In 2007, the PlayStation 3 was graced with the multiplayer-only exclusive Warhawk. Incognito’s mix of ground and air warfare received a positive reception from critics and was hailed as a must-own title for PlayStation 3 owners in the console’s early years. Now, LightBox Interactive and Santa Monica Studio have created the spiritual successor to Warhawk and have added a more space-heavy vibe, along with various other tweaks, in their appropriately titled Sony exclusive, Starhawk. The developers have also decided to implement a single player campagin, something Warhawk lacked, while trying to keep the game’s true soul intact. It’s an ambitious project, and one we’ve been anticipating for some time now.
Can Starhawk shine or will it be lost amongst the various other bright stars?
Build and Battle Multiplayer
Just like its predecessor, Starhawk’s main focus is competitive multiplayer, which is comprised of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Zones. Many core components return from Warhawk, but everything has undergone such a huge change that you may find yourself separating Starhawk from Warhawk in your mind. The reason for this stems from the newly implemented RTS-stylized system called Build and Battle. Build and Battle allows players to actively change the environment on the go and, no, I don’t mean by destroying walls or other structures like you do in Battlefield. Instead, you’ll be adding to the environment through the use of various offensive and defensive options, which greatly increases the strategic nature of the game. Everything from walls to turrets to Hawk launch pads can be added to the warzone. Here’s how it works: Rift energy is collected, via kills and rift harvesters, and used as currency to purchase the aforementioned items. Once selected, the structure’s outline appears on the ground and can be set in a place of your choosing. The next part is the best. The chosen item will drop from space, create its foundation in the ground and build upwards. However, it is worth noting that metal isn’t the only interesting thing falling from space; players fall out of the sky in drop pods (which can smash scurrying enemies) and explode out of them upon landing. But, I digress. Because of its uses, rift energy can be considered just as important as ammunition, if not more crucial, as it can change the tide of battle.
Build and Battle changes the environment on the go, but more importantly, it changes the game, literally. This new style helps players find and dominate the role of their choosing. Laying down walls and turrets around your teams flag best fits the defensive player, whereas grabbing a rocket launcher and hopping into a Razorback is the route to go for those looking to bring the fight to the enemy. Then, there’s the group who can’t stand being restricted to the ground. Hawks are, once again, the star of the show – classic arcade flight using the analog sticks is an option — and allow players to venture far above the foot soldiers. These Hawks differ from those found in Sony’s 2007 title as they are able to transform from jets to large, enemy-stomping mechs. This tweak furthers the strategic options awaiting players. Being on a team in which everyone understands and performs their role properly provides one of the most rewarding experiences that can be found in today’s gaming. This harmony definitely helps players complete the the necessary challenges so that they can unlock new skins and skills.
The ever-changing environments in which players will be battling are gorgeous. Conduit carries a green tint with the lightning and surrounding acid seas. The majority of the battle will take place on the dark, jagged rocks that make up the ground beneath the soldiers’ boots. Then there’s the absolutely breathtaking view on Orbital. The metal structure floating in mid space surrounded by suspended asteroids with a large planet visible below is truly a sight to behold. A majority of the maps contain a rocky landscape, yet they are able to distinguish themselves from each other with their amazing details and small touches.
Page 1 2Starhawk Review,