PS3 Previews: Starhawk Preview

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Starhawk Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q1 2012

Publisher:

Sony Santa Monica

Developer:

Lightbox Interactive

Number Of Players:

1-32

Genre:

Action/Strategy

I never thought I’d like Warhawk. But then I hit the Triangle button to switch from hover to fly in the beta, and I was instantly hooked. It turned out to be one of the best early experiences on the PlayStation Network, and remains one of the better multiplayer games available in my eyes. That’s why I was excited to try Starhawk, the spiritual successor in development at Lightbox Interactive. After a fair amount of time, I’m happy but not necessarily ecstatic.

I know the game will have a bunch of cool modes, ranging from standard deathmatch to Capture the Flag. And in this beta, we could only test the latter, which is fine. I also know that in many ways, Starhawk will be structured similarly to its predecessor. But I really didn’t expect the differences in versatility and style when it comes to the design and environment; even with only two maps, one can sense the upgrade in artistic vision and ambition. In direct comparison, almost every map in Warhawk seems bland.

I also was surprised to see the new building system. It works pretty well and it’s relatively easy to grasp, especially if you’ve used similar mechanics in other strategy-based multiplayer games. You can construct essential defenses, like turrets that will fire on unwanted invaders and impenetrable force-fields. And when you finish certain buildings, you’ll gain access to fun toys like jetpacks and hawks. It actually reminds me a little of Heroes of Might & Magic in this way; i.e., build this, get this.

And of course, your resources are limited, and there are only so many buildings that can be erected in any given match. Each side’s max is 32, so make sure you communicate to avoid making 20 of the same type of building (unless you think that’ll benefit your team in the long run, for some reason). In regards to the aforementioned “resources,” this is mostly dependent on your energy bar, which can be filled by killing enemies and grabbing energy barrels. You lose some energy when you die, by the way.

This is all fine, but personally, I’m less into the strategic element and more into the flight aspect. I was primarily a pilot in Warhawk so above all else, I wanted to test the flying in Starhawk. Here’s where I’m a little iffy; it feels looser and not quite as stable this time around, and finding and locking onto foes seems tougher. Then again, I haven’t played Warhawk in a good three years, so maybe I’m just out of practice. The controls are familiar even if the feel is a little new, and it’s something I can get accustomed to, provided the final product is just as addictive.

Starhawk is certainly more strategic than Warhawk and offers more in the way of depth and team-based possibilities, which is something that many gamers should enjoy. If you want to run ‘n gun, stick to standard shooters; this one is designed for those dedicated to the art of a perfectly formulated and executed game plan.

12/22/2011 Ben Dutka

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Comments (5 posts)

Dridion
Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 10:59:19 PM
Reply

Hey Ben, not sure if you tried recently but TDM was available to play now. I know it doesn't really change anything much BUT it does let you grasp the combat a bit better.

I'm with you in that the flight mechanics are a bit off. Hopefully they'll be tighter upon release. I'm just happy we're finally getting an awesome sequel.

Oh and thank God hovering is gone lol. I didn't think I'd like the mech mode as I usually hate anything that incorporates them but it's a nice trade off and balances the game fairly well. Those damn Razorbacks are TOO damn OP lol.

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___________
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 2:27:08 AM
Reply

im really enjoying it so far.
only things that need fixing is obviously the lag, and theres not enough vehicles.
its so frustrating spawning and walking around the entire map looking for a vehicle then you get taken down because someone in a mech.
human with machiene gun or mech with freaking rockets!
hmmmmm i wonder whos going to win!
also the turrets are FAR too powerful!
you can sit there pumping 1 billion bullets into them and 4 grenades into them and there still there unharmed.
either significantly lower their health, or significantly lower the amount you can place.
gets really annoying running away from a turret to run into another, to run into another, to run into another!
feel like im dodging a freaking minefield!
grenades are far too weak too, you hurl a grenade and it explodes at someonea feet and they dont die!
WTF!?
normally grenades kill people!
especially when there right at the persons feet!

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Clamedeus
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 2:17:50 PM

You have a weapon that can dismantle them, I don't know how to use it though I seen someone do it.

It's like a repair tool or something it shoots out a yellow beam and it destroys the enemies placements.

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H0TSHELLZ
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 7:45:05 AM
Reply

I'm loving the Beta so far.....the things i would change is the damage it takes to kill an enemy with a rifle is way too much and needs to be cut in HALF. And the WARHAWK is NOT as Agile as it use to be, I want to do Barrel rolls while doing a loop-t-loop. But other than those minor concerns its a Day 1 Purchase for me.

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friction
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 7:51:03 AM

agreed, i think it'd be great if they increased the damage of the rifle. it would probably create a lot more ground combat, rather then mech vs human. But damn am i enjoying this beta, day 1 for me as well

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