Starhawk (PS3) Box Art(http://www.starhawkthegame.com) Rated T for Teen by ESRB.  Starhawk is the spiritual successor to Warhawk as they say, but the connection between the two games is far enough that it is best to look at Starhawk alone. This title is one ambitious project, incorporating both flight combat and real-time strategy into a third person shooter.

Starhawk (PS3) Box ArtStarhawk (PS3) Logo(http://www.starhawkthegame.com)  Rated T for Teen by ESRB.  Starhawk is the spiritual successor to Warhawk as they say, but the connection between the two games is far enough that it is best to look at Starhawk alone. This title is one ambitious project, incorporating both flight combat and real-time strategy into a third person shooter.



Presentation:
The story here isn’t much to look at, but the 5-hour campaign serves well enough as a tutorial to introduce the otherwise overwhelming amount of features. Following the space-western that has potential to be rich, the game shows what it’s all about: gunplay using eight different guns, building structures and vehicles, and controlling the vehicles – including the half-mech-half-fighter-jet Hawk. Although on the short side and could use a few more episodes, the story still manages to outline the conflict in the center of Starhawk’s universe without feeling tacked on or out of place.

Graphics:
With the space western setting, the makers created some uncommon and unique environments. Be ready to see some stars, planets and space stations in a stunning sci-fi inspired world. Shooters typically do not direct attention toward the scenery or encourage exploration by any mean, but for Starhawks, seeing the nebulae and the twinkling stars is a must.

Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots

Sounds:
The music is rather ingenious. Using a symphony orchestra on some Wild West sounding tracks naturally gave the music the vastness of the outer space. The dramatic score also stands apart from the typical movie soundtrack thanks to this unique setting.

Gameplay:
The 5-hour campaign-tutorial gives just enough time to introduce all the concepts, but not nearly enough to familiarize anyone with them. In fact, even the most seasoned gamers will need additional time to get used to Starhawk. Despite how intuitive and customizable the three sets of controls are, having that many different control schemes will always be confusing even it’s for having a smooth genre-hybrid title.

Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots

On the other hand, the overall execution is nothing short of polished. While having only ten maps, they are all intense and action is never too far away – shame they don’t leave much time for sightseeing. There’s no down time even when dead in competitive multiplayer, since the game allows player to micro-adjust their landing area for a chance to kill as their drop-pod hits the ground (or enemy).

Innovation:
This multiplayer-centric game doesn’t introduce any brand new game mechanics. But it brings in real-time strategy and flight combat ever so smoothly, making every match more holistic by making it important to look up for Hawks and look around for base development.

Longevity:
Time simply disappears while in a match of Starhawk, regardless of the mode played. The most popular game modes are team deathmatch and capture the flag – classics of the shooter genre – but the familiarity had not kept the community from coming back. With extensive social features and balanced gameplay, Starhawk is proving itself to be the opposite of the 1-try-shooters. It is a game to keep around, as the player base will stay strong for some time to come.

Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots Starhawk (PS3) Screenshots

Conclusion:
Starhawk may not be packed full of content, but the decent amount of maps, guns, vehicles, environments, etc. are all well designed. One needs to look no further than the fact where there’s always a counter to any given unit in the game to agree with the balanced game play. With all other aspects just as polished, Starhawk is one the best shooter this year if not the best.

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