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Starhawk is coming. Warhawk's successor has emerged in shakycam footage, screenshots and a press release. But you want more than that, don't you? Well, we have hands-on information from someone who's actually played the game. He describes it as being highly reminiscent of Halo as you and your colleagues leap out of vehicles and settle into combat, but 'like Gears of War without the cover system' when you're fighting on the ground. This is going to be good...
Character movement doesn't quite have the same weight to it as Epic's behemoth franchise, but apparently it's very close. Either way, we're talking about a game that feels solid and assured, whether online or off.
Above: Looks like Halo, doesn't it? Multiplayer vehicle sharing will play a big part in Starhawk
The next big thing is the 'build and battle' system, which sees you fortifying your bases in real-time as the battle unfolds around you. Yep, you'll be building your own bases as you fight. There's an extra element of tactical depth afforded by this as you have to consider consider what your next threat is likely to be.
For instance, there are three different kinds of turret you can build – anti-air, anti-tank and more standard turrets for taking down infantry. The trick is in deciding which you should build first.
Above: Yeah, probably a good idea to build defenses against these guys first. Look at the tiny men!
Our man also noted how refreshing it is to play a single-player mode where the lead character isn't incredibly generic. After Warhawk's single-player campaign was scrapped in favour of online-only action, just as much care and attention has gone into crafting the single-player experience. And it shows. The game is set way out in space in the distant future, where two factions of a human colony humans are battling over 'Rift Energy'. Imagine a futuristic Mad Max and you're probably not far off.
One faction is relatively normal and known as the Rifters, while The Outcast are mutated humans. Turns out, when our fleshy bodies are subjected to Rift Energy, it turns people into zombie-like beings with blue appendages. So, in single-player, you play as Emmett Graves - a hired gunslinger who has been exposed to Rift Energy, leaving him partially mutated, but still with a conscience. Of course, it's kinda hard to fit in when you're glowing blue so he has trouble fitting in. Then it turns out Graves' family is involved in the clash between the Outcast and the Rifters leaving a moral choice to be made.
Above: You can see what Rift Energy does to the human body. Perhaps that's how he can carry such a big gun
Our man described the game has a 'cowboys in space, Firefly' kind of feel. Perhaps this is down to the developer's ethos of wanting to build the games they'd want to play themselves. LightBox Interactive may well be made up of members of the old Warhawk team, but the studio itself is new - and there does seem to be a feeling of liberation around it.
We'll bring you more on Starhawk when we get a chance to play it for ourselves. Until then, rest assured it's looking good.
13 May, 2011