This game is worth buying for any PS3 owner. That was for those of you who just want the jist of the review. Below you will find the detailed review.
It was over a year ago when I was at E3 ’06, right before the PS3 and the Wii were released. My wife, Alyse Wax, and I were watching hundreds of people stand in line to try Nintendo’s big blockbuster new console. We debated for 10 minutes about getting in line but decide to pass. We knew we would buy the Wii, which was only a few months around the corner. The large booth next to Nintendo was Sony and as she can attest, I had no interest (like many) in the PS3. But there was no waiting in line to try it, so we strolled through.
I only stopped three times in that booth. Once to see the Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer, once to see what Lair was all about (I like dragons…is that a surprise?), and the third was this game Warhawk. They were toting it as the first game that would come out and show us all why their Sixaxis controller would rock our worlds. Well, it kind of worked on me. I picked it up and had a blast moving this airship around in virtual space the same way I would play with a toy airship in my hands. It was fun, nothing really new, but a lot of fun. I turned to my wife and said “Oh… maybe I will get a PS3 when this comes out.”
One and a half years later…
I got my PS3 near the beginning of ‘07, and until now I haven’t had a game made for the PS3 that I’ve been excited to play. Even though the game had been reduced from single player and Multiplayer title to just multiplayer, I still needed to have it.
This game doesn’t stand out to me in the graphics department. With things like BioShock pushing the Xbox 360 farther than even Gears of War did (and I really thought that was going to be the peak for the 360) Warhawk doesn’t stand out. It has a clean interface that is pleasing to the eye, and the smoke and cloud effects are rendered at high frame rates without missing a beat. The developers have shown a good balance between the “wow” factor the PS3 will certainly have at some point, and what your system can handle in one of those 16 vs. 16 online matches.
Surround sound in gaming is crucial for me. I like to be immersed, and this game delivers on that. You can especially tell while flying at high speeds through some good dog fighting action. Oh and it’s THX certified for all you audiophiles out there.
This game is pure fun. With a wide range of multiplayer game types, weapons and vehicles, it doesn’t leave much to want. The vehicles in this game are really its main attraction. I’ll start with the lesser ones. The Jeep is the easiest to get in the game, usually you’ll find four or five lying around waiting for a couple people to hop on and gun down enemy players that are on their way to other vehicles.
The tank is fun. A bit clunky but there has to be some balance of speed when you have that much firepower. My personal favorites are the turrets. There’s nothing like just sitting back with a heat seeking missile turret and taking down 20 or so air ships in a match. Then we have what first hooked me, the hovering, jet-like war machines that terrorize the skies. The first thing I did when I got in my first match was find one of these to go battle with, and within the first 30 seconds of take-off, the feature that I truly loved so much, the Sixaxis motion control that made me feel like a five-year-old again playing toys, had to go!
If anyone out there is using this mode in the game and causing any real damage to anything – kudos. I could not stand it in the fast pace world of multiplayer online war. Maybe this mode would have made the single player title worth playing, I’m not sure. But it has no place in the game as it is. Having said that, the Air Ships are a blast to fly. Though there was a learning curve to them. You have to learn to switch between hover and jet mode, and the missile targeting system wasn’t too intuitive at first. With the many modes of play in this game it doesn’t hurt to glance over the manual for a moment before playing.
The few things I feel are missing from this title are:
- A motorcycle or some type of ground-based speed demon.
- An air ship bomber class that can take a few hits with multiple people occupying it, one pilot, one bomber and maybe 2 turret gunners.
- An easier way to find online games. There should be a mode in every online game where I just hit “I want to play” and it just finds me the lowest ping, first available game and gets me in the action without thought. Though the menu system is quite pleasing to look at for a couple minutes.
In conclusion, I would recommend this game to anyone that owns a PS3. Due to it’s many styles of play I think anyone that does more with their console than play Tetris will find something they like here and it’s a great way to blow off some steam when you get home and just want to frag something.
Note: The boxed version comes with a Jabra BT125 wireless Bluetooth headset, which works quite well. You can find the headset for around the $20-$25 mark, so the additional cost for the boxed version of Warhawk is warranted. If you do not have a wireless headset, the Jabra BT125 is easy to recommend. The Blu-ray version also comes with one “making of” video of the game, and a bunch of game trailers you can download from the PS Store.
Warhawk is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood, Violence. Note: the retail box has the Mild Language descriptor, presumably for the bonus content on the disc.