[PS3 Review] Starhawk
The eagerly awaited sequel to Warhawk hit the shelves back in May of this year. Before I go on and give you the low down on Starhawk, let’s quickly recap on this series’ first outing on the PS3 as Warhawk.
Warhawk is as a fast-paced, arcade style online multiplayer title which wasn’t packed with a single player campaign. The single player campaign was cancelled during development, as there were concerns that it was inferior to the game’s multiplayer component.
Warhawk, similar to the Battlefield shooters, is based on a fictional war (between Eucadian and Chernovan armies). Basic principles of the game applied, you can either run around maniacally, shooting everything and everyone in your path or you could make use of the in-game vehicles at your disposal to wreak havoc on the maps.
The game was an instant success, and as a result of this, we now have the sequel – Starhawk.
Starhawk is set in the distant future. The game consists of both a single-player mode and a stonking 32 player multiplayer mode. You can expect the usual multiplayer features, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag modes, etc, but the game itself offers some exciting build and battle mechanics, which, to my belief, is the first of its kind for online gaming on the PS3.
The core story of the single-player mode is based around two characters, two brothers – Emmett and Logan Graves. Due to the game being set in the distant future, humans have started to populate other planets, with majority of the human-folk turning into miners, mining for an energy source called Rift Energy. However, if these miners are exposed to this energy source, they are transformed into mutants known as Outcasts. Emmett and Logan are miners who own their own rig which extracts Rift Energy. One day, their rig is attacked by Outcasts, with Emmett and Logan looking to protect not only themselves from the mutants, but their property, which is their main source of income.
Unfortunately, the rig is destroyed with both Emmett and Logan exposed to the energy source. Logan mutates into an Outcast and Emmett just about survives the exposure and remains human. Emmett is then, soon after, hired to travel from planet to planet in order to protect Rift Energy mining sites from Outcasts.
The single-player mode is superb! There’s plenty of action, plenty of superb vehicles and resources to use throughout the game, with my favourite being the Hawk, which is a mech that transforms into a jet! I just love transforming in mid-air and landing on people as a robot!
Although I haven’t yet completed the single-player campaign, it is approximately 8 hours long, with some great comic-book style cutscenes slowly progressing through the story after you complete each level.
The multiplayer is what you’d expect from most recent multiplayer games: you have to work as a unit, a team. Otherwise, you’re going to be (as we say in the UK) trounced! The maps on the multiplayer are HUGE. Although there are only 4 modes to choose from, you can have a massive 32 players on at the same time. It can get rather hysterical in the warzone. The RTS mechanics of the multiplayer are superb, allowing your team to focus on different facility builds to maxmise your impact as a team.
In order to facilitate building, you need to either get kills under your belt to earn Rift Energy, or you simply hang close to your Rift Energy rig and your energy source will replenish your Rift Meter slowly. Rift Energy is the primary currency of the mode. You can’t build anything without redeeming some sort of currency.
From building basic walls, to building automated sensory guns (which shoot down your opponents if they get too near), to building Hawk deployment hubs (which build you a Hawk at the press of a button, allowing you to jump straight in and fly off)! These are just a few of the build options you have at your disposal. The more effective the build, the more Rift Energy you need to build it.
Online gameplay time varies, with the maps being so huge and the battles being so intense, that at times you’ll find yourself playing for atleast 40-45 minutes or more.
Both gameplay modes are superb, although there is a lack of multiplayer modes, there’s enough to keep you going for quite some time. Multiplayer games can go on for a while, and future DLC is also free -> bonus!
It’s a superb game, with a superb method of build and battle mechanics. Right, I needs to gets me a Hawk and go kill some Outcasts now!
[review Pros=”Inclusion of the single-player campaign
RTS mechanics – online multiplayer provides a varying range of ways of play
Hawk gameplay is awesome!
Future DLC will be free.” Cons=”Single player campaign is only 8 hours.
Lack of more multiplayer modes (only 4 modes available)
This review is based on a PS3 copy of Starhawk provided by SCEE.