Starhawk Preview

For all those out there who loved 2007’s Warhawk, we’ve got some great news for you this morning, the rumors were indeed true, Starhawk is coming your way in 2012 exclusively on the PlayStation 3.  The new game is described as bigger and better than Warhawk in every way possible, not the least of which is thanks to a robust and deep single player offering.  Get this, it even has a story.  Can you believe that?

The biggest new addition is something called “Build and Battle” and it is this feature that has delayed the game’s announcement for literally years.  The developers at LightBox had this idea of adding RTS elements into the game, but they sort of lost track of what the series was all about.  By going back to the intense action and fast paced vehicle switching, they were able to create something truly special around this new feature.

So what is this new feature all about, well it’s something you would expect to find in any real-time strategy game, namely, the ability to call in new equipment as you need it.  Do you require a fortified position around your current location, no problem, just bring up the new in-game menu and select a walled protection grid.  Obviously you can’t just call in back-up support vehicles like tanks and new ships without having the necessary points, which are earned from getting kills, etc.  Imagine how strategic you can be in the online multiplayer mode, with everyone trying to build their massive fleet before their opponent.  Not only can you call in support vehicles, create protection fields, but you can also call in specialized weapons as well.  If you work better as a team, you could become unstoppable.

The story seems to be about something called rift energy, it’s what all the various planets in the sector are fighting for.  Think of it like space oil as LightBox describes it.  The protagonist of the single player campaign is a man named Emmett Graves (the one featured in the screenshots) who just so happens to collect and sell rift energy for a living.  Everyone hates this guy because he’s so good at what he does.  It doesn’t help that he’ll stop at nothing to get his hands on the rift energy either, including taking out entire planets if he has to.

The single-player missions feature everything from ground assaults to aerial combat and even mechs.  This game sounds like it has something to offer for just about every action fan out there.  The action doesn’t stop there either, because of the inclusion of a story there will be a natural progression from an early training mission to more advanced areas where you will have to master the Build and Battle system if you have any hope of surviving the onslaught.  LightBox made it very clear that strategy will be a very big part of the single player campaign, but that at its heart Starhawk was created as a shooter.

Have you also noticed the significant boost in the graphics?  LightBox says they’ve spent a tremendous amount of time improving the game engine used in Warhawk to the point the one they’re using now is virtually brand new.  The characters also animate far better than anything seen in Warhawk.  The end result is a game that run better, supports more players and features, and should provide much more immersive experience to players all over the world.

Multiplayer games play out similar to what you remember from Warhawk except with a whole bunch of strategy thrown into the mix.  For example, when you respawn you can select where your capsule will drop.  A good strategy is to drop right on top of an enemy, giving you a perfect kill right off the bat.  Once on the battlefield your first job is to secure your position and make use of teamwork to ensure you use the “Build and Battle” system to your advantage.  Why not fortify your position and then build an armada to take on your opponent all together?  Be careful though as your enemy may use smaller teams with individual tactics to take you out before you have time to build everything you need.  Doesn’t that sound awesome?  I sure think so.

If you’re interested in features, LightBox has you covered.  Starhawk will include support for clans, tournaments, calendar support, and even a connected Android app.  How cool is that?  None of these features could be discussed in any great detail what with the PlayStation Network being offline right now, but the promise of these features actually being part of the game is quite exciting.  I say that only because when Warhawk was originally announced it too featured a robust single-player offering that was eventually cut from the game.  LightBox said that thanks to the sheer success of Warhawk they’ve been able to secure financing for the follow-up and none of these features will be cut.  If anything, more features will be added before the game’s 2012 release.  I expect we’ll be hearing more of this bad boy in another few weeks.

For all those out there curious by the timing of this announcement, it’s because with E3 right around the corner Sony felt like now was a good time to get people excited about just how big of a show they have in store for us at E3.  Starhawk is described as being the beginning of a truly killer line-up of software for the PlayStation 3.  I don’t know about you, but all of this sure sounds exciting to me.

4 thoughts on “Starhawk Preview”

  1. In a way maybe it wasn’t the best timing to announce a “mostly” online game with PSN being down and all.

    That aside, this is a title I’ve looking forward to for sure!

  2. Yeah it’s kind of sad the announcement needed to be made before E3. The reason is simple, Sony didn’t want the title to get buried among their other top titles like Uncharted 3 and who knows what else they have planned. For me, I’m very pleased to see this, but it also stings that the PSN has been out for so long. Sony and their third parties must be really feeling it in their pockets right about now.

  3. Looking good. Sounds like they know their stuff. I like the transforming vehicle mechanics and the build-it-on-the-fly RTS features. While the single-player campaign sounds solid, let’s not kid ourselves. This series has always been about the multiplayer. Warhawk for the PS3 was such a blast thanks to the robust multiplayer options, which included simultaneous 4-player splitscreen while being online. Just keep that feature in, and I’ll be more than happy to support the title. LightBox will close any credibility if they remove this feature.

  4. They need to keep the offline/online hybrid action with drop-in drop-out support. That was an awesome feature. Add in the ability to sign in multiple PSN profiles at once and that would be bad ass.

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