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Death from above - a Warhawk review
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 15:47   #1 (permalink)
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Default Death from above - a Warhawk review

Warhawk is a Multiplayer Only PS3 game currently up for grabs on the PSN. It was originally released in Blu-ray format.


No, not THAT Warhawk! The new one!

I'm not sure what the story of the game is, or even if there is one. However, here's a Summary. There's a Red Team and a Blue Team, and they're waging war over the Flags that litter their ruined landscape. Soldiers fight on foot, in jeeps and tanks, but mostly by using a Warhawk (on the Blue Team) or a Nemesis (on the Red Team). By curious coincidence, the Nemesis handles exactly the same as the Warhawk, has the same armour, weapons, speed, etc. as the Warhawk, and generally is a Warhawk in every way save name and cosmetics. Handy.

Players engage in various forms of multiplayer battle, and can earn medals, awards and Trophies along the way. Some of the game modes available are;
Deathmatch: Frag everyone.
Team Deathmatch: Frag everyone wearing the wrong uniform.
Hero: Keep your Hero alive whilst killing the other team's Hero.
Zones: Recreate Battlefront II by capturing bases, usually by securing the big Flag in the centre of said base.
Capture The Flag: Flags are the main source of food, power and sex on the planet. If you want to eat, have lights and get laid, you need flags!

There are other game modes, but I haven't yet tried them.

In terms of gameplay, Warhawk is uncomplicated to say the least. It takes very little time at all to get the hang of ground combat, vehicle combat, turret combat or Warhawk combat. Actually staying alive is a bit harder, but suffice to say you won't die because you can't work out which button makes you dodge (it's the right stick, usually).

The simplicity of Warhawk's controls contrasts nicely with the potential complexity of the game itself. Warhawk games take place over a wide area, and the aircraft are given considerable freedom to roam beyond the boundaries of the common footslogger. For example, the "Coruscant" level is mostly cloud-shrouded ground with just a central walkway for tanks and infantry. However, pilots can dogfight over fast regions of the sky. This greater freedom, plus the fact some bases are only accessible by air, encourages the use of Warhawks... which I suppose they should, given the game's name and all.


Scrub, man! Scrub like a whore!

Each vehicle has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Jeeps are fast and can carry three people (a driver, a gunner and the guy who called 'Shotgun&#39, but aren't much good against vehicles. Tanks are rock hard and can carry a single passenger (who can fire out the top hatch), but terrible against aircraft. Aircraft are bloody fast, pack an awesome array of guns, but are probably the least-armoured vehicle around. Finally, the Turrets - great against flyers, rubbish against anything else. That said, the Missile Turret can be used as an emergency anti-ground weapon with reasonable success, providing you only need one shot; you won't have time for a second.

This balance of vehicles makes the game very satisfying to play - use Warhawks on Tanks and Jeeps, use Turrets on Warhawks, use Tanks on Turrets. In like-for-like combat it comes down to who is the better fighter, and it rewards players who get the drop on their enemies.

Infantry are by no means neglected in Warhawk either. The footsloggers can use a wide range of weapons, including Proxy Mines, Machineguns, Rocket Launchers (which can lock on to vehicles), flamethrowers, grenades and Sniper Rifles. Woe befall the fool who thinks himself immune to the common grunt because he's in a Warhawk; Rocket Launchers pack one hell of a punch, and it's hard to hit an infantryman from the air unless you are in VToL mode.

The Warhawk needs its own special mention here as well. Like when on foot, flying a Warhawk gives you a huge range of weapons - one need only collect them. You start with a machinegun (infinite ammo, but it overheats) and five Swarm Missiles. You can also obtain Homing Missiles (much more powerful), Lightning Guns, Cluster Bombs, Mines and various other upgrades to attack, defend or evade with. If you're the artistic type, you can even select a custom colour scheme for your Warhawk / Nemesis, which will activate as soon as you jump into said vehicle.


Pimp My Warhawk is set to be the big show of 2009.

Warhawk's expansion packs bring various new elements to the game, namely new maps and new vehicles. My experiences online seem to single out the Rocket Pack as the most wanted expansion item, and making good use of it can really help win the game.

Graphically, Warhawk is a very sexy game. Bullets fly, bombs go off, absolute hell is unleashed, and throughout it looks sweet as hell. The game has quite a 'Star Wars' feel to it at times, and plays a lot like Star Wars Battlefront. The 'Cloud City' level might as well be labelled Coruscant and be done with it. If you find time, you could savour the view and admire the very pretty landscapes, but if you do that I'll probably drop a Cluster Bomb on you. You don't have time to enjoy the view in Warhawk - you'll be too busy fighting!


He's no Sparkster, but he'll do.

Having ladled plenty of praise (I think) on this game, it is time to lay down the harsh facts about it. Despite claims the game 'auto-balances' matches, quite often the games become one-sided very fast. Whether that's because the game thinks 12 noobs vs 12 lifeless Warhawk addicts is fair, or just because some of the games are badly designed, I don't know. Whilst Team Deathmatch and Deathmatch are all about which team / player is strongest, Zones in particular seems to suffer from bouts of unfairness - one team will emerge within about two minutes as the dominant power, and they will never be overtaken. No matter how well you do, if your team isn't winning by the 90 second mark, your team won't win at all.

There's also the problem of finding games. I own all three Expansion Packs, yet I've not seen two of them used much, if at all. I've never seen an APC, never seen the other new vehicle either. Hell, I can't even find all the game modes! The Servers seem to be almost all focussed on Capture the Flag, and half of them require the "Rocket Pack" expansion. I personally hate Capture the Flag.

Warhawk can, and will, piss you off. There are times I've wished I never bought the bloody game. With the exception of the Halo series, I don't think any Multiplayer game has ever pissed me off as much as Warhawk.

And yet, I keep playing. I keep playing because when you actually find a Deathmatch server, it is balanced. I keep playing because when it is your side that is destined to win, it's great. I keep playing because every so often I manage to drop a Cluster Bomb right on top of some smart-arse in a Missile Turret and blow the bastard sky high. Warhawk is hugely entertaining when things go your way, and it doesn't take much for you to start boasting about how you and you alone are the supreme Master of The Skies.

Warhawk is a roller-coaster ride of joy, sorrow, anger, laughter and bucket-loads of mayhem. It has to be experienced, and thankfully there's a demo version on the PSN. You'll only get one map, and it's Capture the Flag, but it'll give you a taste of the glory. Let yourself play it, let yourself lose, let yourself hate Warhawk with all your might... then gun down two enemies and bug-out before the ground turrets can lock on, and you'll feel like you're God's Gift to Gaming.


"Fight to fly, fly to fight, fight to win." - U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN.

RATING:
Well worth playing. If nothing else, the demo should be installed on very PS3 owner's HDD. However, you've got to get the full thing to experience just how good it gets.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 16:15   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Death from above - a Warhawk review

Didn't this come out years ago?
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 18:36   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Death from above - a Warhawk review

Yes, but I only got it a few weeks back.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 22:53   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Death from above - a Warhawk review

and a good purchase it was, It came out in 07 yet it remains my favourite third person shooter.
however it's CTF mode is what keeps me coming back for more, btw wargamer CTF on acropolis assault is reason enough to buy the game :P. also depending on if your playing ranked or unranked the winning thing is different than you said. also it has split-screen online for up to 4 players on 1 console making it a great game to play with friends. Warhawk is also a perfect example of the phrase "easy to learn, hard to master" as the basic controls take very little time to learn but the strategys and more complicated aerial dodges and powerslides take quite awhile to master.

also as a side note to wargamer, im glad to see you expanding TO's PS3 community ;D.
I look forward to crushing you online (im one of those lifeless pro's)
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