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PS3 Review – Warhawk

February 22, 2009 Written by Adam Wolfe

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Imagine running out of ammo while being chased by three enemies. One shoots at you from a tank, causing explosions all around you. Another in a jeep fires a machine gun at you causing the dirt to shoot up all around your feet, and the last guy with a rocket launcher shoots at you, nearly planting a missile into your head. As you’re running, you look up and see a vacant plane. It’s not just any plane, but a Warhawk which comes loaded with missiles, machine guns and the ability to hover and boost out of sight.

You run up, jump in the cockpit and fly off, narrowly escaping with your life. But you’re not interested in escaping the conflict entirely, as you want to return and make them pay; you pick up some more missiles and a cluster bomb. You come swooping in and drop your cluster bomb, killing the guy with the RPG and blowing up the jeep. You loop around and come back in with 2 missiles armed and locked on the tank…you fire; an explosion! The tank is destroyed, you have done it! You have escaped and made your enemies pay! Just as soon as you start to relax *BOOM* you’re dead! Another Warhawk flies away…you forgot there were 16 people on that team.

That is just one of the many crazy situations you will find yourself in while playing Warhawk. Warhawk was developed by Incognito Studios. Yes, this title is from that studio that brought us Twisted Metal and Jet Moto. Like those two games, everything is just mayhem when a round starts. There will be explosions everywhere; you will be getting attacked from all sides (including from the sky) and the action is super fast paced.

Warhawk is an online-only game that puts teams of 16 against each other. The battles are fast-paced and jam-packed full of weapons and vehicles at your disposal.

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When you first start the game you will have to choose sides either the Eucadian or Chernovan army. Neither have an advantage over the other; this will just set you up with that particular team when you play a match. You can choose from 5 different match types (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Dogfight and Zones). If you have played any multiplayer games before (particularly something like Unreal Tournament 2004) you should know how most of these play out. The one exception is Dogfight…this will put you in one of the Warhawks and you will not be able to get out. You can play either on teams or have it as a free-for-all. These are, by far, some of the most hectic matches. 32 frantically dodging and twisting Warhawks gets extremely exciting and nerve-wracking.

There are 5 maps to choose from. This may not seem like a lot, but each map has five variations, from huge 16 on 16 battles that very easily will take you 10 minutes to get across, to the smaller and more intimate maps where you are respawning almost on top of each other. Though the maps are extremely different in size, the fast-paced action rarely misses a beat.

When you’ve selected a game type and a map you will spawn with a pistol and a knife, but don’t worry there are 9 additional weapons to pick up and use. All are very well balanced and work very efficiently in the right hands. You’ll also notice that there are 3 different vehicles and 2 different turrets. You can take the quick and lightly-armored jeep with the machine gun mounted on top, the heavily-armored but much slower tank, or the deft and swift Warhawk (the Chernovan equivalent is called a Nemesis). All 3 have their strengths and weaknesses, but by mastering the planes and their 7 different weapon types you will truly become a force to be reckoned with.

The game play pans out like a lot of other multiplayer games. Where Warhawk excels is with the air-to-ground and ground-to-air combat. Getting a team that works well as a cohesive unit is a sight to see and will have you hooting and hollering as the mayhem occurs.

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Since Warhawk’s released it has seen quite a few updates and DLC pack releases. There have been 3 new maps, 2 new vehicles, and infantry jetpacks added. This only enhances an already stellar game. The new maps are extraordinarily fun, and the new vehicles as well as jet packs only increase the amount of choices you will have on the battlefield.

It also was one of the first games to receive the illustrious trophy patch and custom soundtracks. This added a new spark and a whole new approach to this wonderful game. Getting a trophy for running someone over in a jeep while rocking out to some AC/DC…I’m not sure much compares to that.

When it come to the negatives of Warhawk there are only a few. Some people may say online-only is a negative, but then again that’s what was promised and it delivered very thoroughly. Others may say the maps are too big, well let me tell you if you’re in a 16 on 16 match you will be glad you have some room to move around! All in all, there are very few things I can honestly complain about when it comes to this game. It would be nice to have a matchmaking system, and it may very well take your whole lifetime to reach the top character rank, but if those are the only possible negatives then I’m honestly not bothered.

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Warhawk is what every multiplayer game should be. There are a ton of options when it comes to vehicles and weapons. The maps are wide open and hectic, and after all the updates and DLC, there really is nothing that could make this better. This game should be on everyone’s shelf and should be the new standard on how online action titles should be. This is definitely a purchase.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

The sound is incredible!

Frame rate is solid, and draw distance near infinite.

Incredibly balanced, strategic multiplayer that rarely disappoints.

9 out of 10