The year is 2014 and more and more countries begin to contract private military companies instead of their own armies to fulfil strategic objectives. Because of the increasing amount of competition between those companies for the best contracts, the fight even extends to the battlefield themselves.
David Crenshaw, a former US Navy pilot, is hired by such a PMC as the US Army sets him free after saving the Ghost Recon team during their operation in Juarez (Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2). Ordered to do a series of different aerial missions scattered all over the world, he soon realizes that he is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the war for global military domination in which he even engages in combat against his old employer. Becoming more than a simple mercenary, matters soon fall into his hands and his decisions will dictate the outcome of the war.
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X is an action-oriented flight simulation similar to Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII giving the player control over an airplane either in first- or third-person view. Set in a near-future scenario, the player has access to several different kinds of licensed planes ranging from real world aircraft like the A-10A Thunderbolt II to prototype machines like the F-15 Active used by the NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. In addition, the player can choose a different weapon load-out for each plane before the start. Both the weapon load-outs and the airplanes are unlocked as the player advances in rank during the campaign. Each kill as well as completing objectives and challenges grant the player experience points to do so.
While the mission objectives range from defending Air Force One against enemy attacks to destroying ground targets, the challenges on the hand require the player to destroy 50 enemies only with his canon or get 300 aerial kills during the campaign. During the course of the game, the player will also get help from up to two other pilots who he can order to attack specific targets in his view. The on-board computer also helps by calculating optimal intercept or rocket evasion routes.
In addition to normal keyboard, mouse, gamepad and joystick-support, the game also features voice recognition, allowing the player to fire missiles or change the target just by shouting a keyword into the microphone.