What’s a games journalist but somebody who asks you to flat-out disbelieve the evidence of your own senses? What’s a games journalist but somebody who insists that not only is black white, but black was white long before white ever signed its first publishing contract? What’s a games journalist but somebody who tells you that the man you caught trying on mother’s knickers had just popped over to borrow a cup of sugar? What’s a games journalist but somebody who declares that the game you should be buying today isn’t the all-conquering Xbox 360 prequel to some iconic shooter or other, but a dog-tired multiplatform dog-fighter?
As you may have noticed, VGD hasn’t published a Halo: Reach review yet. This is a source of some displeasure to me, and rest assured the people responsible are being roasted over a pyre of bricked 360s, controllers in hand. But don’t fret, kids, because Reach isn’t the title you should be scraping together those pennies for! Oh, ‘they’ will probably tell you it is, but don’t forget – they’re the ones who told you that Sony would come first place this generation. Just how much of a sucker are you, exactly? Because if you’re that much of a sucker, I have some magic beans for sale.
Let us now turn to HAWX 2. It has an ‘X’ in the title – a breakthrough feature – and is unencumbered by a colon. Read on for other unanswerable truths.
1. Has real weapons
OK, so in Reach they’ve got Gravity Hammers, Focus Rifles, sticky grenades and camo cloaks, but you know what? Say hello to the Sukhoi Su-37 ‘Terminator’. Actually you’d better say ‘goodbye’, because the Sukhoi Su-37 ‘Terminator’ wants to say hello too, and when the Sukhoi Su-37 ‘Terminator’ says ‘hello’ it says it with 12 underslung radar-guided missiles, and when the Sukhoi Su-37 ‘Terminator’ says hello with its 12 underslung radar-guided missiles you say goodbye with your arse.
2. Better helmets
Despite being set twenty squillion years in the future, Halo has yet to get its head round (or behind) the concept of sliding face visors. Score one for HAWX 2, whose Irn-Bru-flavoured wraparounds slip up and out of sight at a mere button’s touch, thus helping to cut down carbon dioxide emissions. What’s more, they’re orangier. A good 50 per cent orangier, according to studies conducted by the giant-chested Anglo-Asian med students who exist purely IN MY BRAIN.
3. No unnecessary excitement
A SPARTAN’s life is full of care and bullets, but an aviator’s life is full of pretty cloud shapes, long leisurely trips from carrier to target, long leisurely landing sequences, long leisurely waits in the multiplayer lobby till you realise that nobody else is playing this POS game online and you should probably trade it in for Halo: Reach.
4. Has politics
HAWX 2 contains many important political lessons. It teaches us that all insurgents come from a special country called Insurgencia, where they spend all day posing for undercover cameras, smoking their own opium crops and coming up with uncrackable military strategies, like ‘just hang around till the bollocksy arbitrary mission timer winds down and then we win by default’. It also teaches us that the United States and Russia, despite having enough nuclear missiles between them to powderise Neptune, are doomed to downfall and servitude if black marketeers should ever get their hands on just one. And what does Halo teach us? It teaches us that the best way to not die when you’re shot at is to jump.
5. Stealth punctuation
‘HAWX’ is an abbreviation – or is it? Are you sure it isn’t in capitals for effect? Some reviewers write the word with all four full stops in place, and some reviewers don’t – which is the correct version? You’ll never know, just like you’ll never know whether your girlfriend’s lying to you when she says that it was just a mistake, and we haven’t spoken since, and you’re the only one for me, sweetie.