The game's two sides consist of the earth-tone-wearing Eucadians and the sinister-looking Chernovans, and while there was once a story to explain why they're at each other's throats, they may as well just be wearing red and blue now. Both sides play identically, with the same weapons and skills, and while their vehicles might look different - particularly the Chernovans' black, bat-winged Nemesis fighter, which draws a striking contrast to the scrappier-looking Warhawk and its World War II stylings - they're essentially the same.
Even without different-but-complementary factions, Warhawk matches are fast, fun and surprisingly addictive. Part of this is down to the sprawling, varied landscapes and the fun that comes with exploring them - we're talking mountains dotted with European-looking villages, bombed-out skyscrapers, tropical islands and archipelagos made up entirely of sheer, precarious cliff formations. Being able to play different ways adds to the fun as well, and being on foot - which enables you to collect a wide array of interesting weapons, including flamethrowers, mines and binoculars that can be used to call in artillery strikes - is just as enjoyable as manning the turret on a jeep, rolling a tank over your adversaries or swooping around in an aerobatic fighter jet. Even the stationary missile and flak turrets are rewarding, in that they enable you to quickly rack up aerial kills and earn awards for the match.
Of course, that brings us to the game's biggest flaw (aside from the occasional freeze glitch which will hopefully be patched in the very near future): the Warhawk/Nemesis fighter jets. Flying one of these things is half the reason for playing - hell, the game is named after one of them - but it takes a lot of skill to keep them in the air. Not because of the optional motion-sensitive Sixaxis controls (which aren't as difficult to master as they might seem), but because the fighters are way too easy to shoot down. You've got to be fast, good with evasive maneuvers and extremely quick with the anti-missile chaff if you're going to survive for long.
In levels with a lot of solid ground to fight over, it's often best to use the planes for short hops from one place to another - if you fly around for too long, you're liable to attract the attention of a missile turret, tank or dude with a rocket launcher, and then it'll all be over as soon as they draw a bead on you. With lots of missile-dodging practice, though, flying will be worth your while - just expect a long learning curve before that happens.