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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation Network
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 January 14, 2008

Review: Oh! MEGA Dawn


Warhawk: Operation Omega Dawn is more accurately pronounced Operation Oh! MEGA Dawn because of the size of this $7.99 Warhawk map and vehicle add-on. It features the Omega Factory battlefield, which is the game's largest map to date, and a new dropship that seats seven, plus one vehicle. This downloadable content won't win you over if you didn't like the game when it first released, but for Warhawk fans who've been enjoying the multiplayer chaos over the past four months, this is a must-have download for one of PS3's better games.

Omega Factory battlefield
Omega Factory dims the sunlight cast on the game's five other battlefields by taking place under a unique night sky just before daybreak. An expansive, yet isolated factory world sits beneath the grey clouds of this gloomy environment. Even though it's the biggest and most open map in the game, familiar structures ensure that close combat is always possible. Bridges, tunnels and bases litter the sterile industrial settings of Omega Factory, only there seems to be more of these types of structures now.



In addition to Omega Factory, all of the maps have been changed to support the game's new vehicle, the KT-424 Combat Dropship. So, it's interesting to play the five original maps again to see how the new dropship changes the strategies you've developed over the past four months.

The KT-424 Combat Dropship
You can hear the dropship approaching from a mile away because this beast is very loud; it's almost as loud as my Xbox 360 upon powering up. One pilot controls the hovering craft, which floats in the air like a slower version of the Warhawk. It also differs in that it seats seven instead of two and, unlike a Warhawk's pointless co-pilot where the sucker in the backseat can't do anything other than feel trapped, the six passengers here actually have a significant role in protecting the vulnerable dropship. Three missile turrets line its left side and three line its right side. On top of that protection, the pilot can set the ship in neutral and resort to using a machine gun. This isn't recommended because the dropship becomes a sitting target whenever it's not hovering, however, it is fun to destroy your opponents when they don't realize this vulnerability. There's nothing quite like getting seven kills at once.

The dropship is available in three of four game types: Team Deathmatch, CTF and Zones. Deathmatch is left out because the vehicle is team-oriented and a free-for-all game type would make transporting seven players who are all opponents kind of silly and pointless. Unfortunately, even during the game types where the dropshop does appear, it can be pointless if players don't employ teamwork. Organization is the key to a successful dropship invasion, and the key to organization is a headset. A majority of my Warhawk matches were too silent because people don't hook up their equipment. You should either charge the Bluetooth headset that came with the Warhawk game bundle or break out that old SOCOM USB headset to communicate with your pilot and gunners. Mounting a massive, seven-person offensive to capture an enemy flag is much more fun when everyone works together via headsets.

In case you're wondering, you can't carry the flag back to your base if you're a passenger in the dropship in a CTF game. However, since a 4X4 or tank can be carried underneath of the dropship, you can transport it that way.

Downloading
Besides people not using their headsets enough to make using the dropship much more fun, there's one other drawback to downloading Omega Dawn and that's the wait time. It's not so much that the 143 MB file takes a long time to download, but I had to go through several other steps in order to play it for the first time. There was the PS3 firmware update that needed to be downloaded in order to access to the PlayStation Store. Once that was done, I had to connect the wireless controller via a USB cord and press the PS button. Then the firmware update had to install. I accessed the PS Store, downloaded Operation Omega Dawn and that had to install. Thinking everything was complete, I loaded the game to find that there was also a 42 MB Warhawk v1.2 patch to download and install.

This is a problem that's system-wide and not limited to Warhawk. I appreciate the constant firmware and patch updates, but in that half hour of updating and installing and pressing the PS button, I moved on to playing Wii Sports on a system in which players can jump into games right away.

Bottom Line
Operation Omega Dawn's new nighttime map and massive dropship deliver a convincing reason to spend $7.99 and a very convincing reason to get back into playing more Warhawk. If you've been distracted by games like Ratchet & Clank Future, Uncharted and Assassin's Creed during the holidays, this add-on is the perfect incentive to revisit PS3's best online addiction.



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