Meanwhile, for the toughest dogfights you can switch view to a more distant third-person view. It will look and feel weird at first, but the effect is to give you a wider perspective, and so more chance of avoiding incoming missiles while trying to get a lock on your opponent (not to mention avoiding the reverse). A dogfight against four aces definitely had some real tension to it, as I spun my F22 through Rio's skyscrapers, desperately pulling out of stalls and tackling two of my foes before the third sent me crashing into the sea.
On first impressions, HAWX has plenty of promise, and the lure of four player drop in/drop out cooperative play should definitely go down well with anyone with a love of Top Gun (or Iron Eagle, come to that). I wasn't expecting much more than an Ace Combat variant with a gung-ho Clancy spin, but having had a quick go I came away wanting more.
There will doubtless be more to come from the existing Clancy series, though Ubisoft was noticeably quiet about the next Splinter Cell (Splinter Cell: Conviction has been delayed several times since its announcement last year, and rumours persist that development has been halted so the design can be reworked). At the conference, Ubisoft also hinted about a growing synergy between the series, with characters and squads from one likely to appear or make cameos in others. One thing's for sure: having spent millions on acquiring the rights to the Tom Clancy name in terms of games, we won't be seeing the last Clancy game for some time to come. If EndWar and HAWX can reach the heights that Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon have done in the past, that's no bad thing.