Starhawk | Review

There is nothing better than shooting down vehicles in flight; the fiery mass of technology spiraling though space with only a bad ending in sight. Starhawk is the successor of Warhawk, and Lightbox has delivered a ton of new features that will make your next trip to space one of the best on the Playstation. You are Emmett Graves and you are dealt with the unenviable task of saving the galaxy. Who are you saving it from? Your brother, Logan, who is pretty pissed off that you’re against him. As you use an arsenal of gadgets to help you along the way, especially when you need to destroy the mess of baddies.

What makes Starhawk truly unique is the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) style of gameplay mixed with a third person over the shoulder gameplay that mixes really well and offers a great challenge. There were times where I thought I would be able to clear though a bunch of enemies in an area, but found myself overwhelmed with areas by scabs and needed to build a huge wall (using multiple walls will connect them) along with a few turrets. What makes the game very fascinating is the using different equipment to maneuver through the air. One of the machines you can use is a Jetpack where you can hover around the area for a limited time. The jetpack is used very well especially in later levels. By far, the best part of the game is when you obtain a Hawk.

Hawks are a type of transforming mech. They are able to be a bipedal walking death tank that can take out enemies in the blink of an eye. When on the ground, the Hawk is a bit more limited. You cannot lock on to the enemies, especially enemies that aren’t tanks and using the swarm lasers will not fire as much on the ground. Press the ‘O’ button will let you go into flight mode. If you’ve ever played a flight game before, you should be used to the controls here. R1 will allow the player to fire their mini-gun, L1 will shoot a special weapon that you can collect on the field. If you’re under fire, you can shoot out so flares to get read of enemy rockets.

When it comes to your arsenal, you have a varied array of weapons at your disposal. You could switch between your normal assault rifle that works the best when you do burst fire shot fire and to a shotgun that would deal some pretty decent damage against a mech when you were out of energy for your powerful weapons. Energy is gained by fragging enemies, destroying barrels or completing a task during gameplay. Energy is used for the RTS like strategy items that you can use. You can use a wall to strengthen your defense, it’s especially useful when you have a ton of vehicles racing towards you. Lightbox has thought of a lot of good ideas to give you a defensive edge especially with the beam cannons.

When you finally obtain your Hawk, you first notice how smooth the flight controls are and this is one of the biggest benefits of playing Starhawk. The smooth and precise controls will give you an edge fighting off of enemy Hawks. You can also obtain weapons for your Hawk. Homing missiles definitely come in handy as well as your beam attack. There are a load more weapon such as the flak gun and machine gun. The variety of weapons make the using the Hawk a joy and once of the funnest parts of the game. When it comes to the Hawk’s weapons, the one that comes to mind is the beam attack, you have a set time to aim your weapon and lock on using the L1 button. When you let go of the button, you will launch a devastating attack that will do some pretty decent damage on your opponent. My problems with this, however, you cannot do it on normal Scab units which is a downer.

Out of all the good the game shows, there are some weirdness to the game. Some of the voice acting is very hit and miss especially with some characters and at times I didn’t feel the performance of the main character, Emmett, while Cutter was a joy and was even humorous at time. At times I also found that some of the actions being used are the trigger buttons didn’t trigger as fast as you would like it to and sometimes you could find yourself surrounded by enemies and want to throw a grenade. Well, at times you will not be able to throw a grenade when you want to and you will need to really stress press the button in order to throw the grenade. In addition, sometimes the action will be very hectic and at times the cues did not trigger in my game until after clear a ton of bad guys from the screen. You will also have a breeze getting through the story as it’s not very hard nor is it very long.

Of course, when it comes to Starhawk is its multiplayer. Within lies a deep and robust multiplayer for everyone to enjoy. You have the ability to play the story with another friend and that will lead to some pretty hilarious moments when you’re trying to defeat the same enemies and the competitive multiplayer is where the addicting gameplay comes in; and boy is it fun. You have the ability to play a slew of different game types such as: Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Zones (a territory styled game type). Each of the game types provide multiple servitudes of fun and the fast paced action of Warhawk returns.

You have a progression bar that helps your character grow. This will do anything from making your character stronger to making your Hawk fly faster. You can earn experience in pretty much the standard way of fragging enemies to doing well in matches. Earning experience is also gained by capturing and leveling up your zones in the gameplay type Zones. You can level up your zones the the more places you capture. You can level up your bases and can overlap your bases provided that you have leveled up your bases well. You can level them up provided you get the experience and energy to do so. Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are your normal affair and the matches are fun and long.

Using the power of the Playstation, you have a lot of stuff happening on the screen and none of it looks bad. It holds steady at 60 frames per second and never lags, at least, I never witnessed any on my television. Even during the most ruckus of times, especially during the final battle scenes I didn’t feel like the gameplay was hindered because of how much was happening.

With all this in mind, I loved Starhawk. It’s one of the finest games on the Playstation to date and definitely one of the best looking multiplayer action games that you will find. The smooth gameplay along with a solid multiplayer and single player component will have you playing for hours on end. The single player campaign, while short, will get you used to the controls and give you a decent story with some pretty fun moments. I highly recommend this game if you’re looking for a great multiplayer action game that uses third person shooting, mixed with RTS and aerial combat.

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