|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Incog Inc.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 28 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-32 (Online Only)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
May 14, 2007 - Attention war fighters! I know you can't wait to get your hands on another great warfare game, especially after kicking your friend's butt playing Call of Duty 3 one day after another. In a few months, Incognito Entertainment Inc. and Sony will deliver what could be one of the greatest online gaming experiences, at least when it comes to war combat simulation and arcade-like entertainment.
Incognito has been working on this title for a few years now and, after giving it great consideration, they decided to get rid of all the artificial intelligence and turn Warhawk into one of the greatest war-themed online games out there. Even if the intentions sound too pretentious and even if they don't quite reach the top levels of online entertainment, I can tell you firsthand that the game looks promising. Making Warhawk online-only was a hard decision that especially affected and saddened the A.I. development team but, after all, it might be for a good cause: they don't want to give you a mediocre game all together but rather a really enjoyable online experience. You guys better get ready for it because I think many of you will be playing this game for a good while!
Since Warhawk can only be played online, we had to wait for "Warhawk Wednesday" to come in order to test the preview code. The wait was well worth it, although I would have appreciated the chance to practice beforehand on a single player fashion. "Game-time" arrived, and I was there, in the middle of the battleground, with no previous Warhawk experience and the Sixaxis controller in my hands. The "Battle for Eucadia" began, and I was given the chance to select the area where I wanted my character to show up which is neat because sometimes you'll see there's an aircraft or a tank parked down there aiting for you; it's nice to take advantage of that.
One of the best features of Warhawk is that you can face your opponents on foot, while riding a tank, or hovering with your aircraft. Everything is mixed up in the action, making the gameplay truly entertaining and fast-paced. If you choose to glide through the skies with a Warhawk, all you have to do is find one and start flying! Square button to mount the vehicle and triangle to go up and fly will take care of that. Same with tanks; did you see a tank on the loose just waiting for you? Get on it, and ride your way towards the enemies! Don't forget to use the gun when it's appropriate, unless you want to be "fried" by someone else If vehicles are not for you, and you feel more comfortable when you're on foot, no problem; there are plenty of enemies on the ground that you can teach a lesson to. More than one taught me a lesson, like when I was running away looking for a new spot to hide and some tank ran all over me and killed me. Just remember that every single character you see while you're playing has a name and a gamer-tag; it's not just some random A.I. character making it tough for you! That's where all the fun comes into play: you have your pride and so do the others; it could even be your best friend out there coming at you, sending missiles from his brand new Warhawk!
The game controls are so simple that anybody can learn. Mastering the skills is different, but with some practice and real motivation, you could become a Warhawk pro in no time. The left analog stick controls movement, and the right one will facilitate aiming. You'll shoot with the R1 trigger or use the L1 to fire your secondary weapon. There is a wide selection of weapons you can use, some when you're on the ground, others when you're up in the air: flame throwers, rocket launchers, proximity mines, rifles, knifes, and standard pistols for the ground soldiers, different kinds of missiles, lightning, cluster bombs, air mines, and chaffs for those hovering the skies.
By the way, you should know that the motion-sensitive controls from the Sixaxis controller have been applied to this game as well. Incognito has actually surprised me by doing a really good job. Instead of making Warhawk a dead-on flight simulation, air-combat game, they actually made flying an easy and entertaining facet of the game. I'm glad they remembered that this game is about combat and not strictly about flying! You can just grab a plane and chase your enemies around while shooting missiles at them without worrying about how tough it is to control the plane. Simple and intuitive motion controls are a really good aspect of Warhawk. Even if you refuse to use the motion sensors, you won't have a problem handling the aircraft and doing pirouettes in the air at high speeds.
We played each of the game modes that Warhawk will offer, and all of them were equally entertaining and well designed. The good news is that with all those modes and several different maps, there will be plenty of variety to keep the gameplay fresh and challenging. In "Zones" the players will be divided into two teams (Red Vs. Blue) and compete to capture the opposing team's base. In "Death Match," you'll be on your own, trying to get the highest number of kills. "Capture the Flag" has a main goal: you guessed it, grab the enemies' flag and run! All you have to do is bring it to your base and make sure your own flag is there too. There's also the "Team Death Match" just like "Death Match," but you are accruing kills for your team and not just for yourself.
We only played in one of the maps; the rest are reserved for the final release, and we didn't have the chance to see them. The graphics didn't look astonishing, but they were fine. This is not supposed to be the next Medal of Honor or Call of Duty, full of detail and high expectations. Instead, it will have an arcade feel with pretty good visuals plus a fun and engaging gameplay. However, everything looks realistic and carefully designed; it is a next generation game and it wants to deliver, even if it's not the best looking game out there. True, there are no shrubs and other vegetation you can hide behind, and the trees don't look as alive as the ones in your backyard, but there are plenty of other barricade-acting elements that make up for it like ruins, vigilance towers, etc. After all, this is another warfare game, and they're not all that different from one another.
The sound effects and music were very typical of combat games and movies. It seems like they all sound the same! Which is not bad, but it's not good either, in my opinion. It would be nice to be able to apply the word "unique" once in a while when reviewing this kind of game.
As any good and updated online game that belongs to the next generation of gaming, Warhawk also supports voice chat. It will allow you to stay in touch with your friends and other competitors while playing, keeping the spark alive. You will know you're not alone, and that's a good thing; at least it feels more "social" and maybe your parents will understand someday that gaming is a new form of entertainment that is here to stay! Don't forget to give a chance to Warhawk when it comes out if you enjoy this kind of game!
CCC Co-Site Director