|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 D'Marcus Beatty
Warhawk has had a long and strange journey to retail. When it was initially shown, its gameplay was being utilized to show the applications of the Sixaxis controller before the PS3 launch. At that time, the game was slated to be significantly single player with multiplayer elements, but during the development, the designers decided that their multiplayer game was much stronger than the single player and focused on crafting a great multiplayer experience, eschewing the single player altogether. The successor to one of the original PlayStation favorites became an online fragfest. Was it a step in the right direction? The answer is yes; Warhawk is an incredible gaming experience that stays true to the feel of the original while offering a distinct and fun next gen impression
As stated before, Warhawk is a completely online multiplayer experience, so the entire game revolves around battling other people. There is no single player experience, which, for most games outside of MMOs, is unique and potentially dangerous, since there are still a lot of gamers that prefer an offline single player game to risking versus modes against vulgar preteens and jerks that abuse their online anonymity. Obviously, an early caveat for anyone of this mindset is that you should avoid Warhawk. There isn't much of anything to do with the game if you don't like online versus. However, the multitude of gamers that do enjoy a game of army men online will definitely enjoy what Warhawk has to offer.
There is no plot or story behind Warhawk, which shows how much the developers are emphasizing the gameplay. All that the player needs to know is that two factions, the Eucadians and the Chernovans, are at war. While there are cosmetic differences in the factions, such as the fact that the Chernovans appear a little more technological oriented in their appearance, these differences do not translate to the game where the factions all have access to the same weaponry and vehicles. Ultimately, the war and the names are all unessential (and limited) backstory to give players a reason to jump online and trash their buddies.
One of the great things about Warhawk is its diversity. You can play the game on foot, in ground vehicles, or in the flying Warhawks. There is a distinct and well done balance created by this dynamic, giving clever players ways to defeat others no matter their method of attack. For example, an enemy in a Warhawk obviously has an advantage over someone on foot, but if the exposed person grabs a rocket launcher, the Warhawk is suddenly very vulnerable. However, the rocket launcher does take a few seconds to lock on, giving the Warhawk the opportunity to veer away or attack in earnest. No weapon feels overpowered or useless.
Due to the variety and balance of weapons, there are a ton of different tactics that are available to cunning players at any time. There are multiple weapons for the soldier, including a sniper rifle, a pistol and and flamethrower, but there are also multiple weapons for the vehicles as well as ground weapons, including anti-air emplacements and land mines. This variety helps to keep the game feeling fresh and fun, as you can find yourself sneaking up on an opponent and shanking him with your combat knife just before jumping into a Warhawk and strafing the ground with missiles. The different possible experiences are distinctly varied without feeling disjointed.