Starhawk PS3 Review

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – Developer – LightBox Interactive – Genre – Action – Players – 1-32 – Age Rating – 16+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

It took Sony close to five years to release a successor to the popular Incognito Entertainment developed Warhawk, which itself was made by some people that were involved in the 1995 PlayStation game of the same name. Starhawk is made by yet another new developer, LightBox Interactive, although this one was also put together by people who were involved in the last game.

One key difference to Warhawk is that Starhawk has a single player campaign – a feature once available during Warhawk’s development, but one which didn’t make the final cut. In Starhawk’s single player campaign, you take control of Emmett Graves, a man who is exposed to Rift Energy, of which would normally turn people into Outcast mutants, although he is saved by a friend, his brother isn’t so lucky. The game is rather light on storytelling with rather poor characterisation, although it’s certainly decent enough for what it is.

For many, the campaign will come across as an extended tutorial, in which is handy for delving into before heading into the multiplayer modes. But it can also be equally enjoyed by those who couldn’t care less about playing against others. In the five hours of the campaign, you’ll come across a feature that allows you to get helpful objects dropped in, and you’ll be shooting and driving your way through the story.

Anything you can do in the single player, you can also do in the multiplayer, and this includes the RTS elements. Holding down the triangle button and then choosing what you want to be dropped in to give you a helping hand, is just as easy as you’d hope. Vehicle launch pads, supply depots, turrets, reinforcements and more can fall from the sky at your command, just as long as you have enough Rift Energy to work with. It certainly makes things feel quite different from that of Warhawk.

Multiplayer options are rather limited at the moment, although this is still one mostly balanced and intense multiplayer experience. There are four modes: deathmatch, team death match, zones, and capture the flag. All are modes that we’ve seen time and time again, although that’s certainly not enough to take away from the dazzle and intensity of the action.

Starhawk also has a very attractive art-style, with a rather subtle cel-shaded look that could have easily leapt out of a graphic novel, and the game runs smoothly at all time. All this is backed up by a superb musical score, of which was composed by Christopher Lennertz, although it’s just a shame that there isn’t a few more tracks, as music does start repeating itself all too often.

Starhawk may be a little limited at the moment, particularly in the multiplayer portion, although this should change in the future. But what’s here just so happens to be a wonderful and mostly balanced experience, with the addition of some rather nice RTS elements.