E3 06: Warhawk Hands-On

We tilt and lean with a playable version of Incognito's hoverjet game.

LOS ANGELES--Sony's pre-E3 press briefing ended with the unveiling of a handful of playable PlayStation 3 games, including Incognito's Warhawk, a sequel to an old PlayStation 1 game of the same name. The demo focused on flying around, shooting up stuff, and testing out the new PS3 controller's tilt sensor.

In Warhawk, you'll fly around in a plane that can convert into hover mode at any time. But a stationary target is a dead one, so we tended to keep on moving. The demo level showcased plenty of nice-looking water below, though the bits of ground also looked really sharp. The enemies consist of swarms of smaller drone planes that you could take out in a few hits and larger capital ships that could take several rockets. Your weapons consist of a primary machine gun and a set of secondary weapons. Three secondary weapons were in the demo, though the weapon selector allowed for eight or nine different weapons. One let you launch a swarm of rockets using a Panzer Dragoon-like paint-and-fire technique. One was a lock-on missile that required you to keep your target in your sights until it achieved a lock. The last was a lightning bolt that can be used in quick bursts to take out smaller targets, or it can be charged up to launch a ball of electricity.

The control is really slick. The game uses the controller's internal tilt-sensing mechanisms to steer your ship. It worked really well, and didn't feel jittery at all. Holding R1 rolls your ship, double-tapping R2 kicks in your afterburners for a quick speed boost, and triangle converts you into and out of hover mode. The D pad on the controller is used for selecting secondary weapons, and square fires them. X is your main machine gun.

The game is running at a smooth frame rate, and there are pretty good-looking particle effects and heat wash. The game has also got good-looking clouds, water, and other environmental details, too. Overall, the game looks good and already seems to play well, even though the development team only recently incorporated the new controller's motion sensors. We're looking forward to seeing more of this one in the future.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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