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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 3
PUBLISHER:
SCEA
DEVELOPER:
Incognito Studios
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-32
RELEASE DATE:
August 28, 2007
ESRB RATING:
Teen


IN THE SERIES
Starhawk

Warhawk

 Written by Matt Swider  on June 22, 2007

Specials: ......Besides the obvious glitches.


More from Warhawk Week:
Monday: PSone game review | Tuesday: Beta Strategy | Wednesday: Beta Review | Thursday: Ten Improvements | Friday: Halo 3 Vs. Warhawk: Battle of the Betas


Warhawk is already one of the best PS3 games that PlayStation Network gamers have gotten a chance to play and it isn't even out yet. However, there are a couple of minor improvements that this epic online war game could make before its release this fall. Here are the top ten ways to this beta could be even better:

But I don't want to be a co-pirate!
As soon as a game begins, most everyone scrambles for a Warhawk. However, there aren't enough birds for everyone, so people take 4x4s, tanks and gun turrets or they go on foot. They're just as fun and just as lucky. Sometimes, you will make it into a Warhawk, but won't be at the controls because an ally hopped into the aircraft right before you did. If they take off right away without you exiting, you'll be stuck as the co-pilot. Sure, being the co-pilot can be resourceful since you can see ?all of the blips on the map? and do what a co-pilot does. But when you expected to fly a Warhawk and are reduced to a backset driver, sometimes you just want to do. And, that's your only option since you can't dismount from any position in the air. Instead of committing suicide through the options menu, improvement #1 is I'd rather take my chances and dismount from a height in which maybe I could survive an impact with the ground.

Split the two-player splitscreen into two options
Being in the Warhawk beta is great. Being able to boast about it to friends who can share in the awesome experience is even better because there's a four-player option online via splitscreen. When there are that many local players on your PS3, the game splits the screens into four equal boxes and, naturally, when there are two players it does the same just down the middle. However, the halves are only divided vertically. This work well for most people thanks to the advent of the widescreen television. But, for others playing on a standard TV set or wanting peripheral vision, an option to split the screen horizontally is improvement #2. That way, the enemy tank I see won't be such a last second surprise when it blow me away from the left and my friend is left laughing because he's the one that made the screen so narrow.

Welcome to Warhawk
Learning the ins and outs of Warhawk on the first day of the beta was a fun learning experience for everyone because we were all on the same page. Further down the line, when the game makes it to retail stores and the online PlayStation Store, beta testers and newbies will be on a much different level. Sure, Incoginto can allow us to restrict matches based on rank, but it shouldn't be that hard for an experienced player to create a new ID and infiltrate a lower-level match to wreck some newb's game. Although there's no single-player mode to get people accustomed to the controls, improvement #3 is to have some sort of introduction mode, whether it's a training level or, better yet, a series challenge that both experienced and inexperienced players can enjoy and learn from. I'd take flying through a bunch of circus rings, especially if there was a high score or finishing time I could boast about on some leaderboards in the end.

Incognito in the funny
The developer of Warhawk, Incognito, is a company that has a sense of humor with games like War of the Monsters and Twisted Metal as past proof. Moreover, since the studio was founded by members of SingleTrac (the developer that did the original Warhawk on PlayStation) there's even more history of their sick and twisted comedy. I mean, who ends their game with the heroes dying and the boss Kreel laughing only to also die while chocking on a chicken bone, indirectly causing you to ?win.? That was one of the many funny endings I cited in my Warhawk for PSone review and my improvement #4 is to have more humor implemented in this game. Incognito could build on the background of the Eucadian and Chernovan races and add alarming effects when you go on a killing spree or accidentally slaughter your own teammate.

Hawking the Warhawk history online
Speaking of the original Warhawk, a great promotional tool would be to include a downloadable copy of the PSone game via the PlayStation Network. Whether or not changes could be made would depend greatly on time constraints. But, if the idea did fly, the first improvement I'd ask for would be analog controls to steer the Warhawk. Even though I recently hunted down a black-backed original PlayStation disc through eBay to play the game, if analog maneuvering was added to a downloadable version, I'd definitely buy it again. And, if changes couldn't be made, hawking it to other PSN users as a value-priced tie-in is still my improvement #5.

TiVo the best of times, TiVo the worst of times
The ?other? beta out there, Halo 3, included a game capture feature in which players could save their replay after a match. This video reflection idea is great to show off some of the most ridiculous and random occurrences in Warhawk. It's also a perfect way to spot your mistakes so that you can improve your rank after seeing where you goofed up. Improvement #6 is to have a similar save-replay function so that every PS3 gamer can go toe-to-toe in showing off how insane Warhawk really is compared to Halo 3.

Tweaking the SIXAXIS for intentional twitches
One of the best uses of the SIXAXIS has been the simplest move: Resistance: Fall of Man's melee attack. Intuitively jab the controller forward and your gun butt does the same, smacking the enemy in front of you. Warhawk already uses more involved motion controls for flying, so when on foot, I'd love to perform a melee attack with the same natural feeling motion as Resistance, making improvement #7. Adding to the idea, it'd also be great to have a ditch feature for the jeep when you speed back to your base with the enemy flag in hand. Just jab, jump out and run into your base while the 4x4 on keeps going.

Assessing the Assault Rifle
The Assault Rifle is a superb weapon of choice because it's fast, accurate and you can spray a lot of enemies with bullets. I'm great with this weapon because I'm a master of hoping around close-corner environments while still targeting enemies with the rifle who can't target me. However, the assault rifle isn't as powerful as the pistol or even the knife it seems. When I was unloading more clips of the rifle to kill a man than shaking my knife at him, I knew the assault rifle could be improved and it had to be improvement #8.

Consider Custom Background Music
The opening music on the main menu is epic and accurately matches the epic battles that go on in the game. However, it'd be great to hear other tunes as we take down each other's Warhawks instead of hearing an orchestra fade in and out ever so often. Even if the official music played all of the time and there were no long stretches of background music silence, the soundtrack, though great, would still run its course with the most hardcore Warhawkers. This is a good time for improvement #9: to use custom soundtracks so that every maverick out there can listen to ?Highway to the DANGER ZONE? and please stop signing it over the headset to me.

Communicating Who's Communicating
For people who continue to sing that Kenny Loggins song to everyone online, it'd be great to have an idea of who was speaking without having to go to the distracting voice menu first. The first SOCOM had the same issue when the PlayStation Network Adapter premiered, so my hope and my #1 improvement, improvement #10, is being able to see who is talking on the HUD without having to access a big menu.

Have beta improvements you'd like to see Incognito make? Be sure to comment below.

More from Warhawk Week:
Monday: PSone game review | Tuesday: Beta Strategy | Wednesday: Beta Review | Thursday: Ten Improvements | Friday: Halo 3 Vs. Warhawk: Battle of the Betas



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