The Starhawk Private Beta has begun. Invites started rolling out on Tuesday November the twenty-second. We were lucky enough to get a code before the masses arrived. The first thing you will get to do is spawn. Not a big deal right but wait, you don’t just spawn you get to drop from the outer atmosphere in a fiery pod. Select where on the part of the map that your team controls. This can also be used as a weapon by aiming for the enemy while getting ready to spawn and controlling your fall with a target landing mark that moves with you as the pod gets closer to hitting ground.
In the beginning of the match after ‘podding’ down from space it’s a fast and furious race to get building. Identifying strategic choke-points in maps is essential to seeing every weapon and vehicle you will be needing. You will need to find out how many protection structures your flag will need as well so they can be built then used. This is the build and battle feature that has transformed this series into a strategically enhanced super fast action third person shooter.
Each build includes either a weapon storage location where your teammates can load up or houses a vehicle such as the Razorback – a futuristic version of a jeep that has a mounted 50 cal on the back and seats three. Don’t worry, the other passenger can also wield his rifle at the same time. Some of the other buildings house the jet pack dispensers, and the holy grail of weapons the Mech-Hawk.
The Mech-Hawk brings back the Warhawk flight style air battles with the twist of being able to transform back into an unmatched ground force in the blink of an eye taking all of the weapons from the aircraft with it and adding the power to just stomp people out as they run away in fear. This new hybrid vehicle is the ultimate weapon.
The maps we have seen so far are futuristic to say the least with everything from acid spewing oceans to outer space platforms hovering far above the planets sporting awesome visual details from every possible angle. After logging quite a few hours I would find it hard to believe anyone if they said they were not enjoying it.
In all other games you race out to gain position looking for the perfect spot to set up and get ready for the war. In this game you make your spot wherever you want including directly in the enemies camp. But don’t expect to be there long because they can destroy it just as fast as you can build it. Put up a sniper tower in any location you want climb up to the perch and your weapon and ammo are sitting there waiting for you.
Not only can you drop down and nail the enemy with your spawn pod but you can also decimate the enemy with any one of your buildings if your timing is right. Taking bases requires a beacon to be placed so that you and your team may spawn there and begin to build your fortress the whole time while pushing forward toward the enemy forces.
In this early beta only thirty-two structures are allowed for the eight player team. Not to worry, the structures also come with the ability to reclaim them in order to better enhance your strategy or to just build something you’re needing more than what’s already there. For instance, you have built a fortress of walls around your flag or in your base blocking all entrances and you need something for the forward bases. No problem, simply reclaim the stuff you’re not using and communicate with the team letting them know what you need and where you need it placed.
So far I have to say it has been a long time for many of us Warhawk veterans waiting in anticipation for this release, even when mum was the word for so long until the secret PlayStation 3 exclusive became a reality. The hardcore Warhawk fans knew that something was in the works all along. Dylan Jobe and his team over at Light Box Interactive have not disappointed with their latest installment and I have to say they have exceeded my expectations. Having logged over three thousand hours in their previous game Warhawk, I do not say that lightly.
The best part is there’s even more coming! I’m talking more vehicles, more maps, more modes, even the addition of a story mode will be in the mix before it’s all said and done. This is just the beginning of what players are going to get when they purchase Starhawk. Not to mention the unbelievable amount of replay value this title will have. I’m expecting the same, if not more than Warhawk which is still enjoyed online daily after its release in 2007.
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