Warhawk, initially slated as a PS3 launch game, has gone through some very bumpy stages in development. However, developers Incognito have shifted their focus and will now be releasing Warhawk as a multiplayer-only title—and it appears to be for the better.
One of the biggest highlights for Warhawk will be its use of the Sixaxis motion controls. As of now, the Playstation 3 has been severely lacking in having a title that combines innovative use to the motion controls with intuitive controls. While games like Motorstorm gave you the option of using Sixaxis controls, it ultimately did not feel right because the conventions of racing games using the analog sticks are so engrained in the minds of gamers. With Warhawk, it appears that using the Sixaxis to control the Warhawk will just feel right. Subtly twisting your controller will have your plane gracing the sky—a feeling of total control.
As previously stated, Warhawk will be a multiplayer-only game, much like Xbox 360’s Shadowrun. The number of players that Warhawk will support online has not been finalised, but the battlefields appear to be immense, which would seem to indicate that the maximum amount of players will be quite high to make sure the action is chaotic and action-packed. There have been three online modes that have been announced so far: Team Deathmatch, Territories Modes and Capture the Flag, but Incognito have claimed that there are additional modes that will be announced in the future.
Warhawk will be featuring both aerial and ground combat at the same time, which presents some interesting and challenging balancing acts that will have to be fine-tuned by the time it is released. Balancing the fact that you want players to feel both a sense of power and supremacy in the air, but at the same time, not making those that want to stick to ground combat feel powerless will be a factor in whether or not this game soars or stalls.
Delving into the ground combat side of things, Warhawk will be featuring your run-of-the-mill shooter vehicles and weapons, with tanks, jeeps, machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles and more being a part of your arsenal. The ground combat alone looks extremely engaging, but having the added layer of depth with the Warhawk’s zooming above will add to the strategic elements of the game. With the ability to voice chat, co-ordinating air and ground strikes to take out an objective should be a thrilling accomplishment. Gameplay footage that has been shown by Incognito illustrates that they are on the right track, but there is some fine-tuning, particularly in the Warhawk’s strength (or lack thereof) that needs to be done. However, Incognito definitely has the time to make those small tweaks before it ships.
One thing that definitely looks done and polished are the graphics. The highlight, at least so far, has been the Warhawk itself. There is a tremendous amount of detail within Warhawk mode, first being its overall design—the thing just looks cool as hell. It has a nice, rough shade of grey that accompanies it, which is much better than something shiny. You’re in combat, man! These hawks aren’t going to be all pretty and prissy-like! Furthermore, the animations are smooth and fluid while in the air, which will help you become immersed into feeling like you’re guiding this jet. The engines push out some nice fire, (with awesome blur effects) which scales depending on how fast you are flying the plane. There is just not enough you can say about the job Incognito did with the design and look of the Warhawk up to this point and it can only become more polished with time.
Also, the environments are both expansive and a joy to look at. The terrain is varied in elevation, so while you’re on the ground, that means that you can use that to hide and snipe, but while in the air, you can get a feel of just how big this battlefield is and marvel at it all. You’ll have mountains, ridges, bridges, bases and bunkers abound to colour your battlefield.
Warhawk will definitely be a game to look out for on the Playstation 3. It appears to be offering a ton of promise with its online multiplayer and should be a game that gets shooter fans everywhere excited. (And give an online shooter to PS3 owners that are growing tired of Resistance: Fall of Man’s online) This once-troubled title seems to out of the rough patch and back into the PS3 limelight. Look for Warhawk to be released sometime in the third quarter of 2007. Check back to Console Monster for continuing coverage of Warhawk and for the eventual review later this year.
Originally Written By: Art Green