X-Play's Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 All Access Preview


Posted August 12, 2010 - By Abbie Heppe

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So, a couple weeks ago, while previewing HAWX 2, I had the opportunity to try flying a SIAI Marchetti SF-260, a small fighter plane introduced in 1966. Sure, I wasn’t responsible for take-off or landing because, I’ll just throw this out here, it probably isn’t the thing you can learn in one afternoon with no prior training other than some experience in flight sims on the PC back in the mid-nineties, no matter what Snakes on a Plane might make you think.

Beforehand, my hilariously salty co-pilot Nails, a retired Navy and commercial pilot, taught me many important lessons like how to use a parachute, where the barf bag is located, never to take my eyes off my opponents plane and the term “d*ck-skinners” (look it up). Nails is awesome. Following the safety briefing, it was time to go hands-on…with a freaking fighter plane!


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 All Access Preview »


Our mission was to execute three dogfights against the pilot of the second plane, X-Play producer Michael Leffler (aka Drunk Link). We covered basic flight maneuvers, flying in formation and thrown into the mix were quite a few rolls and loops, the latter where my vision began to go grey and fade out. Woo! It’s kind of amazing to go from playing HAWX to experiencing the real deal. Keeping in mind that I didn’t take off, land, touch the dashboard or talk to the control tower (basically I played the arcade version and not the sim version of flying), the actual in-flight control wasn’t that hard. All the movements, save some jarring turns, require delicate control of the flight stick and the knowledge that, as long as you can see your opponent, you can win. Nails and I won all three of our skirmishes.

If anything, the experience really showcased the difficulty of bringing the flight experience to a game. Peripheral vision and moving around to check behind, above or below you to spot other planes is so key to dogfighting and so hard to recreate on a flat screen. I did come out of it feeling like I had a better understanding of flight mechanics and I definitely succeeded in my one goal of not puking. I even refrained from making Top Gun references, though I might have asked if I could invert the controls. Nails told me I wasn’t funny. He was right.

X-Play's Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 All Access Preview


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