Starhawk User Review
These are the kinds of moments that happen in Starhawk all the time. The minute to minute chaos is hard to match, it is easily one of the best multiplayer games on the PS3 hands down, aside for some balance issues which I will get into later on.
I will be honest I have barely touched the single player so this is basically just for the multiplayer, which is totally worth the price of admission in my opinion. However if you are buying it for a single player game I would hold off until it drops in price, as the single player is little more than a glorified tutorial. It's a shame because They could have done a lot with the whole space cowboy setting but they instead focused on the multiplayer. Which I think is a darn good thing, as it has some of the best multiplayer action you can get across ALL platforms, and this is coming from a hardcore PC shooter fan.
I was actually blown away by the graphics. They may not be really high polygon, or have incredibly detailed textures, but they have a style and smoothness that I haven't seen on the PS3 ever. I mean there are no jaggies to be seen, I tried and I couldn't. Now maybe thats my TV, but none of my other PS3 games have looked so smooth. Other than the smoothness I really dig the art direction. It has a nice range of colours, that lend to the space cowboy theme. Mixing dusty browns, red and yellows, with vibrant blues, greens and turquoise that come from the rift energy and vehicles, you get this nice contrast of colours that really make the game pop.
On top of all that I really dig the character models. The outcasts look like tribal zombie people, and they have parts that glow with rift energy, while the rifters looks like a mix between cowboys and steampunk. They best part is when you head online you unlock parts to customize your character.
Overall I really haven't seen a smoother PS3 game except for Uncharted, but I personally really really love the art direction and style of this game.
This is where the game gets really interesting. First I would like to say, it feels way better than the beta. I actually was turned off of the game from the beta but can tell you that it feels a lot better than it did then. I don't even know exactly what they changed but it feels more balanced. However I still think hawks in the right hands are way to powerful, but they might be addressing this in patches so I'm not too worried.
Anyway if you are familiar with warhawk the games shooting mechanics are quite similar. However a couple of things have changed to the melee system, now you only have to push R3 to cut your opponent. You can also now get an instant melee kill if you hold down R3. Other than that the game plays like a third person shooter, you can jump, crouch, throw grenades, aim down the sites etc. However there is no dodge roll which I found odd, but after playing a while I realized it wouldn't have fit in with the games play style. However the big star of the show is the build a base feature, which lets you build objects literally where ever you want. This is what makes the game so exciting and chaotic. You can build mini bases near the enemy base, or you can call in a turret near there flag stand to cause some trouble while you go for the flag. This adds an RTS or tower defense element to the game. Meaning players who might not have the best aim, can at least do something for their team, by building walls and repairing base assets. The only problem I have run into so far, is that there are really no measures against base rape. Some games you get going are perfect and thats when this game shines. But I will admit if your playing with pros, whether you are doing the base raping or receiving the game really becomes boring. However lightbox says they are going to address this with a patch. There are just so many possibilities, I can't see myself getting bored of this game for a long long time
Explosions sound awesome, the guns sound appropriate, and there is nothing more terrifying than the sound of a nuke coming at your base that a hawk just sent over. I really like how the music picks up when you get into a vehicle, or grab the flag. The music has a very cool western feel to it, and really suits the setting. The voice acting in the single player is alright, nothing special but it gets the job done.
Controls are super fluid and smooth. It handles exactly how you would expect a third person shooter to handle. Although the absence of a dodge roll can be a little jarring if your used to a game that has it, it only took me a couple rounds to forget about it. Character movement is fast and fluid, although switching between weapons can be a little delayed but I'm not sure if that lag or the actual game. But everything your character on foot does is spot on. The vehicles handle in a very arcade like fashion. All the vehicles can be learned how to pilot in a matter of minutes, making the game that much more accessible. Calling in base structures requires you to hold triangle, where you can then choose from whatever assets the server allows and placing them with the x button.
I can see myself playing this for quite a long time. Not only is the core game excellent and full of a ton of possibilities. But with the promise of free map packs for all players, this game can only gain value over time. If you are hear for only the single player I don't know if there is much for you. But anyone interested in the multiplayer will find a lot of bang for their buck.
I was super glad I bought this game, even though the beta initially turned me off. I love the gameplay and chaos that the matches provide and I think that these developers should be supported for trying something new. While the single player is a write off, and basically a tutorial for multiplayer, I think the fact that lightbox is giving us free map packs speaks volumes for how they value there players. If you were turned off by the beta give it a rent, you might be pleasantly surprised.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.