Aside from the rather intriguing gameplay features I discussed during my Games Convention preview, one of the most interesting aspects of Ubisoft's upcoming jet fighter Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. is the amount of attention paid to landscapes. Well that intricate detail is all thanks to GeoEye and their IKONOS - the world's first commercial Earth imaging satellite. Check out the gallery below for some in-game images, along with photographs taken by IKONOS itself. It's an amazing amount of effort to render something you'll spend the entire game avoiding getting too close to.
Ubisoft® and GeoEye Integrate Satellite Imagery Into Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X SAN FRANCISCO, CA. - August 26, 2008 - Today, Ubisoft and GeoEye, Inc. announced that GeoEye, a premier provider of satellite, aerial and geospatial information, has provided high-resolution images taken from its commercial Earth-imaging IKONOS satellite for integration into Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Sony PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and on Windows-based PC. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X will be available in early 2009. The H.A.W.X development team is working closely with specialists at GeoEye to integrate realistic satellite images for every location throughout the game, including Rio de Janeiro, Cape Canaveral and the Middle East. With more than 16 international locations in the game, every mission will have players flying over GeoEye-provided satellite imagery in a three-dimensional environment creating an unparalleled, dogfighting experience. GeoEye's IKONOS satellite was the world's first commercial Earth imaging satellite and its imagery is currently being used for US national security, mapping, air and marine transportation, environmental monitoring and insurance risk management. The amazing quality and detail of the IKONOS images will lend realism to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X giving gamers a feeling of immersion that will plunge them into the air combat mission of the game. "High-resolution satellite imaging is moving from the black world of intelligence to the white world of commerce and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X will bring that reality to gamers," said Mark Brender, vice president, corporate communications and marketing at GeoEye. "With video game graphics becoming more realistic, the use of high-quality photographic ground textures in H.A.W.X adds true photo-realism to the air combat experience." During the development process the H.A.W.X team has also worked with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Center for Earth Resources Observations and Science (USGS/EROS) to understand how to best create a topographical 'underpinning' for the satellite imagery, creating a very realistic representation of the Earth. "We are extremely grateful to GeoEye for their collaboration with Ubisoft and pleased with the level of quality and service we've received," said Travis Getz, authenticity coordinator for the H.A.W.X development team. "GeoEye's amazing imagery, combined with the intense aerial combat experience in H.A.W.X, makes this a perfect partnership for everyone-especially gamers."