An Introduction to Warhawk
Looking toward the world below, you see a gorgeous vast landscape that stretches for miles. The water glistens ever-so brightly as you drop down to glide atop its surface. As you view your surroundings, the beautiful island environment makes you nearly oblivious to the enemy aircraft on your tail. A sharp barrage of machine gun fire on your rear provides a sharp reminder. Immediate evasive maneuvers are necessary. Aware of the warning bleeps of an incoming AA-19 homing missile, you instantly engage your PRCM/D to deploy chaff which confuses the advancing missile’s avionics. As you gracefully barrel roll to avoid several rather pesky AA-21 lock-ons, you adjust your pitch to varial flip over your flying foe. Now on his tail, you sense the tide of the dogfight turning as your XK-2 Directed Energy Weapon (or lightning gun for short) begins to charge. As the opposing pilot attempts to slide and swerve his way to safety, your reticle remains steadfastly pointed at the aircraft. You release the fully charged blast of energy, which nearly grazes the surface of the enemy’s craft. Deciding the distance between the two crafts is too great for an accurate shot; you flip on the afterburners, only to smash into a cleverly placed aerial mine. Blast! The flaming hunks of metal that remain of your ship slowly willow towards the ground like some fantastic fireworks display.
Time to try again.
This is a typical dogfight in a not so typical title. The online-only Warhawk, developed exclusively for the PlayStation 3 by Incognito, places you in a massive 32 player sandbox-type battlefield. Within all of the available environments is a completely multi-modal experience. Fancy flying a Warhawk? Give it a go. Scared of being airborne? Stay on the ground. Want to snag that perfect shot? No problem, just grab a sniper rifle and you’re off. Looking for some bigger explosions? Hop in a tank. By now you should get the point - Warhawk is what you make it.
For those who don’t know, Warhawk is somewhat of a remake. The first Warhawk came out on the original PlayStation November 10th, 1995. Besides the title and the actual Warhawk aircraft, there really isn’t any similarity. Offline only evolved into online only; the Warhawk became one of two types of aircrafts (which are both fully customizable as you rank up); and most obviously pilots can now hop out of planes and do what they wish on the ground.
The two base aircrafts that are available mirror the two warring races within the game. The Warhawk has its design roots in the original Curtiss P-40 Warhawk; but dabbles a bit in the blueprint of the A-10 Warthog with its strong proportions, impressive engines, and its sheer ability to take a pounding and still be an effective war machine. The rather menacing Nemesis was extremely heavily influenced by the Luftwaffe during World War II, though the dual lift fans were a mechanical element borrowed from the Lockheed Martin F-35B. While each aircraft is designed based on reality, their capabilities aren’t. The ability to hover, the insanely tight turns at 300 mph, and frankly the incredible durability of the aircrafts is unreal. While these may have turned down the realism factor, the game is more balanced and entertaining to show for it, and that’s what truly matters for us gamers.
You’ve got two choices when controlling your aircraft. Some opt for the standard control scheme using the analog stick while others spring for the highly customizable motion controls. The range of sensitivity that the SIXAXIS controller provides is better than what you’ll get from the traditional analog sticks. As such, you can get far more precise flying, maneuvering and missile scrubbing when ‘motion’ is enabled on the controller. Additionally, you’re able to control your aiming reticle independent of your flight path. As always though, some players will always prefer that simpler analog controls. Luckily, the choice is yours.
What better way to enjoy Warhawk than with three buddies on the couch with you? Warhawk provides four player online splitscreen at the touch of a button. Hop into an unranked match or create your own, turn on the other controllers and tap start – your friends are good to go.
Let’s take a look at the environments you’ll be fighting in. Five different environments will be available in essence, but battles will take place across far more than five maps. Each of the maps will be either a piece of or the whole environment, depending on the number of players and mode of play. Expect to see a desert region, an island paradise, some desolate skyscraper-tops and more.
Hopefully you’ve been properly introduced to Warhawk, and we look forward to flying the skies with you on August 28th. Check back next week for a full review.