Warhawk – PS3 – Review

Back when
Sony finally revealed the sleek new look for the shiny PlayStation 3, footage
for some interesting new PS3 titles began to surface as well and one of them was
Warhawk – a game that followed the original Warhawk game for the
first PlayStation and used the new motion sensor technology of the PS3
controller. The footage showed gamers controlling an aircraft and manipulating
the controller the way a child would when he or she played with a toy plane.
Launch came and Warhawk was a no-show but now, PS3 gamers, the wait is
finally over and the Warhawk has landed. Warhawk for the PS3 is here and
it might very well be the killer application the console has been waiting for so
clear your calendar and join the war.

First off, I
must point out that Warhawk is a multiplayer-only title that is played
online using a Broadband connection, through a LAN connection or using a single
console through a split-screen deal. There is no single-player mode where you
take on the same game modes solo or a story mode that detaches itself from the
main multiplayer component. This is an action game designed to be played with
others in the way Battlefield was meant to be played. The online
component tosses you into a massive battle that puts you in the war with up to
32 players on screen at once. Warhawk, interestingly enough, can be
purchased online in the PlayStation Store for $40 but it’s also available at
retail stores for $60 and is packaged with a neat Jabra Bluetooth headset with
its own USB charger. The retail package also comes with an instruction manual,
something you don’t get if you purchase the game online.

The game’s
setup process is relatively painless so you’ll be off and starting in no time.
You begin the game by selecting a character avatar and personalizing said
character as well decide what type of Warhawk (a type of futuristic fighter
plane) you’d like to fly. You’ll even get to chose the side you would like to
play such as the futuristic Chernovans or the Eucadians, and while the game
doesn’t go into any details why these two factions are at war, well, who really
cares as long as we get to frag the players in the other team because it’s the
all-out battles that makes Warhawk such a blast to play. There are four
game modes to play and once you join a game or host one yourself you can decide
whether you’d like a Deathmatch mode, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag or
capturing bases in Zone Mode.  

Anyone who
has played a multiplayer match will certainly know their way around a Deathmatch
or Team Deathmatch game mode and almost anyone has played a version of Capture
the Flag mode at some point whether it’s as a skater in a Tony Hawk game
or a soldier in some first-person shooter. Here, however, a host can set up a
number of conditions including making the matches all aerial or keeping the
battle on the surface of the five or so different worlds. Aside from taking to
the skies in some cool dogfights using Warhawk fighters or the sleeker Nemesis
fighters, you can climb into tanks or 4 X 4 off-road vehicles capable of
carrying other players. During ground battles your soldier to crouch, jump,
strafe, toss grenades and even take command of gun turrets.


Zone Mode
requires a team effort and it basically pits your team against a rival team as
you defend or try to take a rival’s base. Let’s say your team manages to
penetrate your rival’s defenses, the longer you hang on to the enemy base the
higher points your team will gain as the captured based slowly merges with your
own home base. Soon you’ll have more spawn points and thus making it harder for
your opponent to try to take their base back. It’s a nice change over the
Capture the Flag mode that has you frantically attempting to return a team flag
to your own base.

Aerial combat
is an interesting and rather fun part of Warhawk that is handled well
enough despite the fact that flying a fighter isn’t as easy as it looks. The
game lets you use the analog sticks for better maneuvering but why have
hamburger when you can have a fat juicy steak. The game makes good use of the SIXAXIS motion sensor controls if you change the control scheme. Using the
motion sensor technology, you can move your fighter with a few tilts and turns
and trust me when I say that it takes a lot of practice to keep from crashing
but it make dogfights such a rare and interesting feat. Over the headset I heard
my share of cussing from those still trying to get the hang of the controls but
once you do get the hang of it vehicle maneuvering starts to make sense and
you’ll be earning medals and ribbons in no time. 

isn’t the type of game you can just quickly grab and start bringing
Nemesis planes down with ease but believe me when I say that you will learn and
you will do so because the massive battles are like Pringles potato chips … you
can’t play just once. I’ve played through a 32-player Deathmatch and a 16-player
Capture the Flag session and encountered no framerate stutter or slowdown. I
also set up a LAN game and it worked perfectly, although I have to admit
split-screen isn’t the best way of playing this game if you decide to play using
a single console. The Bluetooth headset works like a dream – which is why I am
recommending you buy the game at the store if you don’t own a compatible headset
to begin with – and it’s a blast coordinating attacks with other gamers. This is
the type of game you’ll be coming up with strategies when approaching different
situations. In addition, the game allows you to create your own clans.


Visually, the
game is stunning and easy on the eyes when it comes to the aerial combat.
Watching a rival’s aircraft explode just inches away from you is a dazzling
sight as is bring down a Warhawk or a Nemesis with a gun turret from down below.
It’s a real treat watching other players scrambling all around you and with such
a slick presentation, the game makes you feel like you’re playing a PS3 game. In
short, the graphics are nothing short of impressive.

The game’s
music is also a highlight and it does a great job of giving the game its epic
war vibe. It’s like listening to a score for a war movie about a war that never
really happened and it fits the game nicely. The sound effects are also perfect
so you really have to play this game with a good sound system or crank the
volume up in whatever setup you have for your console.

will be destined to become a
PlayStation 3 classic but most importantly, it will remain to be one of the best
multiplayer experiences you’ll find in a next-generation console. It’s an action
junkie’s dream come true for those who have been looking for a multiplayer
action game worthy of the genre and while the controls and style take awhile to
really learn, those who are patient will find that this is a game they will want
to keep playing for a long time to come.

Review Scoring
Details for Warhawk

 Gameplay: 8.9
You really can’t pick up the
controller and start blasting opponents like a true veteran but spending enough
time in the frontlines will definitely help ease you into the gameplay. The
aerial battles are a blast, especially using the SIXAXIS controls, and on foot
the action is even hotter. The game modes will give you enough to do so expect
to spend a long time with this game.


is a great-looking PS3 game and everything from the explosions to the vehicles
and character models are handled perfectly. The dogfights are particularly
stunning and on the ground the action looks good especially in these

Sound: 9.0

Play this one loudly because the
sound effects are just so incredibly detailed that you’ll be surrounded by
sound. The music is wonderfully dramatic and appropriate to the game’s theme and
if you’re using the headset you’ll get an earful from your teammates.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Once you get past the
getting-to-know-you phase of the controls, the real challenges come from the
fiery battles and your opponent’s skill level. In the team battles, organization
is key to victory and making good use of every weapon at your disposal is a real
must in a game that will put you against skilled players. 


I foresee the Warhawk online
community growing to an impressive number so building your own clan or joining
one is a must. The game modes are fun and with up to 32 players, joining the
battle you will have your hands full. Oh, the game comes bundled with a good
Bluetooth headset that just plain rocks and makes communicating with your team
or other players a breeze.

Multiplayer: 9.0

Online the game runs at a rock
steady framerate and you can always play against three other friends offline
using split-screen. Since this is an online-only title, a single-player
experience is out of the question but why play alone when the game handles a
32-player Deathmatch mode perfectly.


Simply put, Warhawk is what
gaming dreams are made of and the reason you will want a PlayStation 3. Yes, its
complex controls require a lot of patience but once you get the hang of it you
will be completely hooked by the intense action that makes these online battles
such an addictive joy. This is one of the PS3’s finest titles that really
shouldn’t be missed.