So I picked up Tom Clancy’s Hawx because I love me some aerial combat games, and it’s reminded me why I don’t usually buy Tom Clancy games, they’re boring as fuck. That is not to imply fucking is boring mind you, as I don’t personally know anyone who would agree to such a ludicrous claim. I can also say I prefer fucking to playing any Tom Clancy game. Rainbow Six: Vegas was pretty good though, not orgasm good but….where was I?

Oh yes sorry. The game is quite boring. Ok it does have some moments, mostly it’s the “Assistance Off” thing. In the game you have your standard flying around in 3rd/1st person mode. With this you have something called “ERS” on your HUD which let’s you bring up bombing routes for ground targets, intercept courses for planes, etc. This mode works, but you can’t do crazy stunts because you’re limited in your speed and control. However, if you turn this off you zoom out to this far away 3rd person view, and then you can do crazy shit like 180 flips at Mach 2, which is quite handy for dogfights.

But that’s the only thing that makes the game unique. I was playing this and it seemed like every mission I had played in an Ace Combat game, but FUN. There’s one where you protect a futuristic space shuttle which reminded me of a very similar one in Ace Combat 5, but that did it a shitload better. OK I know there’s only a limited amount of missions you can do that involve flying a fighter jet, but they don’t all have to be fucking escort missions. There’s only a handful of missions in this game (and I’m talking four at the maximum) where I’m not protecting or escorting something. Fuck even the last real mission (the actual last mission is a shite epilogue where you fly down a canyon with a whole 5 enemies and blow up a building. It takes all of 3 minutes), is an escort one. A very annoying escort one. At least the Ace Combat ones are always fucking exciting. In #6 you’re part of a massive no holds barred air battle above a super-weapon that can fire a nuke around the world every 3 minutes. This? You escort an AWACS jet across Las Vegas, then blow up a van. OK you’re swearing at the screen because the checkpoints are a load of bullshit and your wingmen, who have been pretty decent in the rest of the game, suddenly become useless, but that’s not exciting, that’s frustrating. Plus all the planes feel the same. A Eurofighter Typhoon handles differently to an A-10 Warthog, ask Tom Clancy, he writes enough tech specs in the bloody books to build your own weapons, but there’s no discernable difference in this game? The planes all feel like they’re going too damn slow and handle the same so there’s no real point to choose a plane different than the mission default.

In fact the only thing this has made me want to do is play Ace Combat 6 again, which I actually traded it in for before work on Friday (along with Fallout 3). So in closing, Assistance Off is fun, everything else is meh.