Starhawk is 'like Gears of War without the cover system'

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


  • lukas1051 - May 14, 2011 12:10 p.m.

    Forget Halo and Gears of War, forget CoD or Killzone or Battlefield... I can honestly say Warhawk was my favourite online game on PS3. No hardcore gameplay or amazing graphics, just pure unadulterated fun. Driving up to an enemy base in a jeep with your friend on the turret shooting people on jetpacks, while someone else in a plane is carpet bombing enemies, and people are jumping around with flamethrowers taking on tanks; that's 50x better than camping in the corner of a map with a sniper trying to build up kill streaks. I'm massively looking forward to Starhawk, I just pray they don't make it too different.
  • ButtersPTOM - May 14, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    Having also played the game, I don't necessarily agree with the Gears of War comparison. I mean, true, it's a third-person shooter, but Gears? I have no idea where that came from. Also, the Build and Battle stuff is remarkably robust and intuitive. It's as much a part of the game as the shooting, which I think makes the whole game seem much more interesting.
  • Robx - May 13, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    @Nodoubt I think PS3 only Looks interesting tbh and that last pic reminds me of
  • Gameguy94 - May 13, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    Warhawk was good. Its just that without persistent unlocks I got kinda bored. This looks good. I kinda miss the older WW2 art style but this could be good.
  • R-ape - May 13, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    Looks good to me and with gameplay that feels like a mesh between Halo and Gears, I don't think anything can go wrong. Besides a delay, of course.
  • Fiirestorm21 - May 13, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    Hopefully the "Gears of War without a cover system" comment was referring more to the general third-person shooter deal more than it was any kind of slow awkward movement. Like SideOfBeef said, away from cover was when Gears was at its most awkward and clumsy. Still, Warhawk was brilliant, and the teams these guys were apart of previously have tremendous pedigree. I have very high hopes for it.
  • Nodoudt - May 13, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Do you happen to have any information on what platforms this'll be released on?
  • Jaces - May 13, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    hmmm, going to have to keep a close eye on this and hope they didn't screw up a good thing. Honestly though I didn't feel the need for Warhawk to have a single player campaign, online only was such a blast that it made you forget all about it's lack of single player.
  • ChrisCultista - May 13, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    Hmmm... the whole "It's like Halo. It's like Gears!" stuff kinda put me off, but the base building pricked me ears. It is too far out to really say much at this point though.
  • SideOfBeef - May 13, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    Um... Gears of War isn't very good without the cover system. It's just a very slow third person shooter with weapons that are kind of weak.
  • InFeRnOg - May 13, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    WarHawk was awesome and the team behind this is solid. I hope it works out!

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