Warhawk hands-on

Our other major surprise was the fact that the game is reckoned to be only 30% complete despite having been around since last year's show. In fact, speaking to Warhawk's director, he told us that Incognito had intended to show the ground based sections of the game but decided against it due to the incomplete nature of the visuals.

And that may well be true because, as much as the fluffy clouds and heat haze effects on the jet engines impressed us, the backdrops seemed bland and monochrome, even in the smallish level that we were able to play. So our next-gen socks remain distinctly not knocked off, even if some parts - such as the tidy, if tiny, explosions did impress.

Above: Flying is good but we need to try out the action on-foot before passing too strong a judgment on Warhawk

As for the gameplay itself, it is hard to say how enjoyable it is without seeing more of the ground based battles and a dramatic increase in the difficultly level. For while we really enjoyed blasting through the skies and shredding the enemy hover ships, the fact that the enemy guns and even the collisions did so little damage to our craft did scratch some of the sheen off.

So while playing is definitely fun, it was all too easy to complete the demo just by flipping the ship into hover mode and lobbing an endless stream of missiles at every craft that came near.

However, there are obviously still plenty of miles left to cover in the development of Warhawk and since so much of the hard technical work, such as the game engine and physics, are already in place, there is still time for such niceties as the visuals and balancing to catch up.