CVG / PSM3 Warhawk Review 9

Natalz

Elite Member
Dec 27, 2006
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#1
I don't believe this has been posted.
So for those interested in another review:

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=170971

Warhawk doesn't do anything new. There's nothing here you haven't seen in a thousand other games. But it's also confoundingly brilliant. Why? Because rather than worry about competing with other developers and coming up with hundreds of elaborate ideas, Incognito have focused on making a straight-up online action game that's as rugged as anything we've seen - however many people are on screen, or how scenery-defyingly high you fly, the game never slows down or breaks into pop up. The controls are brilliantly simple, gameplay is fast and tactical and there's nary a sniff of lag.

First things first - Warhawk is multi-player only. There was talk of a single-player mode in the early stages of the game's development, but it's been canned. The game is specifically designed for people with internet connections and people with friends. Neither of the two? Stop reading now. There's nothing here for lonesome Luddites, unless you fancy flying about on your own giggling to yourself.

Basic training
A typical Warhawk match will be instantly familiar to anyone who's ever played an online FPS. There are good old-fashioned Deathmatches and Team Deathmatches for people who favour fast-paced violence over tactics, and then there's Capture The Flag if you enjoy a comfortable balance of offence and defence.

Our favourite though has to be 'zones', which is like CTF but sees you steadily taking over the map, a bit like the turf wars minigame in San Andreas. There isn't much variety, but the number of ways to play makes up for it.

Warhawk is essentially a Battlefield clone, with huge maps filled with vehicles, weapons and people battling to take control of the level. The freedom afforded by both the scale of the maps and the number of tools at your disposal is what makes it exciting. You can sneak about knifing people in the back, you can charge around in a tank, you can dive-bomb the enemy base, you can pick warhawks out of the sky with a rocket launcher... there's so much to do.

It's the thrilling freedom, and fact that you're playing against up to 31 other people with their own playing styles, that makes Warhawk so rife with memorable moments. Like the sniper in a far-off tower who put a bullet through our head the moment we respawned.

Twice. We hovered up behind him a warhawk, landed quietly on the tower and ran up behind him, killing him with our knife. It was a moment of beautiful revenge and giddy air-punching glee. And Warhawk is full of them, especially if you're playing against friends with USB headsets.

This does, of course, depend on the server you're playing on. It's easy to find yourself battling against a dozen arrogant Americans who are part of some horrid little clan and use cheap, underhand tactics like planting mines on all the planes in your team's base. But mostly it's brilliant, and when you find a good server with a good set of players, it's awesome. You can bookmark your favourite servers too, or make your own if you want to be in charge of the levels and game modes.

Fight the good flight
Vehicles play a key role in the game's success. Jeeps are good for speedy transport and can carry up to three soldiers, one of which is a gunner. The handling is arcade-like, and you can perform powerslides by squeezing the back triggers. Tanks are the same as every war game - slow and monstrously powerful. With a careful shot you can blow aircraft out of the sky with its cannon, but they're susceptible to mine attacks - so watch out for people sneaking up behind you and dropping off an explosive surprise.

But it's the warhawks that define the game - the flying is sublime. While initially cack-handed and confusing, you'll soon be locking onto foes, and screeching at 90˚ between jutting pillars while idly sledging your foes over the headset and sipping tea - the learning curve is masterly. Each 'hawk is essentially two aircraft in one, which you can switch between at any time with the press of a button.

Hover mode controls just like a helicopter, allowing you to strafe people on the ground below, while jet mode is more like Ace Combat. You steer with the left stick, and perform acrobatics with the right - with a range of efforless twirls, spins, double backs and loops. You can, of course, use the Sixaxis to fly, but you never will. You'll mess around with it for a bit, decide that it works 'quite well' then go back to using the sticks. Let's be honest; wobbling your controller about during a relentless dogfight with 20 other planes won't score you many points.

Above all, this is a game about one-upmanship and showing off. It's about blowing someone to bits with a homing missile, and doing loops through the flaming debris to rub it in. It's about sneaking up on people and killing them when they least expect it. It's about charging the enemy base with an assault rifle, and killing six people in a suicidal blaze of glory. Every match is a split-second roulette of rivalry and friendship - you'll learn to recognise names, either to join forces or hunt them like dogs. It's what separates online games from AI-based shooters - the sheer variety of human personalities in each game makes Warhawk an unpredictable, unparalleled thrill - on PS3, at least - that transcends the gently impressive solidity of its parts.

Freedom fighters
Reviewing Warhawk is difficult, because no two matches are the same. It's a masterpiece of balance, of design, and the jewel in Sony's online crown. As a PS Store download - we're praying for £20 (TBC) - it's essential, and the retail copy's worth it just for the bundled USB headset. If you're looking for a multi-player game to justify PS3's online potential - or just crave honest fun - look no further.
 

Natalz

Elite Member
Dec 27, 2006
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#4
[QUOTE="mauaus, post: 0]i second that im at work :([/quote]

Whine! Nah okay I have done it! They give it a 9 btw.