Released on August the 28th 2007, Warhawk remains one of the PSN`s flag ship releases, and I say quite rightly so. Based on the original Playstation 1 title, the PS3 version expands in every way possible to produce what is still a fun packed and graphically pleasing title.
On its release day I can only assume Sony underestimated the amount of interest surrounding this game, and I say this because the first month after release the game or the network couldn’t cope. People, including myself were unable to connect and it could take quite literally twenty minutes to get to play online. What made this situation furiously frustrating however, was that Warhawk was and still is an online only title, meaning if you couldn’t establish a connection you couldn’t play. But lets not live in the past, as with any new title there are nearly always teething problems.
With such a shaky review to Warhawk so far I think it’s only fair to now heap on some much deserved praise. I take my 1960`s retro style Bowler hat off to Ingocnito for one of the best supported titles to date on the PSN. On top of three reasonably priced update packs (which included new features requested and discussed in various forums by us civilians) there have been several free updates, with the most recent adding what is considered to be the Holy Grail amongst PS3 owners, Achievements and custom soundtracks. This on top of regular Q&A online has set the standard very high in terms of Developer/Consumer relations, and just a quick browse around the internet will turn up heaps of praise. Bravo Incognito.
Considering this is an early title the game looks and feels very fresh. The water effects are by far my favourite, and with the sun hitting it just right I would often find myself paying more attention to that rather than the imminent Swarm Missile attack. I soon learnt my lesson. Graphically everything looks crisp and well rendered, and even with fifteen Warhawks in the air, ground support and several missiles flying in your general direction, I have never experienced slow down, stuttering or screen tare. The more you play the more you begin to realise there is a lot of attention to detail, little extras that didn’t have to be there but are, making Warhawk feel even more complete. For example, should an explosion take place just over the hill from where you stand, you will see a visible but subtle shockwave bubble out and disperse.
Complementing the visuals, the audio is of very high quality. The title is built from the ground up in Dolby Digital 5.1, and they have taken advantage of this by producing some gut wrenching explosions and fill your pants fly-bys. The Warhawks sound as if they have actually just flown over your left shoulder, darted from left to right in front of you and then looped the looped back behind you. It is, to say the least, very submersive. More than a nice sound effect, this helps you locate one of the thirty one remaining enemies firing at you.
The control system is simple in practise, but to explain it now in detail will just induce a moderately sized brain tumour (probably). Each mode of transport has its individual control system, whether it be Tank, Jeep, Warhawk, running, Homing Missile turret, Cannon turret or Personnel carrier. They are, of course, similar enough to jump in and control straight away, but variances in weapons and abilities make a difference. Then on top of this the Warhawks have two control settings, normal flight or pro flight. The differences between the two are significant, the benefits, however are not. With normal flight settings the pitch, yaw and roll of your Warhawk is controlled purely by the two analogue sticks. With Pro-flight you are in the mercy of SIXAXIS controls, your pitch, roll and yaw is controlled entirely by your hand movements. On release of Warhawk the Pro-Flight feature was written off as pointlessly hard and nobody used it, but after a short break to fix my car (play COD4) I have returned to find all the big scorers using Pro-Flight with an amazing degree of move ability. The controls as a whole are tricky to pick up, and as a beginner you will constantly find yourself being out manoeuvred by the regulars, but all I can say is stick with it and definitely attend the training option that was included in the August 28th update (Once completed it will award you an Achievement as well)
Even without a story mode to play through this game is still entertaining after one year from its release date. It’s been well received by consumers and well supported by the developers. I should also mention at this point that the game is available both as download and Blu-ray, but if you want to save a bit of cash the PSN download costs significantly less but is locked to the PSN user ID that was used to download the game, so I suggest if you share your PS3 with others get the Blu-ray version, otherwise the PSN version is your friend.
A game worthy of buying that new HD TV you need (but cant afford).
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Fun, Frantic, constantly sweaty palms type of gaming.
Boombastic. Some very nice sounds, from every direction.
You can fly, walk, drive, mount, remote controll and set traps against real people...timeless.
A great game, and a great introduction to both HD technology and online gameplay.