very thing that distinguishes the phone as a handheld gaming device from its competition. Of course, Gameloft would probably have to incorporate dedicated servers before that could happen. Since server costs would cut into their bottom line, and they are a much more bottom line company then most, that's not going to happen.

    • Frumius

      Bottome line-conscious? My bottom line is that a shooter has to have internet multiplayer. I don\'t give a rat\'s hind end about an aerial combat game if it doesn\'t have ONLINE MULTIPLAYER.

      What, do I constantly have people around me to play locally over wi-fi? Riiiiight. So how often will people even have a chance at multiplayer with this scheme? The few families that all have iPod touches/iPhones? The few friends who you can convince to buy the game, and then get together in one location to play? How often will that happen? This is limited multiplayer in the extreme.

      Make it Online Multiplayer. So far only F.A.S.T. delivers in that department, and that more than makes up for ANY \"content\" that the game ships with or does not ship with.

      I just do not care about shooting flying robots. I want real intelligences to compete with.

      Back to Downstroying intelligent opponents in F.A.S.T.!

      • Hmar9333

        F.A.S.T Multiplayer is a load of bull, all you do is fly in circles until one of you manages to turn hard enough to be able to shoot your opponent.

        This game is a blast.

        H.A.W.X > F.A.S.T > Ace Combat Xi

      • Frumius

        You try that, hmar, and I'll downstroy you.

        You have much to learn, young pilot.

        You see? Human intelligence will always find a way. You're too used to fighting mindless bots. Their programming is LIMITED.

      • dumas1000

        Opponents you come across while playing iphone/ipod touch MP games often aren't particularly intelligent. I can dominate matches on both Eliminate and Modern Combat, even though i may not play more than a match or two a day. If all you play is a match a day on Modern Warfare 2 and you've never played any other COD game before, you're going to get obliterated. Intelligent opponents are busy playing their 360s online. Iphone online play is full of noobs/extremely casual gamers who, more times than not, are just not very good. There are exceptions, of course. You'll find your share of good players out there, but if you're searching random matches, you're going to have to weed through a lot of bad players to find them.

    • Sticktron

      What don't people understand? The latency of a 3G connection is nowhere near low enough to properly play multiplayer games.

  • thr

    what is there to say... I've played it for the first 3 levels. and I enjoyed it hard. Hawx is probably the best iphone game, now. if not the best, at least far above ace combat... to anyone who played hawx on PC, its exactly the same game. gameloft just made a masterpiece.

    • hi

      ok thanks

  • thr

    what is there to say... I've played it for the first 3 levels. and I enjoyed it hard. Hawx is probably the best iphone game, now. if not the best, at least far above ace combat... to anyone who played hawx on PC, its exactly the same game. gameloft just made a masterpiece.

    • hi

      ok thanks

  • menom

    in light of the ban of Chinese developer from store for false reviews

    anyone questioning Gameloft for false reviews?

    • Hmar9333

      I don't believe it, and even if it was true, I don't care as long as the apps are good.

  • menom

    in light of the ban of Chinese developer from store for false reviews

    anyone questioning Gameloft for false reviews?

    • Hmar9333

      I don't believe it, and even if it was true, I don't care as long as the apps are good.

  • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

    The controls look awful. A d-pad in a flying game? What were they smoking?

    • LOLCATSPASM

      There are accelerometer controls, and they work quite well (dumba$$).

      For the sake of the video (so that people could see clearly the whole time) they chose to use the joystick.

      So far, I'm lovin' this game, much MUCH better than Ace Combat Xi and F.A.S.T. It has more content, and is just more fun to play.

    • Julius

      I agree. they really look awful.

  • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

    The controls look awful. A d-pad in a flying game? What were they smoking?

    • LOLCATSPASM

      There are accelerometer controls, and they work quite well (dumba$$).

      For the sake of the video (so that people could see clearly the whole time) they chose to use the joystick.

      So far, I'm lovin' this game, much MUCH better than Ace Combat Xi and F.A.S.T. It has more content, and is just more fun to play.

    • Julius

      I agree. they really look awful.

  • d

    Just bought it, and I am a little disappointed...maybe it's because I was a fan of the Ace Combat series on PS2, but the overall package just doesn't seem quite up to par with Ace Combat XI. Really, the only thing going for HAWX is the number of missions and the multiplayer.

    It's a pity that Namco had to screw up AC XI...

  • d

    Just bought it, and I am a little disappointed...maybe it's because I was a fan of the Ace Combat series on PS2, but the overall package just doesn't seem quite up to par with Ace Combat XI. Really, the only thing going for HAWX is the number of missions and the multiplayer.

    It's a pity that Namco had to screw up AC XI...

  • AceKicker

    Satelite imagery? You have got to be kidding me; It may look good in screenshots but in game it looks awful. The environment design is worth 6 bucks; The framerate is punching you in the face, the aircraft shakes like a leaf because of the very low performance and framerate; The interface is plain ugly and the sounds/voices are recorded like in a backyard, with the head in a can.
    Nice try, but there are other games worth the time and the money out there.

  • http://none AceKicker

    Satelite imagery? You have got to be kidding me; It may look good in screenshots but in game it looks awful. The environment design is worth 6 bucks; The framerate is punching you in the face, the aircraft shakes like a leaf because of the very low performance and framerate; The interface is plain ugly and the sounds/voices are recorded like in a backyard, with the head in a can.
    Nice try, but there are other games worth the time and the money out there.

  • Julius

    I know this game. It is available on the PSP and my friend has it. It is supposed to be the greatest jet figthing game there is. The graphics are very well made but I am not so sure about the gameplay and the controls.

  • Julius

    I know this game. It is available on the PSP and my friend has it. It is supposed to be the greatest jet figthing game there is. The graphics are very well made but I am not so sure about the gameplay and the controls.

  • Julius

    Thsi game is supposed to be the greatest Jet fighting game there is. My friend has it on the PSP and I am really amazed. But on the iPhone? Not so sure about that. I am a bit worried about the controls.

  • Julius

    Thsi game is supposed to be the greatest Jet fighting game there is. My friend has it on the PSP and I am really amazed. But on the iPhone? Not so sure about that. I am a bit worried about the controls.

  • h@lcy0n

    picked up DogFighter around the same time, darkwater studios did a pretty good job with it as their launch title and metacritic users are recomending it.
    http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/dogfighter